Study: BTB Users Need Better Content

Most business-to-business executives are unsatisfied with the caliber of online content available to their companies, says a study released today by the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Council and technology search site KnowledgeStorm.

In the study, only 22 percent of executives of IT firms and other companies were “very satisfied” with the quality of free online content. Much of the business information, such as white papers or product pages from vendors, is written in marketing speak and doesn't get to the point, the study said.

Fifty-three percent of the 1,400 respondents from various industries said the “hype and puffery of offering” was their top technology pet peeve. In addition, 46 percent said the business offers demonstrated “poor communication of business value proposition” while 45 percent said companies provided “too few proof points that evidence ROI.”

“The overriding theme was, 'We love being able to get all this information and download it, but there can't be too much marketing hype in it. Get right to the point,' ” said Scott Van Camp, editorial services director for the CMO Council, Palo Alto, CA.

BTB marketers need to provide “very high value content,” or they will not get a quality audience to access that content, he said.

To make their products and services known, businesses need to do better at search engine optimization, the study found. Almost 70 percent of the executives said they start their research at search engines, most on Google.

“That stresses the importance of companies optimizing their keywords and making sure they are available to be accessed,” Van Camp said.

Despite some negative feedback, nearly 90 percent of the executives said online content has a moderate to major impact on their vendor preferences and selections. The executives mainly trust what they consider to be unbiased sources, including professional associations and industry analyst papers.

Sixty-three percent ranked the decision support value of association research reports as “high,” and 58 percent rated analyst-generated research reports as high. Fifty-eight percent said vendor white papers were the most popular type of technology content that they read and share with their peers, while 54 percent also said they shared product reviews and 52 percent share analyst research reports.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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