The BuyerSphere Project: Understanding B2B Buyer Patterns

One of the session that I plan to attend at SES San Jose is “The ByerSphere Project: Understanding B2B Buyer Patters” on Wednesday, August 12, 2009, at 4:00 p.m.

Greg-Jarboe-SES-8.jpg The moderator of the session is Gord Hotchkiss, President & CEO, Enquiro. I started speaking on panels with Gord way back at SES New York 2004.

And I can’t tell you how many search engine marketers — including me — have taken his eye tracking research and presented it to their clients over the years. Although I always give Enquiro credit for the findings, if Gord were getting residuals, he’d be rich.

At SES San Jose 2009, the speakers at Gord’s session are:
— Mark McMaster, Senior Planner of B2B and Technology Markets, Google
— Ben Hanna, VP Marketing,
— Chris Golec, Founder and CEO, Demandbase
— Jon Miller, VP Marketing, Marketo
— Dr. Matthias Blume, Chief Analytics Officer, Covario

All of them have just concluded a major B2B research initiative, which was conducted by Enquiro with input from Google,, Covario, Marketo and DemandBase. The so-called BuyerSphere Project showed that most marketers aren’t effectively leveraging online assets to their best potential. Are you shocked, shocked by these findings?

Among other things, the notion of a strictly followed, traditional buying funnel is simply not accurate in many instances, risk dictates buying behavior, search is incredibly important as an integrator across online and offline channels and face-to-face persuasion is still necessary in many high risk, complex purchases. The BuyerSphere Project looks at how online strategies became artificially separated from traditional best practices, how they can be more effectively integrated and the part search plays as a major influencer. That’s worth knowing, don’t you think?

Now, this panel at SES San Jose will review the research from over 100 face-to-face interviews, hundreds of eye tracking sessions and over 3,000 survey responses in total. The project represents a major step forward in understanding B2B buyer patterns and the part online marketing can play in influencing them.

So, I couldn’t wait get a “sneak preview” because, well, I’m a competitive kind of guy. And if Enquiro’s research is worth borrowing, I mean, worth understanding, then it’s worth finding out about ahead of time.

So, I was delighted when Byron Gordon of SEO-PR interviewed Gord Hotchkiss earlier this week and uploaded the video to SESConferenceExpo’s Channel on YouTube. Gord discussed Enquiro’s three phase research project that incorporated interviews with more than 100 BtoB buyers before the survey was even put together. The goal was to discover how purchasing decisions get made within a company.

Gord says it was previously thought that BtoB purchasing is based on rational decision making but this is not always the case. He says influences maybe online or offline but they all play a part in determining how purchasing decisions are made.

Gord also discusses the advance of a generational shift in behavior, described as the “digital natives” and the “digital immigrants.” Online usage differs between the two segments. Hey, you might as well watch the video interview below to hear for yourself what he has to say.

Gord Hotchkiss, Enquiro, on the BuyerSphere Project in advance of SES San Jose 2009

And if you want even more details, the head over to the Enquiro site and click on New Research on B2B Buying: The BuyerSphere. You will find White Papers, webinars, and other information.

Why am I plugging this now when you could just attend the The BuyerSphere Project: Understanding B2B Buyer Patterns at SES San Jose 2009? Let’s just say that I — like many, many other search engine marketers — owe Gord big time for all the research we’ve borrowed from Enquiro to persuade a B2B client to rethink his or her assumptions.

Hey, a plug and a link is the least that I can do to “repay” Gord for his groundbreaking research on B2B buying and B2B marketing. And it’s a lot more affordable than paying residuals.

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