Now that we know that 85% of B2B customers use the Internet at some point during the buying process, why is it that so many business executives still contend that online marketing "doesn't work" for businesses with enterprise solutions or complex sales cycles?

Are Businesses Too Slow to Adapt?

When the Internet first started taking hold in the late '90s, the sites that were best known were retail sites. Could it be that's still influencing our perception of who should advertise online? Or is it simply that it's easier to continue down a path that's well-known and comfortable (traditional advertising and marketing), versus taking a chance on something that's less familiar but may ultimately be yield better results?

Whatever the reason, we now know that online marketing, and specifically search engine marketing, is highly effective in driving sales for businesses with complex sales cycles.

The Facts About B2B Search Engine Marketing

According to a 2004 StatMarket report, 64% of B2B users make search their first stop when researching a new product or service for their company. That's more than manufacturer sites, industry portals, consumer review sites or even e-commerce sites directly selling the product.

Only search engine marketing has the remarkable ability to put your product, services and offerings in front of people at that crucial time when they are interested in what you offer and are open to listening to what you have to say.

Taking Advantage at Every Stage

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Roxanne Lott helps clients of online marketing firm Imerex, Inc. ( with their Web sites' usability and effectiveness as a sales tool.