B2B marketing once involved meeting face-to-face with top decision-makers in an effort to sell products and services. There were clear distinctions between business and consumer marketing. Going by the latest B2B marketing statistics, however, the field seems to have undergone a drastic change. Buyers now conduct much of the research independently, and digital marketing has become a crucial component, with many of these changes driven by the increasing role of millennials in buying decisions. Read on to learn all about it.
B2B Marketing Statistics (Editor's Choice)
- B2B email marketing produces the highest ROI.
- Most B2B companies dedicate 5% of their budgets to marketing.
- In 2020, the top area of marketing spending was website development.
- Over 70% of business buyers watch videos to complete their product research.
- 70% of business buyers find content directly on the vendor's website.
- Content marketing was the most popular B2B marketing strategy in 2020.
- 62% of B2B marketers say they've seen ROI from paid ads on social media.
- LinkedIn is the most effective platform for B2B lead generation.
- 96% of marketers using influencers consider their marketing strategy is successful.
General B2B Marketing Stats
1. B2B email marketing produces the highest ROI.
Email marketing is the best channel for generating leads with the highest return on investment, with 50% of B2B marketers having stated that. This has also been confirmed as one of the most cost-effective channels to drive revenue, as it can produce up to $70 per $1 invested, as evidenced by B2B email marketing statistics. Search optimization and marketing were in second place for ROI, with 43% and content marketing came third with 34%.
2. More than 70% of B2B companies in the US have a formal B2B marketing plan.
Marketing strategy only works if implemented through a carefully designed plan specific to your company and target audience. A formal plan is especially relevant if you use several channels and strategies, with 76% of US companies reporting having it. It helps your business keep track of what works the best.
3. A third of B2B companies dedicate 5% of their budgets to marketing.
The report on B2B spending shows the most US companies, 32%, dedicate 5% of their budgets to marketing. 23% don't put this as a priority and spend 1% or less. B2B marketing statistics show 47% understand the importance and allocate 10% or more to marketing. 13% of companies reported spending over 15% of total budgets.
4. In 2020, the top area of B2B marketing spending was website development.
The virtual presence of a company is vital to their brand awareness and even credibility. Following digital trends, website development ranks as the top priority in marketing budgets, for 51%. B2B marketing spend trends show digital and content marketing were next with 44% and 33%.
5. B2B ecommerce sales grew by 10% in 2020.
Data from the latest available report on the B2B ecommerce market shows that the total sales reached $1.39 trillion in the US alone. That's a 10% y-o-y growth if we don't include procurement sales. With e-procurement, the total is $2.19 trillion. The yearly growth in the combined case is 11.8%.
6. Referrals are still the largest source of sales and marketing leads.
It's no surprise that referrals were again ranked the top source for quality leads with nearly two-thirds of B2B companies, 65%. The networking nature of B2B interactions is the principal reason word-of-mouth marketing will always be crucial. B2B marketing statistics show email, SEO, and social media are also coming on strong, with 38%, 33%, and 33%.
7. The B2B ecommerce market is estimated to reach $20.9 trillion by 2027.
The B2B market size is estimated to grow at a 17.5% CAGR until 2027. Online commerce platforms support the individual approach of business buyers, and if you're doing the personalization aspect correctly, that's it, a bullseye. With said CAGR boosted even more by the pandemic, in 2027, the B2B ecommerce market will reach $20.9 trillion.
B2B Buyer Journey Statistics
8. More than 60% of business buyers are likely to make repeat purchases.
Companies must establish trust, and that goes for both B2C and B2B interactions. When there is a prior experience, you know what to expect, and as the loyalty levels are increasing, the chances of repeating purchases with the same vendors are too. 62% of business buyers say they prefer cooperating with previously known vendors. Your B2B marketing plan should include a strategy for increasing loyalty levels with the existing customers.
9. Over 70% of business buyers watch videos to complete their product research.
B2B video marketing statistics reveal over 70% of business buyers think video plays an essential role in their research. Some of the most popular video trends are testimonials, case studies, tutorials, and creative ads. It is a proven strategy for increasing engagement rates. With the help of experts in video marketing, your latest strategy can offer an eye-catching and engaging experience that will boost your conversion rates.
10. Business buyers read 10+ pieces of content before making a decision.
Making a business purchase or signing a contract with a vendor is a more complicated journey than for individuals. An average business buyer will go through 13 pieces of content before making a final decision. B2B marketing statistics show vendors themselves send 8 of those, and the remaining 5 come from third-party business sources.
11. Over 70% of B2B decision-makers prefer remote or digital interactions.
The pandemic boosted the new reality of digital interactions. Between 70% and 80% of B2B decision-makers say they now prefer these remote human or digital self-service interactions. Better time-management is often cited as the primary reason for liking the remote conditions.
