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Pardot-B2B-Buyers-Content-Length-Preferences-Nov2013Pardot recently released its “The State of Demand Generation” [download page] report and while the study contains some intuitive results – such as 9 in 10 B2B buyers’ amount of research being influenced by the cost of the product – the findings are worth a look. Of note, about three-quarters of respondents agreed that they prefer different content at each stage of the research process. How long should a written piece of content, such as a whitepaper or case study, be? Interestingly, many would prefer it to be under 5 pages.

Presented with 3 choices, 70% agreed that they’d prefer the content to be under 5 pages, compared to just 2% preferring that the content being longer than that. The remaining 28% are happy with the content being as long as it takes to inform them.

Given that previous research has indicated that the content characteristics most valued by B2B buyers are breadth and depth of information, marketers apparently have their work cut out for them providing that depth in a concise format.

Meanwhile, for about 7 in 10 respondents to the Pardot survey, research for a future business purchase begins on Google, with Yahoo (5.5%) and Bing (2.8%) used by relatively few in comparison. About 1 in 6 buyers say they turn to personal networks first, leaving fewer than 5% on average typically starting their search on LinkedIn (2.5%) or other social networks (2%).

After conducting their initial research, only 1 in 5 respondents said they do all of their subsequent online research in one sitting, at least when it comes to purchases that requires their boss’ approval. 7 in 10 go back online 2-3 times to do their research, while 12% go back more than 3 times.

As would be expected, virtually all of the buyers surveyed agree that as their research deepens, their search terms usually become more refined as well.

About the Data: The data is based on a survey of 400 B2B buyers: 53% work for a small business; 22% work for a mid-market company; 25% work for an enterprise company; and 75% are not marketers.

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