B2B marketers today certainly live in “interesting times” (in the sense of the not-actually-Chinese curse).
While search, social media, ecommerce and content marketing have dramatically altered the roles of buyers and sellers, a number of traditional channels (that is, pre-dating millennials) remain highly effective.
Image Credit: B2B Marketing Insider
The collection of facts and stats below shed light on this paradox, as well as other insights. Here are four key takeaways from this research for B2B marketers:
- Sales people won’t disappear, but their role is changing, and many are struggling to adapt. 82% of B2B decision makers think sales reps are unprepared; product demonstrations are among the least-valued types of information for buyers; and half of all B2B purchases may be made directly online by 2018. To succeed, B2B sales people need to focus on the three Rs—no, not reading, `riting and `rythmetic, but rather responsiveness (50% of sales go to the first salesperson to contact a prospect), relationships, and references.
- Social media accounts are like seat belts; they’re only effective if you actually use them. 55% of B2B buyers say they search for product/vendor information on social media. Yet while 95% of B2B marketers have created corporate social media accounts, half are still not active on social media on a regular basis.
- Don’t rely too much on advertising. Ads certainly have their place in a web presence optimisation (WPO) framework, as the “paid” pillar in the paid-owned-shared-earned (POSE) media model. Search ads are effective for capturing immediate demand and display ads are useful for brand awareness. But 80% of B2B decision makers prefer to get information from articles rather than advertising, and 40% of millennials don’t trust ads—so strong organic tactics need to be part of the mix as well.
- The classics still rock. Despite the tremendous growth in digital marketing, several basic old-school marketing channels remain highly effective. Trade shows remain the top source for B2B lead generation, with 77% of marketers saying they generate a significant quantity of leads. 59% of CMOs still say print marketing is an effective channel—and 64% of buyers cite print among their trusted sources of information—while 51% still see value in direct mail.
Get more inspiration from these 20 B2B marketing and digital business stats and facts.
12 B2B Marketing Facts and Statistics
1. Death of the salesman? When purchasing online, B2B buyers rate pricing as the most useful information (though not, generally, special offers or discounts). Technical information and specifications are the next-most important topic. Product demonstrations are least valued. (V3B Blog)
2. 55% of B2B buyers search for information on social media. (Biznology)
3. Today’s sales process takes 22% longer than 5 years ago. (Biznology)
4. 91% of customer say they’d give referrals; only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. And 82% of B2B decision makers think sales reps are unprepared. (Biznology)
5. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (B2B PR Sense Blog)
6. B2B customers now expect the same range of omnichannel buying options they enjoy as consumers – which is why almost half of B2B buyers (49%) prefer to use consumer websites to make work-related purchases. (The Future of Commerce)
7. 52% of B2B buyers say they expect half of their purchases to be made online by 2018. (The Future of Commerce)
8. 78% of B2B customers (and 83% of consumers) say fulfillment options – such as next-day delivery – are important or very important. (The Future of Commerce)
9. Although 95% of B2B marketers have created corporate social media accounts, half still are not active on social media on a regular basis–and just 10% feel they are able to articulate the business value of social media efforts. (MediaPost)
10. Good old-fashioned trade shows remain the top source for B2B lead generation, with 77% of marketers saying they generate a significant quantity of leads, and 82% saying they generate high-quality leads. (MediaPost)
11. The average cost of a B2B sales lead varies widely by industry. Healthcare leads are most expensive ($83) followed by business/finance ($60). At the low end are leads for marketing products/services ($44.50) and technology ($43). (B2B Marketing Insider)
12. Just 34% of B2B organisations say they touch leads with lead nurturing on a monthly basis. (B2B Marketing Insider)
8 Other Digital Business Stats and Facts
13. Six of the ten busiest websites are based in the U.S. – but 86% of their visitors come from outside America. (TechCrunch)
14. 15 of the 25 largest U.S. tech companies were founded by first- or second-generation Americans. (TechCrunch)
15. Marketing is all about digital now, right? Not quite. 59% of CMOs still say print advertising is an effective marketing channel. 58% say the same for TV, 51% direct mail, and almost half radio and telemarketing. (AdWeek)
16. The larger the company, the higher the marketing expense budget as a percentage of revenue. Firms with revenue of $6.95 billion or more spend on average 11 percent, compared with 9.2 percent for those with revenue between $695 million and $1.4 billion. Marketing budgets as a percentage of revenue varied widely, with nearly half of companies (46%) spending less than 9% of revenue; 24% spending 9-13% of revenue; and 30% spending more than 13% of revenue. (Gartner)
17. 40% of millennials (aged 25-34) don’t trust advertising. Marketers trying to appeal to this group need to understand that, but also that this group is highly educated (33% have a college degree) but struggling financially: many have student loan debt, 52% don’t have enough money to cover basic living costs, and 35% are either unemployed or work part-time. (Heidi Cohen)
18. 50% of sales go the first salesperson to contact a prospect. (Biznology)
19. So much for the “death” of old media. Though the heyday of print may be over, the two most trusted sources of information remain the online versions of traditional media outlets (68%) and print (64%). Blogs come in at 21% (ugh). (Cision)
20. 14% of businesses fail due to poor marketing. (B2B PR Sense Blog)
This article was written by Tom Pick from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.