Some 82% of B2B marketers prefer to research technology from vendors similar to how online dating matches work, according to ON24 CMO Joe Hyland, who made the connection after his effort to better understand the motivation behind consumer behavior.
“The data supports the hunch, but we were prepared to be wrong,” Hyland says. “It could also apply to B2C, but we focused on the B2B market.”
Although a little surprising, Hyland admits, people gave direct attribution to online dating sites because they feel more comfortable connecting digitally. The ON24 study, conducted by Hanover Research, reveals how marketers’ online dating habits impact how they conduct research analyzing technology platforms, and make purchase decisions.
Marketers want the ability to search through a database and find specific characteristics about the company or their technology. In fact, 70% of marketers want to search for B2B technology vendors the way they search for online dating matches, with 41% of marketers saying they prefer to search for B2B technology vendors in this manner.
Many have become more reliant on their instincts and less, initially, on phone calls or in-person meetings.
“We’re seeing less in-person meetings to determine a person’s interest, because they would rather conduct their own research first,” Hyland says. “We often see the B2B world mimic what we see in the consumer space.”
Nearly 70% of marketers say they prefer to initiate a conversation online before meeting a person, just as they would via online dating platforms.
Nearly half — 42% — of marketing professionals directly attribute online dating sites with making them more comfortable communicating digitally, and eight in 10 marketers have used an online dating platform.
This study comes as more businesses turn toward video to help educate prospective customers. In fact, although they rely more heavily on instincts, individuals who date often research their matches more thoroughly on search engines and social media than casual daters, with 79% using dating sites Match, eHarmony, Tinder or OKCupid.
ON24 hosted more than 60,000 webcasts in 2015, and is on pace to eclipse 100,000 in 2016. Last month, Goldman Sachs announced a $25 million investment in ON24, coming after the company saw a 70% year-over-year revenue growth in 2015.