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B2B buyers are more ‘woke’ than typical American consumers, study finds

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By Audrey Kemp | Junior Reporter

August 10, 2022 | 5 min read

Business-to-business (B2B) buyers are more open to socially conscious issues than typical consumers, per a report from the American Marketing Association –New York.

POC woman empowering other women in the workplace

The study finds B2B buyers more ‘woke’ than typical consumers and increasingly likely to be female / Credit: Adobe Stock

B2B buyers are more ‘woke’ than typical American consumers – as they’re more likely to pay more money for socially-conscious companies – and women will make up the majority of all corporate buyers a decade from now. These are two of the biggest findings from a study released today by the American Marketing Association – New York (AMA-NY).

AMA-NY’s ‘Future of Marketing’ study was based on online surveys of 380 business purchasers, 506 consumers and 411 marketers around the US. “Companies in the B2B space need to understand that their customers are doubly motivated to respond to social purpose – first as citizens and consumers who care about it, [and] second as people working for firms themselves concerned with purpose,” said Craig Charney, AMA-NY research director and chief executive officer of Charney Research. Here are the three biggest findings from the study:

1. B2B buyers are more ‘woke’ than consumers

Nearly half of company buyers say they are much more likely to buy from a firm that scores highly on socio-political issues they think are important. This includes being good employers and corporate citizens and addressing sustainability and racial equity – compared to just 29% of consumers. Additionally, about 38% of B2B buyers said they would pay 10% or more for such companies on purchases exceeding $100,000, while 23% of consumers said they would.

2. They’re also more open to new martech

At least 80% of business purchasers favorably view new marketing technologies. This includes artificial intelligence, data collection via the internet of things (IOT), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), as well as micro-influencer marketing and even tech that aspires to insert ads into dreams.

Although corporate buyers share the same concerns as the rest of the public about martech – including misinformation, isolation and loss of privacy – they are generally more optimistic about the positive outcomes of martech, such as more informed and efficient shopping services.

At the same time, 83% of B2B purchasers working from home expressed concerns about data privacy, since their home networks may be more vulnerable to breaches than their office counterparts. “The findings of our research underline something important about B2B buyers: they are people too,” Charney said in a statement. “Their concerns about social issues, technology or privacy mirror those of the public, making B2B increasingly like sales to consumers, even if corporate factors also influence them.”

3. Women will become the majority of B2B buyers

Although millennial males currently make up most corporate buyers, AMA-NY’s study found that demographic to be quickly changing. Women already make up 53% of B2B buyers under the age of 30 and most under 25, which means that while men still handle 75% of business purchases over $100,000, the study predicts that women will make up most B2B buyers in as little as 10 years.

The survey marks the second edition of the Future of Marketing study, the first of which was completed in 2019 and focused solely on consumers. The study was fielded by both Charney Research and Toluna last August, with the results rolled out throughout the past year.

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