Last year’s study introduced the rise of the B2B social buyer, who uses social media and online communities during the purchase process. This year’s data provide more insight into the profile of the B2B social buyer. They are young senior executives with clout; for the most part, they are under 40, are decision-makers, and belong to the IT organization. They spend more time-consuming content than their traditional counterparts and are less likely to delegate research during the early stage of the buying process. We are dealing with a new type of buyer: proactive and empowered.
The research results validate that solution provider websites are now the primary and source of information for buyers during the early stages of the buying process. Many buyers turn first to solution provider resources before they seek counsel from their peers.
Peers, while still important as a source of referral, recommendations, and references, are no longer the best source of information.