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COVID-19 impact on B2B Intent data

The global pandemic is forcing major economic shifts as businesses delay purchases and reprioritize projects. These shifts in business behavior can be seen in significant changes in business content consumption and purchase research.

UPDATE – the final update was made to this dashboard on January 4th, 2021. For additional data questions, please reach out to our team.

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Bombora has a unique insight into the content consumption behavior across the B2B ecosystem. It conducted the following research to understand the impact of COVID-19 on B2B content consumption. What follows is a high level analysis accompanied by dynamic charts that track the changes in content consumption and buyer interest across Bombora’s dataset.

Business research is happening and visible – even at home

Remote working is not a new concept, it is the ‘new normal’.Bombora - Methodology for resolving devices to domains - April 2020

While COVID-19 is having an impact on business research, this activity is still occurring, albeit in a different location.

Bombora’s three-prong methodology to resolve devices to domains (illustrated on the right) and its use of a persistent unique identifier means that the shift to work from home does not impact its ability to monitor buyer content consumption even when an IP address may not be present.

Disruption from COVID-19 is inescapable – even for B2B content consumption

The COVID-19 health and economic crisis has thrown businesses into a state of unprecedented uncertainty. Day -to-day changes are forcing businesses to reprioritize initiatives and salvage some degree of productivity.

Despite the mass work from home movement occurring across the world, the number of active business users across Bombora’s Data Co-op globally maintains scale and proportion to gather significant content consumption activity.

Examining content consumption activity of Bombora’s active business users, validates that COVID-19 has driven increased interest towards ‘Healthcare’ and ‘Finance’ related content. It shows that attention across other areas of B2B interest has remained relatively stable, with content related to ‘Technology’, ‘Business’ and ‘Legal’ increasing in consumption compared to the start of the year.

How is B2B intent activity affected by COVID-19?

When looking at this from the perspective of Company Surge®, which is modeled to understand and detect spikes of significant interest across Bombora’s Intent dataset, the divergence is more pronounced when comparing 2020 and 2019. 

The below chart compares the volume of Company Surge® activity for the Fortune 1000 from 2019 and 2020. While 2020 started at a higher rate of Company Surge® activity than the previous year, there was a change in the volume of interest correlating to the spread and awareness of COVID-19 across the US.

Tracking interest beyond COVID-19

While we’re all working to understand the ‘new normal’, the use of online content to educate and inform is consistent. With the shelter in place directives, this behavior is only likely to accelerate and evolve in the coming months.

To understand how business research and interest is evolving throughout this crisis, the below chart tracks Company Surge® activity across industries for the Intent topic themes of ‘Technology’, ‘Finance’ and ‘Business’. It can be used at a high-level to identify which industries have increased interest in business-related content to help streamline and boost relevance of in-market activities. 

The rise and rise of the need for ‘Security’ during COVID-19

With huge macro-economic shifts occurring across the business ecosystem, the value of Intent data lies in helping to identify true B2B buyer interest. While some industry categories are under significant pressure, others benefitting from increased business interest.

The below chart illustrates the rise of interest in ‘Security’ Intent topics in the ‘Technology’ theme. With large proportions of workforces now remote, there is a heightened need for organizations to ensure data security. Interest in this category has increased by nearly 35% in the past month.

Customizing Intent data topics against a business’ brand, products/services and broader competitive set will yield valuable audience and segmentation insights specific to your business. And will help to drive efficiencies with resource planning, activity execution, as well as with investment.

Please contact us to find out how Intent data can help your business through this global crisis or share your details to receive a custom Intent data report.

Please note: Methodology and definitions for this analysis are available here.