.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} Making Sense: e-Digest of Brand Thinking

Monday, June 13, 2005

The search is on...

ADWEEK.com reports Google is targeting business-to-business advertisers, extolling the advantages of search. To add firepower to their pitch, Google commissioned a survey from Millward Brown showing how technology professionals use search to buy.

According to ADWEEK, Millward Brown questioned 900 technology professionals through an online poll. Three significant findings came out of that:

Search was used 30 percent more frequently than trade periodicals in the research phase of the buying cycle.

Search was 21 percent more frequently used than the b-to-b press in the consideration phase and 62 percent more in the final purchase phase.

Search plays a key role in corporate purchases, even if most of those transactions eventually occur offline.

So, what does that tell us? Be ready for change. Twenty-six years ago, I was marketing director at a specialty chemical company. Their business model was to promote sales of maintenance chemicals (at outrageously high prices) to buyers who were 1) spending someone else's money, and 2) gaining personally from the transaction. It was a great idea while it lasted. But the company was too slow in realizing that their marketplace was changing. The ascent of centralized purchasing took the power away from the maintenance staff and gave it to the purchasing agent, whose job it was to save the company money. So the chemical company (and many others like it) slowly went out of business.

Today, it's search. Are we ready?

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