B2B Statistics

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Top Ways to Obtain New Customers

Use of Direct marketing mail, content marketing, referral marketing, and social media are some top ways a B2B company obtains new customers and/or new revenue from existing customers.

Use of Direct Marketing Mail

  • Direct mail is one of the best customer acquisition strategies because it elicits a positive reaction since it is delivered to the target customer through a less crowded channel than email inboxes. Hence, businesses are more accepting of direct mail than mail inboxes. According to Gundersondirect, The positive reaction towards direct mail plays a key role and has led to high response rates. 4.4% of direct mail messages receive a response compared to 0.12% for email inboxes.
  • 88.6% of B2B marketers use direct mail marketing.
  • Direct mails are easily noticed, and therefore there is a higher chance of converting a potential customer to a customer. "70% of the direct mail sent to businesses and individuals gets opened, and 79% is read for longer than one minute."
  • Compared to marketing mails, direct mails are more likely to initiate online activities and increase traffic to a business's website. 44% of direct mail recipients are more likely to check on the sender's website, and 34% go online to find more information about the offer.
  • Customers are more likely to trust direct mails because the message is intentional. There is a significant amount of time and cost involved in the company's marketing efforts to create a personalized message, and customers view this as trustworthy.
  • An example of Direct marketing mail success story is Intronis(barracuda), a cloud-based data security provider that uses direct mail marketing as its customer acquisition strategy. The company realized a 35% conversion rate, 700% ROI, and 11 new customers.

Content Marketing

  • Before creating content, businesses need to understand the type of content their B2B clients want. B2B clients look for plenty of reliable information to make decisions. Providing clients with the content they want will enable the business to hold a more extensive and responsive customer base.
  • According to an article by Apruve, 80% of B2B clients view at least 5 pieces of content during their purchase process.
  • According to recent research on the benefits of B2B content marketing, content marketing accounts for 70% generate leads/demand, 68% nurtures leads/subscribers/audiences, 63% build loyalty with existing clients/customers, 53% generate sales revenue, 52% drive attendance to one or more in-person events, 45% build a subscribed audience, 45% support the launch of a new product, 86% creating brand awareness, 79% educating audiences, and 75% building credibility and trust.

Referral Marketing

  • Referral marketing is otherwise known as an old but gold word-of-mouth marketing. It's a tactic that uses recommendations and word of mouth to expand the customer base through the networks of the existing ones.
  • According to Extole's study, 83% of customers are willing to refer after a positive shopping experience.
  • According to an article by Landingi, "Customers acquired through referrals have a 37% higher retention rate."
  • An example of a referral marketing success story is G-Suite. Google’s collection of productivity and collaboration tools used referral marketing to gain traction of users. By the end of 2018, G-suite had 5 million paying businesses and was among the most widely-used software products.

Use of Social Media

  • Since there are numerous sites on the web, social media platforms provide a perfect platform for businesses to engage with the audience and nudge them towards their website. This is most effective by the use of landing pages. A landing page is a page a visitor arrives at on a business website after clicking on an Ad. Through social media, the business can provide multiple links to its Landing pages designed to convert leads into customers.
  • This source provides an example of Spotify's landing page.
  • Social media engagement is one of the most effective strategies in customer acquisition. According to an article published by Apruve, 80% of B2B marketers have a social media customer acquisition strategy.
  • The most popular B2B social media marketing sites are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Linkedin is the ideal social media channel for customer acquisition because it is mainly a professional platform. "80% of B2B marketing leads from social media come through LinkedIn."
  • 39% of B2B marketers use Facebook ads to create conversations with B2B prospects.
Part
02
of four
Part
02

B2B Customer Journey

Research shows that B2B buying cycles last 1-3 months and 80% involve up to six people. There has been an increasing usage of online resources (social media, review sites, and vendor web sites) which has led to an increase in engagement later in the cycle. A typical B2B customer journey consists of 4 main stages; awareness and interest, decision and agreement, service delivery and feedback, and relationship strengthening.

