Just like consumers, business leaders across industries actively seek niche content to inform their purchasing decisions. But not surprisingly, the type and authenticity of that content are held to different standards, according to new research from digital media publisher SmartBrief and the Content Marketing Institute.
A recent online survey captured key insights from 1,200 senior-level business leaders across SmartBrief publications in 18 different industry verticals—revealing the three most important qualities business leaders look for in content when making purchase decisions:
- It addresses their specific needs and pain points
- It provides product/service specifications
- It’s more educational than promotional in nature
In addition, 40 percent of respondents said the source of the content doesn’t matter, as long as the information is credible.
Other key highlights:
- 81 percent of decision-makers conduct research before involving manufacturers or vendors
- 66 percent of decision-makers collect information from sources other than the vendor
- The top two ways colleagues share information while making purchasing decisions are via email (82 percent) and during conversations/conference calls (64 percent).
Respondents ranked peer recommendations (80 percent) and original research (74 percent) as the most influential information sources they review during the buying stage. Other types of content respondents ranked highly were:
- Product reviews (58 percent)
- In-person events (55 percent)
- Product demos (55 percent)
- Vendors’ websites (50 percent)
- Third-party product reviews (48 percent)
- Case studies (43 percent), and
- Educational webinars (42 percent)