This is the third installment of a five-part blog post that makes up The B2B Content Guide. In this series of blogs, Forrester used existing B2B marketing research and data from our 2021 Content Preferences Survey to provide marketers with best practices for creating content and content strategies.
Buyers Look For Valuable Sources With Diverse Viewpoints
For the majority of buyers (88%), technology vendors are among the most valued content sources (see figure). Vendors are best equipped to provide product-specific content, which buyers find to be the most valuable type of information when making technology purchase decisions.
But tech specs aren’t enough. Buyers also want independent and diverse viewpoints to complement vendor-created materials. Trusted third-party sources such as technology news (86%) and analyst firms (79%) act as information providers and subject matter experts rather than as biased product pitchers.
Eighty-five percent of buyers also value the information they get from peers, colleagues, and customers.
That gives you the general picture for technology buyers, but ensure that you go further and build out your key personas and their contexts to establish which sources are important to your specific audience.
Technology Expertise, Credibility, And Data Are Elements That Drive Buyer Decisions
Despite seeing vendors as a valuable source, tech buyers reveal that much of the material they receive from vendors is extraneous or even useless (51%).
To meet buyers’ high expectations and attract their attention, content must have real substance. Technology buyers in our study say that the top elements that make content worthwhile are:
- Technology expertise: supplemented with trusted subject matter expertise
- Credibility: reputable, convincing, knowledgeable, and authored by a trusted source
- Data-backed material: supported by quantitative or qualitative data
- Objectivity: unbiased and not influenced by personal or business interests
- A specialized/personalized focus: tailored to a specific industry, role, or department
Note: All data points in this report come from Forrester’s 2021 Content Preferences Survey, conducted in October 2021, for which we surveyed 655 technology buying decision-makers globally: 33% were in North America; 33% were in EMEA; and 34% were in Asia Pacific. It was a cross-industry study, including companies with at least 500 employees. All respondents were leaders (manager level or above) who were involved in a technology purchase of at least $10,000.