Tuesday, June 25, 2024

This data proves martech buyers are resistant to marketing fluff

Marketing professionals are continuously looking for ways to better market products and services and stand out in a crowd of choices for consumers. Increasingly, that is leading them to the world of marketing technology, which insiders commonly refer to as “martech” for short. But as recent data shows, there’s quite a disconnect when it comes to the philosophies of marketers who want to use technology, and marketers who sell technology to other marketers.

The disconnect between marketing tech vendors and marketing tech users

When it comes to new marketing technologies, industry professionals are interested but skeptical that products are going to live up to their promise. The market is flooded, and martech vendors each claim their product is the key to getting ahead, with high-level value propositions and airbrushed case studies to prove it. Marketers want to try new tools, but they have limited budgets and they don’t feel comfortable taking the vendor’s word for it. This is actually something we’ve been seeing with consumers overall: Rather than making purchasing decisions based solely on the information conveyed by vendors in marketing materials, consumers frequently seek supplemental materials for a more objective picture.

Since marketing professionals know the strategies commonly employed to convert leads into customers, when they themselves are the customers it makes sense that they would be even more resistant to those same practices.

How do marketing professionals navigate the buying process?

Clearly, there’s some sort of friction between a marketer learning about new martech and deciding to purchase that tool. Fortunately, based on a new study by TrustRadius on the B2B buyer/vendor dynamic, we can dig in to see what’s happening with martech purchases.

The 2018 TrustRadius Buying Disconnect Survey shows that groups of two to five individuals are behind 70 percent of martech purchases.

Image Source: TrustRadius

Each martech buyer in the group uses an average of five different information sources when considering a product for purchase.

Specifically, some of the top information sources used by buyers of marketing technology include reviews from individuals who have personally used the product or service, vendor representatives, websites, and other collateral, a free trial of the product, as well as colleague and peer referrals.

But the most common type of information that the martech buyers are looking for is product demonstrations.

Image Source: TrustRadius

Basically, they want to see the product in use, which shows them a product’s UI/UX, feature set, how it can fit their needs, and whether it’s worth its cost. These demonstrations also provide an idea of what kind of learning curve they can expect and whether IT support will be necessary, priorities that can be further verified by user reviews and conversations with the vendor

It’s worth noting though, that overall, martech buyers are less trusting of information sources than your average buyer, especially when it’s the vendor that’s providing the information.

Image Source: TrustRadius

When asked about their distrust of vendors, buyers of marketing tech tend to feel that the vendors don’t offer a full, realistic picture of product limitations. Only one in three martech buyers would describe their vendors as very forthcoming, which is even less than the 37 percent of buyers across all product categories who felt vendors gave them the full monty.

Image Source: TrustRadius

What marketers need from martech vendors

Like any consumer, buyers of marketing tech want to know what they can expect from a product or service before they pull the trigger on the purchase. Similarly, they want to know that their purchase will yield a return on investment (ROI). So how can vendors help martech buyers make these determinations and become a more integral part of the buying decision?

The answer: Transparency.

Traditionally, vendors have prioritized closing the sale over being forthcoming and objective, which is why information from vendors tends to hold so little value to prospective buyers. Martech buyers — and all buyers, really — have needed to turn to numerous information sources when considering a product or service for purchase because the information supplied by vendors often offers only part of the information needed to make an informed decision.

Vendors held in the highest regard during the buying journey are forthcoming about product limitations or restrictions, provide access to various learning tools, and cite case studies, set up reference calls, or link to user reviews. They make it easier to find more information, and that’s something prospective buyers appreciate and respect.

It can take time to adopt a more transparent outlook for your company, but a growing number of influential brands and businesses have realized that transparency goes a long way to establishing trust and loyalty with buyers.


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Dane O Leary
Dane O Leary
Dane O’Leary is a writer, tech journalist and regular contributor to TrustRadius where he shares his knowledge on the latest trends in B2B news and technologies. He has written editorials, articles, and blog posts for some of the most popular publications on the web, including Android Authority, Phone Arena, NeilPatel.com, and Millennial Magazine.