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IMG 3666 3 379

Survey of 1,100 Senior Business Leaders in the UK by B2B Media Brand Raconteur Reveals Complex Decision-Making Landscape



94% of businesses have more than 6 people involved in buying decisions

53% consult with 11 or more decision-makers

1 in 5 (21%) of buying decisions involve at least 16 people

One in five business leaders say at least 16 people are now involved in making purchasing decisions, according to a new report by B2B media brand Raconteur.

The study of 1,100 UK business leaders has uncovered a complex buying matrix when it comes to investing in goods and services. 

Before making a purchase decision, the report reveals that:  

  • 94% of business leaders say at least six people are involved in buying decisions
  • 53% say 11 or more decision-makers are consulted
  • One in five (21%) say buying decisions involve at least 16 people

The report also reveals the influence business leaders have outside their own department. The majority of business leaders influence decisions across at least FOUR product / service lines outside their immediate function.

It also shows that the days of assuming the most senior individual is the ultimate sign-off are long gone. Decision-making has become much more egalitarian, with 36% of managers saying they often have final sign-off, while 38% of CXOs say the same.

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Other key findings of the report include:

  • 86% of business leaders agree that they value regular communication, insights and/or updates from different functions to help with decision-making
  • 76% of business leaders agree that they rarely make decisions without consulting other stakeholders and departments within their organisation
  • A wide range of departments are consulted on purchase decisions:IT (54%), marketing (48%), operations (60%), sales (55%), and HR (49%)

Raconteur CEO Will Brookes says the results show that businesses are becoming less siloed at leadership level, with departments working together to make buying decisions. This means that, to be effective, business leaders must balance being an expert in their field with developing a broad understanding and knowledge of the major trends affecting business.

He said: “The business world is becoming increasingly interconnected, meaning the impacts of the decisions leaders make are far more wide-reaching. Whether companies are considering their sustainability strategy, navigating supply chain risk or purchasing a new CRM system, leaders increasingly need to understand what is happening outside their function and how it impacts them. Those who do not will struggle to play a valuable role in their organisations, limiting their ability to gain influence and progress.”

Brookes says that the report also has implications for the way B2B marketers try to engage senior stakeholders given the rise of cross-departmental collaboration and unpredictable role seniority plays. He cautions against using a one-size-fits-all content strategy and instead says brands need to target across functions and seniority levels.

He said: “If B2B marketers want brand-awareness and lead-generation campaigns to be effective, they can no longer afford to target single decision-making roles or even single business departments – it needs to be broader and smarter than that.”

David Kells, director of partnerships, Raconteur, added:  “With purchase decision chains becoming ever longer and more complex, the fight for engagement in B2B marketing has also become increasingly difficult and the results from this research highlight one of the main contributing factors.

“Too many campaigns are born out of an obsession with an ideal buying persona, not a committee of buyers. It means that all too often the content produced by brands isn’t unique, relevant or helpful, and doesn’t target or reach the right people, making it ineffective. With a better understanding of how decisions are made in business, agencies can help clients build campaigns that deliver results.”

In light of the report findings, Raconteur is relaunching with a renewed focus on content creation that extends away from function-specific knowledge to a broad and informed position. The company has reimagined its brand with a new website, logo and strapline: ‘Stories that connect modern business’.

This will be promoted through a new brand campaign, developed with the agency alan.. Titled  ‘Hey Imposter’, it focuses on the insight that while leaders need to have a balanced understanding of wider business trends, some might feel they lack the knowledge they need and that others can tell. It then positions Raconteur as the antidote to this feeling of being an imposter.


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