US business-to-business buyers and marketers have a fundamental disconnect. A new survey by Bain & Company and Twitter finds that buyers overwhelmingly trust information from their professional community—mainly their peers, current customers or vendors, junior colleagues, and industry sources. Marketers, by contrast, consistently underestimate the importance of conversations among this community, and they overestimate their own ability to direct purchasing decisions. Winning marketers, however, do a few things differently. They create spaces that generate conversations by developing online user groups or support forums. They disseminate insights throughout the professional community. And they fill a need by publishing on areas of expertise, providing access to experts, and offering training and certifications.
What people say about you matters more than what you tell them.