PD_Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest Directory, 2015/2016

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24 TRENDS // SUMMER 2015 www.PackagingDigest.com Social buyer? Buyers were asked to rate three diferent pre-defned benefts of using social media or a fourth option: no beneft at all. Te three diferent benefts are summarized as "Supplier research on social media networks…" (1) "helped me to widen or strengthen my knowledge or expertise about a specifc vendor"; (2) "helped speed up information transfer to other buying team members"; (3) "helped keep my supplier-counterpart informed about important events or changes within my company which may afect them." Te ratings used a fve-answer Likert scale as shown in Figure 6. Te results show that 50% of the buyers report that they did not derive any benefts from social media when making purchasing decisions; while 13% did not know. On the positive side, we see that 37% did report deriving some benefts. Overall smoothness of the process More than 100 buyers rated the overall smoothness of the online buying process with regards to working together with colleagues and/or external advisors or suppliers. Figure 7 shows a large distribution of responses. Digging further into this data, cluster analysis looked if there were any special patterns or correlations with the six buyer roles, use of social media, size of the budget and distance searched from work location. Only distance was a factor. As the distance searched increased from local to global, the median rating went down from 8.35 to 6.15. Looking at the dissatisfed buyers (ratings less than 6.0) showed they tended to be disproportionately Infuencers who used the internet for defning needs and fnal vendor selection—and they tended to watch more videos. Conclusions and next steps Surely there is still room for improved convergence between the needs of packaging buyers as they search online for solutions versus the representations and content posted by suppliers. Social media channels are currently providing limited value for buyers. But there is some signifcant diference in online behavior dependent upon the buyer's role in the process and other purchase centric parameters such as distance searched and new purchases versus repeat purchases. Smart suppliers will reassess their policies and tactics and search ability of their online content. When the content is found, buyers question much of its intent. In the coming year, we intend to improve this research by expanding the number of responses. Further, a gap analysis will be carried out to investigate the gap between the reported perceptions of buyers herein and those of suppliers or supplier's online content oferings. George Szanto is a tenured lecturer specialized in business-to- business (B2B) emarketing at Fontys University in the Netherlands. Prior to this, he held various international executive management positions in tech industies for more than 10 years. Figure 6: Benefits of Using Social Media 100% 18% 6% 29% 17% 30% 18% 20% 23% 27% 13% 26% 11% 26% 12% 25% 17% 33% 15% 20% 14% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% (1) Widen or strengthen knowledge/expertise (2) Speed up the process of information transfer (3) Keep suppliers informed (4) No derived benefts Strongly agree Agree Do not know Disagree Strongly disagree Source: Online Buying Behavior of Packaging Buyers, April 2015 Figure 7: Histogram of Smoothness of Purchasing Process Count 1 4 5 6 4 4 8 9 10 11 16 11 5 5 0 0=very diffcult Mean = 6.82 Std Dev = 1.998 Source: Online Buying Behavior of packaging Buyers, April 2015 How smoothly would you rate the process of working together on it with colleagues and/or external advisers or suppliers? very smooth=10 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2 2 10 7,1 6,0 6,6 6,7 135,0 136,0 285,0 156,0 441,0 234,0 243,0 311,0 8 6 4 2 0 Figure 5: Summary of Combined Ratings of All Information Sources Source: Online Buying Behavior of Packaging Buyers, April 2015 Albee Impact Summary Across All Info Sources Albee Effort Summary Across All Info Sources Name of Albee Indicator Rating 0.0 = poor, 10.0 = excellent Albee Reputation Summary Across All Info Sources Albee Intent Summary Across All Info Sources An online survey was used to collect input from the readers of this publication and other professional online groups (LinkedIn). Most of the participants had more than 10 years of experience in the industry. More than 40 people were owners of businesses or executive level managers. A majority of buyers were seeking packaging materials, but 55 also sought packaging machinery and 62 sought packaging related services. Most buying teams consisted of two to fve people. Besides job function, we also characterized the buyers by one of seven roles they carried out during the purchase (such as Infuencer, Decider, User and others). Survey methodology barrier to get information, worthwhile. Intent—focuses on providing insights and education, does not request anything from you beyond your attention. Reputation—instills confdence, comes from a peer referral, trustworthy. Te results of these ratings for more than 350 combined information sources is shown in Figure 5. Note that about one third of the buyers score efort less than 6.0, meaning that it is difcult to fnd or get the right information that they want using the internet. Specifcally we found that industry analyst reports, industry competitive information and technology primers were hard to fnd with median ratings of around 5.4. Another fnding showed about one third of buyers rated the intent of the online content below 6.0. Further detailed analysis can be found in the free report.

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