12. Over 70% of B2B buyers spend over half of their research time online.
B2B buyers' habits are changing, and nowadays, they will dedicate more time to individual research rather than meeting with potential suppliers. B2B digital marketing statistics show 74% of business buyers will spend over half of their total research time online. Some popular targets are websites, search engine results, video sites, social media, etc.
13. 18% of B2B switched all their suppliers during the pandemic.
Businesses worldwide had to adapt to sudden changes caused by lockdowns — changing vendors was one of them. Most were forced to do so, and 18% reported switching all of their vendors during the pandemic. 56% said they had to switch for some of their B2B purchases. As many as 44% of business buyers said their current suppliers were out of stock.
14. The process of buying lasts up to 4 months for nearly 75% of buyers.
The decision process for business purchases is not a short one. We've mentioned it takes 13 pieces of content on average before a business buyer makes a choice. When translated to the average time for the process, it takes at least 4 months for 74.6% of buyers. Usually, a team of 3 or 4 people is involved in the decision. As the entire organization is at stake, you ought to follow the latest B2B marketing trends to secure the sale and speed that up.
15. Fast delivery is the most important aspect for business buyers.
When it comes to business operation, delivering the product or service fast is the top priority, as 39% of business buyers say it's the most important aspect when choosing a vendor. Product availability comes right after with 38%, and interestingly, the price comes in third with 32%. Knowing how your potential buyers think can help you decide on priorities in your B2B marketing strategies.
16. Over 50% of B2B queries are done via smartphones.
The advancements in mobile technology have significantly affected the way we communicate. We've mentioned the research will start online, and according to the latest B2B statistics, over half of their queries are done via smartphones. If your website isn't already optimized for mobile, be aware at least half of your leads are not going to convert.
17. Almost half of B2B purchases were made online in 2020.
The percentage of online purchases in B2B transactions has never been higher. As many as 46% of all purchases in 2020 were made online. Ecommerce popularity has been on the rise for several years now, and even before the pandemic occurred, 41% of purchases were already conducted online.
18. 70% of business buyers find content directly on the vendor's website.
We can't emphasize enough the importance of keeping your website updated and optimized regularly. The latest B2B digital marketing statistics show 70% of business buyers report finding the relevant content directly on vendors' websites. Search engines, social media, emails, and word of mouth are other channels completing the top 5 list.
19. Most business buyers expect companies to keep up with the latest digital trends.
Staying up to date with the latest digital trends is non-negotiable for B2B cooperation. Especially since the pandemic started, digital marketing has become paramount. A whopping 84% of buyers would switch to a competitor if their existing supplier's digital channels couldn't keep up with their needs and expectations, according to B2B marketing statistics.
20. Features/functionality is the top priority when business buyers are evaluating providers.
The evaluation process of potential providers is a complex one, and when B2B buyers were asked to list the most important variables, features/functionality was ranked first with 73%. Pricing also plays a crucial role, coming right after with 72%. 59% said reviews are crucial, and 56% chose the deployment time/ease of use.
Relevant B2B Content Marketing Statistics
21. Content marketing was the most popular B2B marketing strategy in 2020.
Out of various types of B2B marketing, it seems that content is still king, with 78% of professionals implementing it as the most significant marketing component. It is almost tied with digital ads/PPC with 77%. Other essential strategies are email and video, with 75% and 71%.
22. Product specification and functionality rank as the most useful type of content for over two-thirds of B2B buyers.
One of the main marketing points is to get your potential customers to get to know and explore what you offer. It's not strange that product specification and functionality are considered the most useful content for business buyers, leading with 67% choosing it. B2B content marketing statistics show product comparison is also a significant part of purchase decisions and closely follows on the list with 65%. Product success stories came in third with 60%.
23. Creating brand awareness was the top organizational goal achieved by content marketing.
The overall content marketing strategy should achieve several different goals, and it seems there is an overlap for the vast majority. Creating brand awareness was the top goal achieved through marketing for 87% of respondents. Building trust and credibility were also ranked high, with 81%, and educating their audience was third, with 79% of marketers achieving that goal.
24. Analytics tools are most used in B2B content marketing.
B2B content marketing statistics show analytics tools are the top technology used to evaluate and improve. 86% of marketers are using them. Dashboards and web analytics paved the way for the second most used — email marketing software, falling only 1% behind. Social media analytics were ranked high, with 80% of content marketing experts choosing it, and CRM and CMS systems, with 65% and 51%.
(Content Marketing Institute)
B2B Social Media Statistics
25. More than 60% of B2B marketers say they've seen ROI from paid ads on social media.
Over half of the world's population use social media, and it's a vital channel to reach people. Social platforms are perfect for marketers because of the categories you can include while targeting your desired audience. 62% of B2B marketers successfully use paid advertising or promoted social media posts with a reported ROI. Only 5% said they hadn't seen ROI, while 33% didn't use it.
26. 86% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the platform for business professionals, and as such, it is among the most popular for marketers. LinkedIn B2B marketing stats show it ranks first, used by 86% of marketers. Social media marketing experts should also pay attention to the rising power of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Facebook is currently used by 79%, while Instagram had a staggering 30% yearly increase and caught up with Twitter. Both platforms are now at 60%.