B2B Customer Journey

According to B2B International the typical B2B customer journey map provides a strategic overview of the customer's journey based on how they interact and engage at each touch point. An overview of each of the 4 stages are as follows:

Awareness and Interest

  • According to Sales Odyssey, 70% of the buyer's journey begins before the sales team gets involved. It begins when the customer identifies a problem and starts to search for solutions, This is where a B2B company attempts to attract the buyer by helping them understand the issue and how it can be solved. The client enters the awareness stage as he gains more knowledge on the topic.
  • The company creates awareness and interest for potential customers through inbound marketing efforts ("buyer-centric solutions that are focused on the consumer's needs, desires and buying journey"), outbound marketing (prospecting, advertising, a trade show, etc.), as well as through touchpoints associated with usage e.g. sales reps, accounts teams, support services complaints handling, etc.
  • Through appropriate content, the company must educate and convince customers of the importance of the problem and the benefits of dealing with it. It is important that the content they create persuades the customer and pushes them into action. At the end of this phase, the customer is convinced that he has to initiate an evaluation phase to find the best solution to his problem.
  • It was found that 62% potential customers seek information online (mostly through search engines such as Google (47%), suppliers’ websites (37%) and customer reviews (36%)), while just 27% prefer accessing information offline. Forrester Research shows that 47% of buyers look at about 3-5 blogs or web pages on average before they contact a seller.

Decisions and Agreement

  • At this stage, the client will research and analyze information on the products and services offered to solve his problem. The aim of the company is to convince the potential client that it is the most suitable solution to his problem.
  • According to Sana Commerce, the key factors that B2B buyers consider when evaluating between alternative suppliers are: 1) price comparisons (33%), 2) payment terms (29%), 3) inventory availability (28%), 4) delivery terms (28%), 5) product demonstration (25%), and 6) product feature comparison (24%),
  • The article also notes the most important consideration made by potential clients when selecting one supplier over another competitor: "over a third of the buyers we surveyed want features that offer the ability to track, place orders, manage returns and pay online. These are the top factors that convince B2B buyers when selecting a supplier."
  • Most customers seek online access to information. So it is important to have an online store with "real-time information with a transparent overview of all important information, such as inventory levels, prices, and discounts."
  • Speed and convenience is the top priority of customers that place orders online. Based on survey results, clients want to be able to pay faster (30%), place repeat orders quicker (29%), and want speedy delivery and improved product tracking (28%).

Service Delivery and Feedback

  • Research shows that while 80% of CEOs believe their company delivers a superior customer experience, only 8% of customers agree that they experience superior customer service. Furthermore, companies that prioritize the customer experience generate 60% higher profits than those that don’t.
  • According to Invesp, it costs five times more to capture a new customer than it does to convince an existing one to buy again. Hence, it is important to have a B2B customer retention strategy which involves: quality products/services, customer service (for managing customer issues and concerns), upselling/cross-selling, customer feedback, rewards/loyalty schemes, user accounts (for ease of order management and repeat purchases), and customer reviews.
  • Some tips that B2B organizations can follow to maintain good customer service levels include: responding quickly to any requests or queries, using artificial intelligence platforms, providing perks when possible to increase loyalty, such as a discount or earlier delivery, seeking feedback from customers, and being willing to go the extra mile, by dealing with last minute, extra or surprise requests.
  • In addition to good customer service, other factors that help B2B organizations create a strong B2B delivery process include: constant communication, offering wide delivery options, providing visibility, and collecting and using feedback.

Relationship Strengthening

  • According to B2B International, only 14% of large B2B companies are truly customer-centric where the customer experience is deeply ingrained in the company culture. This highlights a significant "opportunity for B2B companies to differentiate their brands and improve profitability by delivering a superior customer experience."
  • The article discusses 6 ways that B2B companies can achieve customer experience excellence (and strengthen relationships). These include: commitment- being enthusiastic about satisfying customers and making them feel valued, fulfillment-b2b understanding and delivering on customer needs, seamlessness- making life easier for the customer, responsiveness- timely response, delivery and resolution, proactivity- resolving issues before the customer, feels the pain, and evolution- continually seeking to improve the b2b customer experience.

Part
03
of four
Part
03

Effectiveness of Outbound Marketing

Despite different statistics for inbound marketing, outbound marketing is still an effective form of marketing. A DiscoverOrg study showed that "outbound marketing is efficient for driving leads and sales." Further data points that prove that outbound marketing is an effective marketing tactic are below.

