5 Buyer Behaviors Reshaping B2B Marketing


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One thing we can count on is by the time you have finished reading this buying behavior may have been altered one again. Changes in buyer behaviors continue unabated. This is making it difficult for marketing and sales leaders to plan the right mix of strategies and tactics resulting in a winning formula.

5 Buyer Behaviors B2B Marketing Must Keep An Eye On

New buying behaviors means B2B marketers have to become more responsive today. Creating nimble organizations and improving knowledge in buyer understanding. Here are ways buyer behavior will continue to reshape marketing:

Buyers Embrace Collaboration

Social and digital technologies has allowed for progress in the area of collaboration. Meaning the sphere of influence and interaction not only has widened but increased. Old ideas about roles on buying teams are being shattered as we speak. The era of collaborative buyer networks has arrived. We now have to consider internal as well as external members of collaborative networks impacting decision-making.

Buyers Want Co-Creation

Collaborative networks are fostering a new environment for co-creating products, services, and for solving problems. This new development will put pressure on B2B organizations to get in line with flexible products and services which allow buyers to play an active role in co-creating. Buyers and their collaborative networks will demand it. For B2B marketers, this means a broader view on how you deliver messaging.

Buyers Want Less Content

I am sure some will do a double take on the above sub-header. The fact is buyers are overwhelmed with content. Here is how one buyer put it to me: “Look, I think twice now about putting my name in a form – not because I am not willing – but I know this just means I am going to get a flood of emails to download more information.” Buyers want less content – yet desire smart content.

Buyers Want 1-to-1

A funny thing happened on the way to marketing automation. Marketing may be inadvertently dripping back into the mode of 1-to-many as opposed to the coveted 1-to-1. I came upon this thought after conducting two reviews of lead generation and nurturing campaigns. Buyers can see right through this screen. They can smell automation. A buyer’s voice on an email she received: “What is this? I really don’t know because it doesn’t say anything to me.”

Buyers Want More Than Insight

There is the old adage “too much of a good thing.” I think we may have such a situation happening. We have embraced the idea of the Challenger Sale and you see organizations racing to offer insight. An issue here is too many items are being classified as insight. This can actually counter-balance the act of contributing insight. What this means for B2B marketing and sales is they will have to be more judicious in what they label insight. Why dilute a good thing?

Adaptive and Agile Marketing

With rapidly changing buying behaviors, B2B marketing will need to be more adaptive and agile. I foresee buyer behaviors shifting in waves. This means marketing must be able to see these waves and make adaptive shifts in how they connect with buyers. This will certainly not be easy to do.

Predictability will become even more important as we look ahead. While Big Data holds promise, it will equally take developing the qualitative ability to anticipate where the new buyers of today are heading.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tony Zambito
Tony is the founder and leading authority in buyer insights for B2B Marketing and Sales. In 2001, Tony founded the concept of "buyer persona" and established the first buyer persona development methodology. This innovation has helped leading companies gain a deeper understanding of their buyers resulting in revenue performance. Tony has empowered Fortune 100 organizations with operationalizing buyer personas to communicate deep buyer insights that tell the story of their buyer. He holds a B.S. in Business and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management.


  1. Tony: good points.

    1. While I’ve experienced most of the trending behaviors you’ve described, co-creation has become popularized mainly because I think we’ve coined a term for it. In fact, product co-creation has been present ever since items were first mass produced, and probably before. And I don’t think every industry experiences this trend. In information technology, for example, supply chain partners often remain remarkably siloed in their engineering and development.

    2. One trend I’ve seen that’s not on your list is the need for greater simplicity – though you touch on this when you write that buyers want less content. I agree – there’s too much noise, and overall, people want their buying experiences simple, with as few steps as possible, and a minimum of time to make a decision or complete a transaction.

  2. Hi Andy,

    Thanks for commenting. My point regarding co-creation is new digital technology has opened the doors to many industries who either have in the past participated in such as well as those who are now discovering the possibilities. New collaborative digital platforms makes co-creation even more possible and efficient.

    On the point about simplicity – couldn’t agree more. While new digital technology can be a good thing, it can introduce a new layer of complexity inadvertently. Causing “learning curve” pain.

    The “insight” point you made – there is too much labeling of insight when only the buyer can make this final determination. Increasing the importance of doing qualitative research and understanding audience, lead, and buyer personas to anticipate what exactly is considered insight.

    Thanks for the dialogue – always an enjoyable learning experience with you.


  3. This is not just reshaping B2B Marketing, but the overall company strategy and operations that need to be ‘flexible’ and adaptable as well.
    Consumerization as a result of Internet is not just impacting C2C and B2C, but becomes a ‘second nature’ and therefore also impacts buying behaviors in B2B.

  4. Thank you for your comment. The impact, as you note, is across the board and affects overall business strategy. Consumerization is certainly affecting our lives in many ways – both personal and in business.


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