• 95% of B2B buyers are not in the market right now
  • Opportunities abound in the long-term content marketing space
  • An integrated short + long view of marketing is how sustainable businesses win work
  • No one wants to do business with someone they have never heard of

Yep, you read that headline right! New research has shown that only 5% of your B2B buyers are in the market right now and ready to buy. So, how do you make sure you are on their radar when they leave the 95% and enter the tiny space?

Simple, stop focusing all of your efforts on sales that will never happen, the instant “buy now” messaging and instead, start looking at your long-term goals and opportunities. B2B is a long-term game, so in order to win it, you need to be there for the long haul.

According to the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute’s Professor John Dawes, author of the latest instalment of a major new study carried out for the LinkedIn B2B Institute, companies change their providers of services such as banking, legal advice, software, security, telecommunications, etc. around every five years. This means that only 20% are in the market for those services each year, which means only 5% in a given quarter. The other 95% are just not in the market at all.

“If I’m chasing clients in commercial banking then it’s useful to realise that in any given year only one in 10 of them will be looking to appoint a new bank or switch their lead bank. In a quarter or a month, it’s a tiny proportion,” says Dawes. “The cycle happens over quite a number of years.”

Global head of the LinkedIn B2B Institute, Jann Martin Schwarz, agrees that this insight is far reaching and has great power for the savvy B2B business marketers.

“It is the case that a lot of companies haven’t fully realised yet that most people are not in the market for any product at any given time. You need to target them with a long-term lens,” says Schwarz.

QUOTE: ‘There aren’t that many business clients that will say ‘You know what, I’m comfortable signing a contract with a company that I’ve hardly ever heard of before.’ – Professor John Dawes, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute

More than just more effective targeting of marketing messages, this insight relates to your broader strategies. Dawes says that the report findings prove that social media marketing is all about top of mind. i.e. building and refreshing the memory that links to your brand, as opposed to only hard driven short-term sales campaigns.

Basically, what this means is that when your customers finally hit that 5% of the market that are looking to “buy now”, they are going to remember the brand that has always been there. The one that has been consistently advertising, regularly delivering meaningful content like articles, research or videos that are relevant to them, over a long period of time. Put simply they are a familiar name, not a stranger to the buying geared brain.

“If your advertising is better at building brand-relevant memories, your brand becomes more competitive,” Dawes explains.

This is not to say that you should abandon your short-term tactics and concentrate purely on long term brand building tactics. This is a firm reminder that you should be doing both. By integrating a simultaneous short- and long-term strategy to capture both the now and the not right now, to ensure the sustainability of your business.

There are always clients that are new to the market, your short-term advertising strategies can absolutely reach those targets. However, combined with the ability to look you up and see the longevity of your brand behind you, to deliver on brand familiarity before they have even spoken to you through your long-term content strategy is critical to your success.

As Dawes says, “To grow a brand, you need to advertise to people who aren’t in the market now, so that when they do enter the market your brand is one they are familiar with.”

If you are looking further forward for your B2B business, get in touch with SIVACOM today, we specialise in digital marketing strategy and brand awareness in the B2B space, and we’d love to help you create a sustainable future for your brand.