Earlier this summer, Enquiro, MarketingSherpa and ZoomInfo came out with a piece of research that suggested "vendor Web sites, search engines and industry information Web sites are passing word-of-mouth and trade publications in B2B sale influence." In addition, "the study found that nearly 70% of purchasers used search engines as their primary B2B research resource, and that Google was the first choice for B2B purchasing research ... many purchasers [also] relied on B2B vertical search engines to help gather information for negotiations." The hat-tip for this find goes to a fellow blogger.
Now, I'm not going to make this post a rant against the trades. Personally, I think the trades serve a critical role when it comes to information dissemination in the Spend Management world. And old school journalism, like that practiced by Doug Smock in his own print newsletter, Global CPO, is absolutely invaluable. But from an influence perspective, have trades ever matter in the Spend Management decision world? From my vantage point as an observer in the procurement and supply chain sectors, I'd argue that trade publications have always had little influence in actual purchasing decisions. Rather, they have helped sway practitioners to consider solutions, and these organizations have then relied on their own analyses -- as well as the recommendations of analysts, consultants and now bloggers -- to influence their decision.
What do you think? I'd be curious to hear from practitioners that read Spend Matters on not only how you get information, but how you make decisions with the input of third party information sources. Drop a line (jbusch (@) spendmatters (dot) com) or post a comment if you can. Thanks! And everyone else ... stayed tuned for a new Spend Matters relational navigation solution that will change the way you do research online. Whether you're searching for blogs, trade articles, analyst reports or supplier information, you'll find this new free solution invaluable, I hope. And finally, it's almost here!