The customer intelligence we need to enable effective B2B marketing has several dimensions, but one essential component is an accurate picture of how our potential buyers access and consume business-related information.
We now know that most business buyers are leveraging the wealth of information that's available online to educate themselves about business issues and possible solutions. Easy access to information has already driven significant changes in B2B demand generation.
- It's shifted control of the buying process from sellers to buyers.
- It's elevated the importance of content-based communications and fueled the growing use of content marketing by B2B enterprises.
- It's caused the typical B2B buying process to become less linear and "orderly" than it once was.
Recently, Google shared research which suggests that more changes are on the way for B2B marketing. The Google research revealed that mobile communications are enabling people to access and consume information differently than in the past, and Google says these new interaction patterns are game-changing for marketers.
Specifically, Google argues that the customer purchase journey is now fragmented and composed largely of many brief interactions that frequently involve a mobile communications device. People are increasingly using mobile devices in their spare moments of time to engage in brief, spur-of-the-moment interactions for specific purposes. Google refers to these brief, but highly-focused, interactions as micro-moments.
Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google's Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce describes micro-moments as follows: "Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device - increasingly a smartphone - to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped." Therefore, Google says, companies must win these micro-moments in order to achieve marketing success.
Micro-moments impose new demands on marketers. The Google research found that when people interact via a micro-moment, they have high expectations for immediacy and relevance. So, marketers will need to develop and deploy content resources that will work effectively in micro-moments. At a minimum, this means that companies will need resources that can be easily and quickly consumed and resources that are accessible via all communication devices.
The Google research focused primarily on the behaviors of consumers, and it's likely that the behaviors of business buyers differ in some respects. However, as B2B buyers become more comfortable with, and dependent on, mobile devices, micro-moments will play an increasingly important role in the B2B buying process