27. LinkedIn is the most effective platform for B2B lead generation.
A platform with half a billion users accounts for 80% of lead generation for marketers. Just 3 million users share content weekly. B2B marketers mostly use this platform to deliver content and say it generates 50% of traffic to B2B websites. The data shows that a whopping 91% of marketing executives also believe LinkedIn to be the platform for finding relevant content.
28. In 2020, Instagram saw a nearly 30% y-o-y increase in B2B marketing use.
While B2C marketers have long praised Instagram for its unique capabilities, B2B marketing stats indicate that the platform is becoming a useful tool for the B2B market as well. People use Instagram to explore their interests, and B2B marketers use stories as powerful daily reminders of their brand.
29. Social media content is the most used in B2B content marketing.
A whopping 95% of content marketing professionals employ social media as a crucial aspect of their strategy. Articles and blog posts were second most used, by 89%. Email newsletters were ranked third with 81%, further underscoring the rise of inbound marketing.
(Content Marketing Institute)
B2B Marketers' Point of View
30. Just under 80% of B2B marketers believe personalization improves customer relationships.
Personalization is an asset, and people respond to it. Personalized offers imply you want to get to know your customers and accommodate them better. B2B personalization statistics show marketers realize that, and 77% believe that it improves customer relationships. Data-driven personalization is the differentiator for B2B purchases.
31. Brand awareness is the leading benefit of influencer marketing.
Influencers create value because people like following relevant people's lead, and you should check out that box in your B2B marketing plan. 74% of marketers agree that customer relations are improved by implementing this strategy. B2B influencer marketing stats also show 84% believe the main measurable advantage of this strategy is increased brand awareness or reaching new audiences. Generation of new leads follows with 69%.
(2020 B2B Influencer Marketing Report)
32. Most marketers using influencers consider their marketing strategy successful.
Brands that implement influencer marketing strategies are confident about it. The latest report includes an interesting fact — almost all B2B marketers consider their influencer programs successful, with as many as 96% saying so. Some of the imperative activities were collaboration on content (87%), the promotion itself (82%), participation in events (66%), etc.
(2020 B2B Influencer Marketing Report)
33. The relevance of the audience is the essential value when choosing an influencer.
It's all about choosing the right influencers when creating this type of campaign. The right influencer should help you increase your reach, leads, media mentions, and as a consequence, your sales. B2B marketing stats show 91% of experts say they chose relevance of audience as the leading value of influencers. 79% mention subject matter expertise and 72% emphasize the importance of publishing content on at least one platform.
(2020 B2B Influencer Marketing Report)
34. HubSpot wins as the most used B2B marketing automation platform.
The most popular automation software, by far, is HubSpot, used by 40% of B2B companies. The other popular names include Adobe/Marketo with 16% and Pardot by Salesforce with 13%. B2B marketing stats show that marketing automation is becoming increasingly common, as it makes it easier to handle multiple tasks like lead management, email marketing, and content management, allowing team members to focus on higher-end activities.
35. Account-based marketing is the first on the list of the latest B2B marketing trends.
Collaboration between teams results in a boost of both the ROI and loyalty of your customers. ABM mostly refers to the data-driven personalization of a single company's journey through marketing and sales teams' aligned work. 46% of B2B marketers consider it to be the latest trend for 2021. B2B video marketing statistics show video ranks second, with only 5% less. Influencer marketing, AI, and re-targeting complete the top 5 trends.
36. Email engagement is the top content performance metric tracked by B2B marketers.
As many as 90% of B2B marketers track email engagement as the top performance metric. Then, 88% do so by monitoring website traffic. Other commonly used metrics include website engagement and social media analytics, with 86% and 83% B2B marketers tracking their success that way, according to B2B marketing stats.
(Content Marketing Institute)
37. Two-thirds of B2B content marketers put the audience's informational needs as a priority.
When the B2B marketing strategies take the audience's needs into account, the content helps build a bond with the audience. 88% of the most successful content marketers say that their audience views their organization as a credible and trusted resource, as they always prioritize their informational needs over sales. Overall, 66% of all respondents state the same.
(Content Marketing Institute)
Wrapping It Up
Marketing is becoming focused on the buyer's needs, regardless of whether the buyer is a consumer or a business. Strategies for success cannot be created in a vacuum; they require understanding your audience's expectations. The common theme of these B2B marketing statistics is that the top performers are those marketers who manage to adapt fast to the changing fundamentals of the B2B scene. They make use of technology across multiple channels to drive customer engagement, conversion, and retention.
- Digital Commerce
- Focus Vision
- 522 Productions
- Marketing Charts
- Big Commerce
- Marketing Charts
- Content Marketing Institute
- The Shelf
- Sagefrog Trends
- Business Wire
- 2020 B2B Influencer Marketing Report