In an interview with eMarketer, Google's Mike Miller, Director of Business and Industrial Markets, discussed trends in digital platforms and advertising services among his business-to-business clients. Between 2011 and 2012, the number of companies that researched purchases online increased by 17 percent. B2B online marketing strategies are growing and thriving. Search marketing is popular, with video and social media marketing not far behind. How-to videos are in favor, as are videos that discuss the state of the industry or establish a company as a thought leader in the minds of prospective clients.
It is especially important for B2B companies to maintain a strong online marketing strategy. The average purchaser is 57 percent of the way through her or his decision process by the time she or he contacts a sales representative, according to research from Google. Much of this deliberation occurs online, based on information from company websites and peer reviews on social media. A majority of sales work, therefore, takes place without a sales professional. As a result, businesses must use their online presence to the best of their ability. Strong content can instigate a sale before a client even becomes a lead.