We would not be surprised if you sell some non-glamorous industrial product (eg. valves or switches.. with no offence to readers from these industries) and yet you have over 50% folks in the 18-34 age range as illustrated in the accompanying chart. This corroborates recent research by Google and Millward Brown on the changing face of B2B marketing.
Here we need to really understand the changing buying center. Imagine that a senior engineer is looking for a particular type of pneumatic valve for a plant extension. The senior engineer is also the manufacturing manager and has just hired several final year engineering students as interns (ages 18-24). As manufacturing manager, the executive has a lot of urgent issues to handle like failures in a particular machine, a quality complaint in a particular batch a brewing shop-floor labor dispute.All this apart from keeping organizational politics in control with folks above/parallel to him like the General Manager, the Cost Accountant, the Production Planning/Sales folks etc. In other words, the otherwise very powerful B2B decision maker (i.e. Senior Engineer/Manufacturing Manager) still has all the organizational drama to manage- that has not changed a whole lot even with the Internet.
So what does the Manufacturing Manager do? She/he calls in an engineering intern and assigns the research tasks of finding the best pneumatic valve for the new application in the plant extension. Now our intern is off to work and starts by Googling “pneumatic valve” because that engineering class seems so long ago… and so goes the research.
In a day or two the intern is ready with her/his research but the manufacturing manager is too busy to meet. Finally, a meeting occurs where the Supply Chain Manager is also present. There was a salesperson who had pitched to the Supply Department some time ago but details have got a little fuzzy for the Supply Manager – and the intern’s research seems rather solid. Everyone decides to go with asking for quotes with the top three on the intern’s research list. The salesperson who had actually met the procurement folks six months ago does not have a place in the top three brands being considered.
Perhaps the salesperson organization finds out eventually that they were not even considered. All because of younger members of the buying center who would research online from a desktop/laptop and yes from their mobile phones and the salesperson organization did not show up either on searching or via Ads on the Internet. About StratoServe Digital Marketing Services.