White Paper: Can You Be Influential To A Market And Still Remain Almost Exclusively Offline?: How are B2B decisions really being made these days?

Nick Hayes‘Can You Be Influential To A Market And Still Remain Almost Exclusively Offline?: How are B2B decisions really being made these days? And is social media involved in the process?’ 

There’s a new White Paper from Influencer50 you may be interested in reading.

i50.WP#16.2013Extract: Over the past year you might have read a lot about ‘social influencers’ and their supposed importance. Most of this has been written by social media companies. We’ve nine years’ experience understanding purchasing decision-makers and we just don’t see much evidence to support the ‘social influencer’ story. At least not in B2B. The vast majority of B2B markets are still primarily influenced by those in ‘offline’ situations – those who meet one-to-one, who chair meetings, who present to peer groups. Most B2B buyers aren’t checking Twitter for help in deciding the way forward and when selecting potential suppliers.
Can a market’s ‘influencers’ now be identified simply by trawling through Twitter, Facebook and blogs to see who’s most discussing the subject and with whom? That’s what plenty of ‘influence marketing’ engines would have you believe. Eight years’ dedicated market experience, and all our recent real-world client-side evidence, paints a very different picture.

When we analyze the B2B enterprise decision-making process we’re struck by how ‘offline’ that process remains.

There seems an increasing disconnect between the sentiment of many marketing trends these past couple of years – towards a focus on ‘social media influencers’ – and away from what we believe is really happening in the business world. We just can’t find the evidence that social media is routinely playing a significant role in influencing business decision-makers. Sure it’s happening in a few markets – and it’s quite predictable which ones those are – but in the majority the influence is very largely happening offline. And there’s little sign of any trend away from this. 
For the full White Paper go to: http://www.influencer50.com/influencer50-library-pass.aspx and select the relevant document.