The Cyance B2B Intent Index - B2B Buying Behaviour Trends During COVID-19

Throughout these unprecedented times, B2B companies have had to be more innovative than ever in order to stimulate and sustain business growth with streamlined operations. The ability to evidence efficiency and return on investment has therefore become more important than ever.

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Jenny Linder

To help our customers and partners achieve this, we have pulled together some of our unique intent data insights and identified key B2B behaviour trends from across the globe. We call this the Cyance B2B Intent Index.

 

This report is updated monthly with the latest global and regional buying trends across the US, Europe and APAC as well as in-depth sector insights.

Global intent-based behaviour trends – macro insights across our ecosystem of 55,000 websites

The two graphs below show the weekly volume of companies active across our ecosystem and the weekly volume of individual events within trending intent topics.

From the first graph showing the volume of B2B companies in all regions trending across our 30,000 intent topics, taken from our publisher and website universe, we notice that after a relative spike of activity in all regions between weeks 4-5, we have seen a gradual slowdown in activity thereafter. However, the US shows a further activity spike between weeks 10-12.

The second graph showing the weekly volume of content engagement events linked to our intent topics follows a similar trend to the first graph, suggesting that the volume of tracked engagements and companies actively consuming content not only correlate with each other but holds true across the EU, US and APAC.

Volume of trending B2B companies

Week 1 (30th Dec 2019) to the end of week 13 (28th March 2020)

Volume of trending B2B Intent topics

Week 1 (30th Dec 2019) to the end of week 13 (28th March 2020)

We will also monitor the top intent topic trends on a global level as the impact from the current pandemic changes. This may help to provide some useful insights into the change in customer priorities and needs, especially as the economic impact continues to shape our future marketing and sales strategies.

Finally, we will take a closer look into specific sectors in all regions too. These insights will provide some particularly narrow, targeted intelligence around changes in customer priorities and highlight where there is demand for specific business solutions and services.

Let’s take a deeper look into some of our intent audience sector segments, to find out what is behind these behavior trends.

20 top intent topics across all regions

Drilling down into the data, focusing on the top 20 intent topics across all regions during 2 different weeks Q1 we start to see some interesting trends.

As you can see from the table below, we are comparing week 2 of 2020 – the beginning of the new year for many companies and as a result often a time when businesses are confirming budgets and strategy for the year – with week 14, when the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic is taking hold in Europe, US and parts of APAC.

The data suggests a quite marked shift towards more engagement around content topics such as ‘employment law’, ‘human resources’, ‘payroll’ and ‘risk assessment’ as COVID-19 starts taking hold of markets globally.

Sector specific top behavior trends by week

Comparing January to February before the COVID-19 pandemic really took hold vs March 2020.

Martech/ABM/Demand Gen Sectors

1st Jan 2020 to 28th Feb 2020

29th Feb to 28th March 2020

Volumes of overall activity have reduced significantly compared to January-February.

Digital advertising research is now the most frequently researched content. This could be a channel to reach B2B audiences as they adjust to working from home.

Surprisingly, lead generation is the second most popular intent search topic, closely followed by customer engagement. We would have expected customer engagement to be ranking high, as companies adjust to the pandemic and recognize the need to retain customers.

Interestingly, digital marketing services and digital marketing agency are top trending intent topics. When you combine these topics with digital advertising, this may suggest more budgets are being moved away from offline and events to digital. This aligns with the anecdotal feedback we have received in the past 2-weeks from our customers and partners.

 

Investment and Fund Management Sector

1st Jan 2020 to 28th Feb 2020

29th Feb to 28th March 2020

In this sector, ‘multi asset funds’, ‘investment trusts’ and ‘market capitalization’ intent topics have risen the most and are now in the top 6 intent topics for this sector.

This may suggest an increase in demand for diversification of investment portfolios to potential spread risk during such uncertain and volatile times.

An increase in research around ‘market capitalization’ may be an indicator that some businesses are being looked at as part of speculative M&A activity as the market CAP of many companies will undoubtedly be decreasing right now.

 

Video conferencing software sector

1st Jan 2020 to 28th Feb 2020

29th Feb to 28th March 2020

Overall content consumption trends are increasing. This is not a surprise as we expect demand for video conferencing solutions to increase as many people move to a home working policy.

‘Screen capture tool’, ‘embed video’ and ‘screen recording software’ intent keywords have increased the most in the video conferencing intent audience segment. This is not a surprise as home working becomes the new norm.

 

IT Security Sector

1st Jan 2020 to 28th Feb 2020

29th Feb to 28th March 2020

‘Information security’, ‘business continuity plans’ and ‘business continuity’ intent keywords have increased the most in the IT security segment in the past month. This suggests many B2B companies are assessing the overall risk exposure due to the current climate.

 

Data Centre and Web Hosting Sector

1st Jan 2020 to 28th Feb 2020

29th Feb to 28th March 2020

As with the IT Security audience segment, ‘business continuity’,’information security’ and ‘business security’ intent topics are the highest climbers.

 

Fintech Sector

1st Jan 2020 to 28th Feb 2020

29th Feb to 28th March 2020

This audience segment has seen a surge with ‘digital banking’, ‘digital banking technology’ and ‘P2P’ intent topics. We can also see a change in the top trending business sectors, with an increase with engineering, accounting and depository institutions (Commercial Banks and Credit Unions).

 

Insurance sector

1st Jan 2020 to 28th Feb 2020

29th Feb to 28th March 2020

‘Health insurance’ remains a high trending topic, which in the current climate is understandable. It is interesting to see a drop in activity around both ‘professional indemnity insurance’ and ‘liability insurance’ research. This may be a reflection of more teams now working from home.

 

Corporate Governance Sectors

1st Jan 2020 to 28th Feb 2020

29th Feb to 28th March 2020

This sector shows an increase in activity with ‘Virtual meetings’, ‘Governance experts’ and ‘Governance structure’. This may be reflective of an increase in homeworking and the need for businesses to ensure they have appropriate governance in place during these difficult times.

How our intent insights work

We are able to bring you updated weekly insights into behavioural changes of people consuming content online across the world because our intent data that we collect is not intrinsically tied to IP addresses. There are three main components to our intent insights:

1. We identify cookie and device data when they visit one of our 55,000 publisher websites and accept their cookies to be tracked. While this has dropped slightly in the last month we anticipate that the volume of this activity will either maintain or even increase over the next few months.

2. We deploy multiple techniques to match cookies and devices to a company. This includes single sign on, form fills and audience syncing with over 200 publisher networks, social media, audience data aggregator and e-commerce platform providers. This means that no matter where someone is working we can still match a device to a company.

3. There is some IP/domain matching activity to establish a location, using geo-location data. However, this is not used to determine the company name so does not affect the core functionality of Nexus.

As people are often transient and work in different locations on a regular basis (from different offices, home, hotels or in a cafe etc) – especially during this global lock down – it means that people access the internet via different wifi and networks services, and not always a company VPN.

As a result the challenge of tracking accounts when people work remotely is not new and we have developed the capability to identify and attribute company level behaviour from different locations independent of IP tracking.

About Cyance

Cyance is Europe’s leading B2B intent data company, with the largest B2B data and publisher ecosystem across the globe. We monitor the content consumption and buying research activities from over 10 million organisations across the globe, from over 55,000 publisher websites across Europe, USA and APAC.