Today, I spoke to a prospect that told me his only way of attracting new clients was through word of mouth. It’s tough to believe that in this day and age, business-to-business companies are still trying to downplay the importance of Search in their transactions. At the end of the conversation, this prospect added: “My website is only a brochure to show clients that my business is legit.” I decided to stay on the phone, debate this and proceed to explain to him how wrong I felt he was.
There is a lot of ground yet to be covered in the Internet world. In general, it seems the B2B industry is a late bloomer when internet is concerned and some executives have a problem understanding why Search has such a huge impact on the buying or decision process of their clients.
A transaction within the B2B industry has high value. There is a lifetime connotation within a transaction since it generates a business relationship that has a sphere of influence, which can implicitly mean more business. Thus, independent of the stage where a prospect is in the buying cycle, chances are Search is a part of their daily routine and can be influential in their final decision.
Yes, word-of-mouth is a critical factor for a transaction to take place, but not less important is the role Search plays. The vendor’s website and its positioning along with how well structured it is from a user standpoint, allows a prospect to feel comfortable with the company they are looking to partner with.
When managing a Search Engine Marketing campaign, B2B companies have to take into account that not all potential clients are in the same part of the buying cycle. Being able to provide information through the web about products or services being offered may be what will get your prospect to sign on the dotted line. High-level purchasing decisions need to be facilitated from every angle and Search could be the differentiating factor between yourself and your competitor.