Why Outbound Marketing Is Effective

  • DiscoverOrg interviewed top IT executives at a variety of US firms regarding the power of outbound marketing. The survey showed that "outbound marketing is still efficient for driving leads and sales."
  • In the interview, "60% said outbound calls or emails have led to an IT vendor's being evaluated, and 75% said they'd decided to attend an event or make an appointment after having received a cold call or email."
  • According to Rain Group's Top Performance In Sales Prospecting Report, at least 69% of buyers accepted one or more cold calls from a new provider in the previous 12 months. The study also found that "cold calling existing clients is still the #1 most effective prospecting tactic."
  • In addition to these statistics, Rain Group's report discovered that 57% of senior-level (C-Level and VP) buyers prefer to be contacted by phone.
  • Rain Group argues that claiming that buyers are not interested in responding to calls and emails is an excuse. Why? Their study found that "82% of buyers accept meetings with sellers who reach out to them." Additionally, "80% of buyers prefer to be contacted by sellers via customized emails."
  • An Exhibitor survey found that "93% of face-to-face marketers are feeling "optimistic" or "hopeful" about trade shows being an effective marketing medium." In line with this finding, Exponents' research showed that "over 90% of trade show attendees say they are searching for new products." And according to Sage, "more than 50% of trade show attendees/exhibitors are in the event for the first time."
  • Crunchbase's study proves that "businesses that don’t cold call experience 42% less growth than those who do."
  • The sales benchmark for cold emailing response rate is, on average, 30%.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Brand Revenue vs. Popularity

To determine if there is a correlation between brand revenue and its popularity, the research team selected four public companies from different industries, two in B2B and two in B2C. We have focused on US companies, and to collect an ample amount of data, our team prioritized companies that went public at least ten years ago. Our research revealed that out of those four companies/brands, three of them had a positive correlation between their revenue and the number of Google searches, and one had a negative correlation. Thus, we concluded that there is a correlation between a brand's revenue and the number of Google searches. The data used for the illustrations can be found here.

Netflix

  • Netflix is an American content platform and production company based in California. Founded in 1997, Netflix is one of the early internet companies that still operates. And today, the company is the leading content platform and one of the most recognizable companies.
  • As shown in the illustration above, Netflix's Google search numbers and revenue have been increasing steadily over the last ten years.
  • Additionally, the graph does indicate there is a correlation between its revenue and Google search numbers. Interestingly, the search number has peaked much earlier, and the revenue has been catching up.

Nike

  • Nike is an American multinational corporation that has the world leader status in footwear industry. Founded in 1964, Nike currently has a market capitalization of over 200 billion dollars.
  • As shown in the illustration above, Nike's Google search numbers and revenue have been moving closer together, and it suggests there is a strong correlation between Google search numbers and its revenue.
  • However, in the last few years, there is a visible divergence emerged between the revenue and search numbers.

Newmont Corporation

  • Newmont Corporation is the world's largest gold mining company based in Colorado, United States. Founded in 1921, Newmont Corporation currently has a market capitalization of over $50 billion. The research team included the company to diversify the research sample and to check the correlation exists for other sectors, such as mining.
  • As shown in the illustration above, Newmonts Google search numbers and revenue have been moving closer together, and it suggests there is a strong correlation despite the company does not engage with end consumers.
  • Interestingly, out of all four companies, Newmonts Corporation's revenue and Google search numbers have the highest correlation.

Intel

  • Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and the world's leading semiconductor chip manufacturer based in California, United States. Founded in 1986, Intel has been at the forefront of technology development throughout the years. The research team included the company to check if the assumption holds for a company that exclusively with other businesses.
  • As shown in the illustration above, Intel's Google search numbers and revenue clearly have an inverse correlation. This was the first case that a company's revenue trend has the opposite direction to its Google search trend.
  • The graph suggests that although previous cases showed a clear pattern and correlations, there is an exception to those.

Research Strategy

To determine if there is a correlation between a brand’s revenue and the number of times it's searched on Google, the research team has taken an approach to collect data from direct sources and analyze it, as related data must be readily available. The research team used two main data sources, Google Trends and precompiled financial data from Ycharts.com.

First, we randomly selected four US public companies that went public at least ten years ago. In this process, we attempted to select companies from different sectors to check if a correlation exists across different industries.

Second, we collected quarterly revenue data for each company from 2008 and Google Trends data for the same period. After cleaning the data, we illustrated combined data using Matplotlib. On the left axis of the graph, there is company's revenue in billions. On the right axis of the graph, there is Google trends' relative popularity point, as Google does not share the actual numbers.

Last, the research team was able to generate illustrations that reveal consistent correlations between the revenue and Google search numbers. To make the graphs reproducible, the research team also shared the collected data in the introduction part.
Sources
Sources