B2B: Contact Trust

According to the December 2014 issue of Website Magazine (EMAIL by the Numbers) and Demand Gen Report (2013 B2B Content Survey: Trust Is A Make-Or-Break Issue For Today’s Buyers) the number of businesses willing to provide detailed form-fill information is plummeting. In 2012, the percentage of B2B buyers who provided information (such as a contact e-mail) was around 10 percent. Only a year later, that number fell to 5 percent. The numbers for 2014 were unavailable as we write this.

Why are B2B buyers less willing to provide simple contact information? Is this an issue of trust?

We have grown increasingly wary of giving out information because we have grown aware of how that information is used. It’s a guaranteed time-drain, opening a floodgate of unwanted and often unwarranted email blasts and persistent telemarketing calls to our mobile phones. Just because you get medical marketing email does not mean you want to join the Nerium network, does it?

As troubling, hosting firms often hide clauses in their agreements that enable them to mine your website for contact information. The fact is this could damage the reputation of your company. The fact that this will lead to less contact information as consumers abandon e-mail addresses doesn’t seem to matter either.

As long as the industry disrespects consumers’ data, we believe excellent information will become more suspect. We think B2B respondents realized it a bit before many consumers. Yet consumers are likely to be quick to follow. In the end, the cost of data and the cost of reaching solid prospects with targeted email will increase. The question left may be, how much will illegitimate conduct cost the rest of us?

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