Announcing The Inaugural B2B Web Usability Report

Towards the middle of last year, Dianna Huff reached out to Casie Gillette and me with a simple idea: We’d seen many reports on how B2B buyers find information online and what tactics B2B marketers were using to reach target audiences, but we couldn’t find anything of significance when it came to the buying experience once that buyer actually got to the vendor website.

  • What elements of the B2B vendor site were most valuable?
  • What elements supported trust and credibility?
  • What elements were frustrating, annoying, and absolute show stoppers?

We came up with was a 30+ question survey, and with the help of the RAIN Group, their perspective on this information. Our goal was to validate what B2B marketers were doing right, what they needed to improve, and hopefully help guide the B2B online marketing experience moving forward.

The survey responses were both validating and surprising and we’re excited to share our findings in this free, 32 page report: The 2014 B2B Web Usability Survey.

We hope you find it as valuable as we did. The full report can be downloaded, without form submission, through the following landing page:

The 2014 B2B Web Usability Report

Here are a few key takeaways, in addition to pre-release material we shared in the following blog posts (here and here):

Key Takeaway #1: B2B buyers need pricing and marketing collateral

The B2B buyer expects to qualify a vendor in a straight-forward process. Buyers are busy and face numerous demands on their time and attention. When they reach a vendor website, they expect a clear line of sight to Products and Services pages, augmented by technical information, case studies, and most importantly, pricing information, as seen in the data chart.

Key Takeaway #1: B2B buyers need pricing and marketing collateral

Key Takeaway #2: B2B vendors lack critical content marketing assets

B2B vendors are their own worst enemies when it comes to facilitating the buying process. Survey respondents indicated that vendor websites lack the crucial information they need. When asked, “What types of marketing collateral do you find to be lacking on most company sites”, respondents replied “case studies, white papers and articles,” “pricing” and “product reviews.”

We were surprised but validated by this data. Marketers have been beating the “content is king” drum for a more than a few years; yet despite this roar, we continually hear from vendors that creating content is a daunting task (for various reasons).

Key Takeaway #2: B2B vendors lack critical content marketing assets

Key Takeaway #3: Social media activity has less of an minimal impact in the buyer decisioning process

As heavy social media users ourselves, we were surprised to learn that social media’s impact on the buying process is minimal. This is not to say social media doesn’t play a part in the vendor discovery process, but once B2B buyers get to the vendor website, social media plays much less of a role in validating the buying decision – as seen in the data chart.

Key Takeaway #3: Social media activity has less of an minimal impact in the buyer decisioning process

Want to learn more?

The full report, The 2014 B2B Web Usability Report from Dianna Huff / KoMarketing, can be downloaded without form submission, through the following landing page.

Again, we hope you find this report of value and let us know your thoughts and perspective via comments below!

  • Jen

    This is so interesting and helpful. I’m in the midst of revamping my own website and have found that being more specific about pricing, billing and how the process works if someone wants a service is necessary. What I find difficult is the fact that many of my services are project based and require a quote. Perhaps putting in price ranges will be helpful.

  • Jared

    Can you talk about the audience – how they were acquired and how the polling was conducted?

  • Derek Edmond

    @Jen – I hear you and we’ve discussed this finding considerably internally. A framework for pricing might make sense / or even case examples (I’ve been thinking about doing that in our own redesign). Thank you for commenting!

  • Derek Edmond

    @Jared – check out page 31 of the report, where we outline how we acquired responses and determined selections. Drop me an email if you want to discuss further and thank you for commenting as well.

  • @Jen — I have the same challenge as you, re: pricing. I quote by the project too. I’ve added baseline pricing plus ranges to my website.

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