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Key Findings

Key Findings

The Millennial Buy-Out

Saurage Research B2B Key FindingsThere is a new generation of business buyers as millennials are increasingly assuming positions of greater influence in B2B companies.This influential 18-34 year-old audience now comprises 46% of B2B buyers, up from 27% in 2012. Digital technology has transformed B2B marketing profoundly, changing the way business buyers access information and interact with sellers. Unlike the digital immigrants who began using digital technology in their everyday lives as adults, millennials are digital natives who have been using these technologies since they were children.

Connecting with this new era of buyers is going to mean adopting new strategies and tactics in B2B marketing. Marketers must understand how millennials approach business decision making, how they prefer to perform the activities that are part of the B2B buying process, and what attributes they value in prospective vendors.

The IBM Institute for Business Value recently conducted research that provides insights into the mind of the millennial buyer. A survey of 704 individuals who influence or make B2B purchasing decisions of $10,000 or more for their company included respondents from three generational groups – millennials (born 1980-1993), Gen X (born 1965-1979), and Baby Boomers (born 1954-1964) – and found significant differences in how they make business decisions. Millennials (54%) and Gen X (64%) buyers say they make better decisions when they receive input from a variety of people, as opposed to only 49% of Baby Boomers who are more likely to make decisions in isolation.

Even more interesting, millennials want to interact directly with vendors when they are researching products or services. Out of nine possible choices, millennials ranked vendor representatives first while Baby Boomers ranked it fifth and Gen X ranked it seventh.

Check out this infographic To buy or not to buy from the IBM Institute for Business Value for more information on how millennials are reshaping B2B marketing.

to buy or not to buy infographic

Flexing Your LinkedIn Muscle

Saurage Research Brand Strategy Key FindingsLinkedIn continues to play a major part in online business networking and branding. It remains the professional online community for individuals to meet, socialize, interact, and learn from each other, No longer only a place to post an online resume, LinkedIn has become a portal of innovative and educational content, a networking hub, and a place for professionals to share their career story and meet other professionals.

LinkedIn offers a variety of tactics to help you brand yourself or your business, and how you choose to use this arsenal determines how you stand out and get noticed in the professional world. As the number one platform to meet other professionals, introductions by trusted connections will help to grow your networks. Once introduced, your profile should tell your story in a personalized way.

Forget bullet points and the online resume, this should be a narrative that highlights your skills and qualifications as well as your accomplishments. Interact and engage in groups and conversations with your connections. Share content that promotes yourself and what you do and don’t forget to take advantage of LinkedIn Pulse, the publishing format that is open to all LinkedIn members.

There is some LinkedIn etiquette you should always keep in mind. Be sure to use a professional photo, preferably head and shoulders. When sending an invitation, take the time to personalize the message rather than just using the default text.  And do not use the “friend” option if you are not friends with the person you are attempting to connect with. LinkedIn should not be your email marketing platform, so don’t spam people with uninteresting junk that will make them want to remove you as a connection.

Keep it simple, keep it relevant, and keep it professional.

Lower Prices, Fewer Jobs

Saurage Research Energy Key FindingsLower gas prices have been nice, but they come at a price for the oil and gas workforce. So far in 2015, at least 75,000 jobs have been cut in the industry including oilfield services companies, parts manufacturers, and steel pipe makers. Service companies have borne the brunt of it, with nearly 59,000 layoffs, followed by exploration and production companies and manufacturing companies with more than 10,000 and 7,000 layoffs respectively. In Houston, a high level of uncertainty continues regarding the path of oil prices, the ultimate extent of the ongoing decline in exploration and drilling, and the future of the U.S. fracking industry.

One area benefitting Houston is an unprecedented level of petrochemical and other heavy construction along the Ship Channel. In a report for the Institute for Regional Forecasting, Robert W. Gilmer, Ph.D. and Adam W. Perdue, Ph.D. provide an update on the Economic Outlook of Houston and low oil prices. According to this report, combining the bad news in drilling with the good news in petrochemical expansion averages out so that Houston avoids the mild recession that current low oil prices would otherwise bring, and at worst, we probably face several years of subpar growth. For a more in-depth look at the report, click here.

Even though the U.S. is producing more light sweet crude from shale formations than our refineries know what to do with, we still import about 5 million barrels per day from the rest of the world. The imports are almost entirely of heavier more sour crude that our refineries were optimized for before the shale boom. If American oil companies could export their light crude they could get higher prices for it than what domestic refiners are willing to pay and this would help to improve the economics of American oil. About 40 people lose their job with the every rig that has been shut down and stored in a harbor, shipyard, or designated offshore area, a practice referred to as cold stacked or mothballed. The U.S. rig count is down by more than 700 from this time last year.

Social Media: A Brave New World for Healthcare

May 2015 Saurage Research Healthcare Key FindingsSocial media represents a brave new world for healthcare, and many healthcare organizations are using it to engage with patients and consumers quickly and inexpensively. Promoting wellness programs, marketing new services, and announcing the latest in medical breakthroughs are just a few of the many goals social media can help healthcare organizations accomplish.

The primary focus for most organizations’ social media programs is marketing and communications, and as consumers are relying more and more on the information they find online, such as quality and cost ratings, personal stories, and positive experiences, social media can influence where they obtain their healthcare services. In addition, these organizations also use social media to describe services they offer, help promote wellness and health education, and to sponsor online support forums where individuals who are dealing with certain health issues can connect with others in similar situations.

Social media does present some challenges, and perhaps the greatest is the inability to control the conversation. People can say what they want, good or bad, and this can be problematic if not managed properly. Establishing social media policies and guidelines and assigning a dedicated staff are essential to help manage social media efforts and mitigate any risks.

The Mayo Clinic is a leader in social media with a dedicated social media health network, the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media (MCCSM). The first of its kind, the MCCSM has a philosophy, a mission, and a vision.

  • Philosophy – We believe individuals have the right and responsibility to advocate for their own health, and it’s our responsibility to help them use social media tools to get the best information, and connect with providers as well as one another.
  • Mission – To lead the social media revolution in health care, contributing to health and well-being for people everywhere.
  • Vision – To be the authentic voice for patients and health care professionals, building collaborative relationships through the revolutionary power of social media.

MCCSM provides training and resources to help accelerate effective adoption of social media in healthcare. Through its Social Media Health Network, MCCSM provides an opportunity for health-related organizations to learn together and share best practices.

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