July 28, 2009

New Chart: Information Sources for Large Purchase Decisions Changing

SUMMARY: Driven by economic circumstances, the buying process for large and complex purchases is changing. Marketers who are aware of changing buyer behaviors, such as the use of information resources, will be better able to align their selling process with the buying process to improve effectiveness.

Changes in Information Resources Used During the First Half of 2009

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CHART NOTE: The sources of information relied upon for making large and complex purchases-in excess of $25,000 for the purpose of this study-are changing at a rapid pace. The most dramatic change reflected in this chart is the shift from face-to-face events and tradeshows to virtual events and virtual tradeshows. Attendance at face-to-face events and tradeshows has substantially declined primarily due to cutbacks in travel budgets. Instead, many buyers and influencers in the buying process turned to virtual events and tradeshow in the first half of 2009 for obtaining product, service and vendor information.

The use of search engines and, as a result, websites to obtain information needed for making sound purchase decisions also continued to increase in H1 2009.

Research and analyst opinions are not only an increasingly relied upon information resource, buyers also ranked them as the most trusted and influential sources used when making large and complex purchases. This is especially true in the business technology sector.

Social media sites such as blogs and social networks are emerging resources due in large part to the objectivity of their content. While third-party social sites are favored for their impartiality, vendor branded blogs and discussion groups on vendor branded social sites provide a mix of subjective company information with moderated commentary and peer discussions.

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