Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing is changing - once ruled by heavy catalogues and pushy sales reps, sales decisions are now being made online with marketing budgets comparable to the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) market.

B2B marketing is now taking centre stage with manufacturers looking to sell directly from their own websites as opposed to through distributors.

Here we look to shed light on the current trends in B2B marketing with these 18 unique stats - updated for 2020.

Hopefully these facts can help you with your B2B marketing approach - whether it's through a trade show, online or print and media advertsing.

Shell Scheme

1. The Global B2B ecommerce market is expected to reach $6.7 trillion in 2020.

That’s 27% of the overall ecommerce market - a big slice of the online marketplace. This growth has been facilitated by the change in procurement practices.

Source: Frost & Sullivan

2. 69% of B2B companies are planning to stop printing catalogues within five years.

Many of the remaining B2B companies with catalogues plan to ‘slim down’ their catalogues, moving technical info online.

Source: Forrester US B2B Ecommerce Report

3. 80% of B2B social media leads originate from LinkedIn

Linkedin is the king of B2B social media marketing, bringing in the vast majority of leads thanks to its ability to connect sellers with key decision makers.

Source: Ironpaper Linkedin Marketing Report

4. 73% of millennials are involved in B2B purchasing decisions.

Here’s one to make you feel old! This high number shows how dated marketing tactics won’t cut it anymore in the world of B2B marketing. Millenials are the largest generation in the working world and now are involved in influential buying positions within organisations.

Source: Millennials make 73% of purchasing decisions | Merit

5. 55% of B2B organizations spend over 21% of their marketing budgets on events.

Event marketing - such as trade shows and other promotional events - take up a large part of the budgets of B2b companies.

 Source: Bizzabo

6. 60% of B2B companies cited lead generation as their top challenge.

Lead generation is the biggest concern for many B2B organisations - showing the importance of effective marketing.

Source: B20b Magazine

7. 52% of B2B buyers prefer mobile-optimized content

Although the business audience has a higher desktop usage than consumers, the majority of B2B buyers still prefer to view websites on a smartphone or tablet.

Source: DemandGen Content Report

8. 71% of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) won business using face-to-face networking.

For smaller businesses trade shows are a great source of business - particularly in the B2B sector.

Source: Display Wizard SME survey

9. 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search

Search engines such as Google are the no.1 research tool for B2B buyers - with the majority of buyers performing a generic search rather than a branded one. Having a strong web presence by focusing on SEO and PPC is therefore extremely important for B2B marketing.

Source: Changing research & purchase habits of B2B consumers - Google

10. 43% of B2B marketers say blogging is their most important type of content.

Blogging is no longer just for B2C websites - B2B consumers are looking for specialist content on their industry. B2B companies should use their blog to demonstrate their expertise and give helpful tips and advice.

Source: Social Marketing Industry Report, 2017

11. Events help generate the most leads for B2B companies, whilst case studies and testimonials help convert and accelerate the most leads.

Events such as trade shows are an ideal way to bring together decision makers in a particular industry, making them a fertile means of lead generation.

Source: Marketing Charts, 2018

12. 42% of researchers use a mobile device during the B2B purchasing process

Purchase rates on mobile are also up 22% in the same period. Providing a rich mobile experience is therefore extremely important in the B2B space.

Source: Changing research & purchase habits of B2B consumers - Google

13. 93% of B2B content gets zero external backlinks.

This stat came from a study of 912 million blog posts, with 93% receiving 0 backlinks. Backlinks are a key factor in determining the SEO ranking of a website.

Source: Backlinko- We Analyzed 912 Million Blog Posts. Here's What We Learned About Content Marketing

14. 69% of B2B companies will prioritise investment in content measurement and analytics in 2020.

Data analysis is not just for the B2C market - B2B companies are also focusing on how and where people interact with their content.

Source: Marketing Charts

15. 70% of B2B buyers watch a video during the buying process.

The growth of video marketing is not confined to the B2C market, with the majority of B2B buyers watching a video when researching what to buy.

Source: 8 Sales Industry Insights That Will Help You Sell Smarter [Infographic]

16. 60% of B2B buyers only want to talk to a salesperson once they’ve done their own buying research.

This shows how B2B marketing has changed and why content marketing is so important. Producing informative content and positioning your brand as a thought leader will be more likely to make reach buyers earlier in the decision-making process.

Source: Hubspot

17. 76% of sales emails never get opened, and the average person deletes nearly half of all new emails every day.

Cold sales emails are largely ineffective in the B2B space - it’s important that the prospect has some awareness of your brand and its offering before you move to more direct sales methods.

Source: Sales Development Technology: The Stack Emerges

18. 69% of successful B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy

Source: Content Marketing Institute Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America

We hope you enjoyed these statistics about B2B marketing, and they helped give you an idea of the industry in 2020.

If you have any additional statistics you'd like to share, please feel free to comment below.