Whether paid or "free" (really no such thing) one trend I've observed over and over again with search marketing is that the more 'sophisticated' - in terms of industry knowledge, level of purchasing power etc - the prospective customer is (in this context I mean the individual person you are trying to reach at an organisation who might, in turn, influence the purchasing decision) the less likely they are to do a simple Google search to find a product/service.
I find this is often overlooked, and leads to two outcomes:
1) Business invests into paid search, SEO, combination of both targeting keywords that you would think are relevant, but there's simply an insufficient volume to reach enough people to generate results.
2) Volume is good, but the leads coming off the search activity aren't great because the wrong people are searching the right things (common feedback being issues like too many domestic/consumer inquiries when the business was expecting a flood of high-value leads)
In both of these cases, it's not like the target customer doesn't exist. They just aren't necessarily looking for information on vendors, solutions or products the same way that the average joe might when they need a plumber on short notice, or want to find a hotel in XYZ location with a good breakfast buffet.
At a simple level, the more experienced you are with anything the more likely you are to have developed knowledge of existing vendors of any given product/service/solution that might be relevant to your organisation's needs.
If I think about my own line of work, I wouldn't need to search if somebody asked me for an alternative to Google Analytics, or what a suitable email marketing automation platform for a small-to-medium business might be.
However, if that same person asked me to name, for example, suppliers of those powered chairs that dentists use, I'd not be able to suggest a single manufacturer without Googling (or just making something up).
B2B organisations I encounter (particularly those selling to a very small number of target customers of high value, relative to the wider population) frequently seem to have this challenge.
It doesn't mean there is no opportunity for your business with search. But what it might mean is that you can't just depend on it to get started or sustain the level of inquiry/opportunity needed (another risk is blowing through budget on reaching people searching seemingly relevant terms who could never buy from you due to being basically too small in terms of needs/order value)
Instead, you might need to focus more effort and budget on reaching the "sophisticated" buyer when/where they are developing their knowledge of vendors and solutions before they need to search when the need arises (if they search Google at all!)
The problem with that? It's not as easy as starting a Google Ads account, typing in some relevant sounding keywords, and "letting it rip".