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B2B Websites 'Essential' to Business Decision Makers

In the latest AOP research, released this week, business websites emerged as a highly valued and indispensable source of information for business decision makers. The survey, conducted in association with IPSOS Mori, revealed:

  • B2B websites are ubiquitous among business decision makers, 97% stated that this is the media most used for work
  • 60% ranked business websites as an essential source of information in their work
  • 60% consider business websites as providing information that they couldn’t get elsewhere

AOP members can view the report onlinemembers only and discover more about why B2B websites:are the first port of call when:

  • Researching/informing business decisions (56%)
  • Researching/informing purchase decisions (55%)
  • Gathering sector news (54%)

With 51% choosing B2B websites as a preferred source of business information, B2B websites are also favoured over two and a half times more than TV, Radio, Magazines and Newspapers sources combined.

B2B sites are also shown to provide a highly effective medium for advertisers with 43% of business professionals being more likely to respond to advertising on a business website than advertising in other media.

Other highlights include:

  • 53% of users being more likely to have confidence in, or do business with, a company, if it advertises on a business site they know
  • 74% trust a website more if it comes from a source that they know already (eg. business publication or industry body)

The survey further revealed that 82% of all business decision makers use at least one B2B digital delivery mechanism for work, rising to 91% among regular B2B websites users. Email alerts/newsletters are the most popular (51%) followed by platforms which provide feedback: peer reviews, blogs and forums; but other systems such as RSS feeds, online seminars, podcast, vodcast and video streaming are gaining momentum.

A core minority of respondents are currently using five or more of these delivery mechanisms; and overall 39%, of those surveyed, expect to increase their use of digital delivery mechanisms in the next 12 months.

Of those using 5 or more digital delivery mechanisms, 70% found that B2B websites offer more engaging content and advertising than other business information sources and considered them to:

  • Offer instant access to information (79%)
  • Save time (77%)
  • Offer innovative ways to access information (74%)
  • Allow business decision makers to interact with peers more efficiently (69%)

Duncan Tickell, outgoing Chairman of the B2B Group comments, “This research confirms that B2B websites are leading the way in digital innovation. B2B digital brands are seen as the most important source of essential business information and more importantly are a trusted source for information, editorial and advertising alike.”

Liz Somerville, Acting Director of AOP adds, “This is an important snapshot of the business community and their use of B2B websites, and further supports the insights gathered in the AOP Census 2008 which showed that our members are increasing their investment in content delivery methods including IPTV, mobile, vodcast, podcast and RSS feeds.”

Methodology for the AOP B2B Survey 2008

An online self-completion survey was conducted across a nationally representative sample of 751 respondents from 9-19 May 2008. The sample definition of Business Decision Makers in the UK were defined as ABC1 full time working adults aged 18+ with input in purchasing decision making for the organisation. Data weighted by organisation size and region to be nationally representative of all business decision makers in GB (Source: Ipsos MORI CAPIBUS 2008).

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