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The other week, Hotwire PR held an event to launch their latest report titled “The Changing Face of Influence” in association with market research company Vanson Bourne. Together they surveyed 1,000 B2B decision makers and explored their habits, preferred channels and the ways they make use of different sources of information to make purchasing decisions.
Our EMEA Marketing Director, Delphine Reynaud, was invited to join the panel conversation and I was delighted to tag along and learn more about how marketing and IT departments engage with the ever increasing volume of media sources inundating today’s market. The conversation that ensued also involved John Brown, Group Head of Engagement at Hotwire, Ben Daubney, Research Consultant at Vanson Bourne, Joel Harrison, Founder and Editor of B2B Marketing and was moderated by Andy West, Group Chief Development Officer at Hotwire PR. The content focused on four key findings, including B2B marketing insights on Facebook, the resilience of traditional media, trending digital outlets, and the human factor for content marketing. I’ve summarised the key findings and most important takeaways below:
This really shows that social media has diluted the barriers between Facebook and LinkedIn as personal and professional channels. The launch of Facebook Work will certainly accelerate this divide and Facebook will likely increase its ownership as ‘the’ access point to Internet.
The research also shows that 89% of B2B decision makers surveyed believe it is easier to reference and qualify prospective vendors ahead of engaging the organisation directly. This finding highlights the importance of PR and content marketing for any organisation, as the buying process has drastically changed.
The immediacy and disposal nature of newer social channels really must be catered for by B2C and B2B marketers and they need to ensure the context and format match the channel.
Indeed, impartial comment or independent guidance on vendor choice is more powerful than a direct, unsolicited approach with little context. Data has a place but we trust people more for relevant referrals and reducing the risk in the decision making process.
To download the full report, click here. I hope the trends shared above have helped reveal the potential of influence across social channels such as Facebook. Which trend or take away did you find to be the most compelling? Share a comment below and join the conversation.