SINGAPORE: Contrary to received wisdom, many B2B buyers in the Asia-Pacific region seek out product demos early in their decision making process, new research has revealed.

According to a report from Hubspot, Asia Pacific buyers have spoken: sales needs to evolve, buyers consume nearly everything they can access during the awareness and purchase phase, including demos.

In fact, more than a third of buyers (36%) wanted the opportunity to see a product in action very early on: "They want a very tangible understanding of what they're potentially buying, and they want it right away."

But Hubspot noted that selling organisations – unable to spare sales time on buyers who haven't been "properly vetted" – often prefer to use a demo as a final closing action.

The solution in many cases will be a pre-recorded video demo that is clearly visible on a vendor's website. This can satisfy the buyer's content needs as well as acting as a useful prospecting and qualifying tool.

Kipp Bodnar, CMO at Hubspot, observed that B2B marketers had in the past "understated the importance of brand" but were now moving closer in their outlook to their B2C peers.

Consequently, content – and an associated inbound marketing strategy – is becoming ever increasingly important.

"In terms of B2B and content, I think maturity comes in two ways: first knowing what to do and second being able to do it," said Bodnar, speaking at an event in Singapore.

"If I think about the market at large, Asia for the most part knows that it needs to evolve and be more inbound, but the struggle and challenge is how to prioritise the right things, how to get started and then how to scale that over time. That's where the gap is," he said.

Readers can download complimentary reports on how they can Create a B2B content marketing strategy and on The 3 trends that are changing B2B content marketing.

Data sourced from Hubspot, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff