Vital Statistics for B2B Marketers Two. Inbound vs. Outbound

Earnest's new film exploring the latest trends in B2B marketing.

Not long ago, being a B2B marketer was simple. The more you pushed out there, the better your pipeline. But then something changed.

Here are all the latest facts and stats B2B Marketers need to build the case for a balanced inbound and outbound marketing strategy.

As always use and abuse at your leisure and feel free to share your own Vital Statistics using #b2bvitalstats

The way businesses buy is changing

    • 9 out of 10 business buyers say when they are ready to buy, they will find you
    • 81% of them start the process with a web search
    • Many are 50-60% of the way into the buy cycle before they will even make contact with a vendor

Source: DemandGen report (

And B2B buyers are hungrier for information

    • 78% are looking for information around their business challenge
    • 84% said Word of Mouth recommendations influence their purchase decisions
    • 58% engage with peers, 48% follow industry conversations, and 41% read research papers and postings from thought leaders

Source: Breaking out of the funnel



Content is still king

    • If the order value is more than $10k – 70% of buyers say they review four or more pieces of content prior to purchase
    • The white paper is still the most read piece of content – but 60% of buyers say they don’t have the time for reading – so the shorter, the better
    • But remember – 75% of buyers want vendors to curb the sales messages
    • And show your sources – 60% say trust in the source of the content is important.

Source: Marketing profs

Source: DemandGen Report

Source: Content4Demand

And how content is being consumed is changing

    • 80% of business leaders are watching more online video than ever before
    • 75% of senior executives watch videos on business sites every week
    • And 65% go on to visit the vendors website after watching a video
    • Mobile searches have increased by 247% in the last year (despite only 10% of the web being mobile friendly)
    • And 67% of business buyers want interesting and exclusive content through apps

Source: Rise of the digital C-Suite  

Source: State of search

Source: CMA

Let’s settle this once and for all – Inbound and outbound tactics are not mutually exclusive.

But traditional outbound methods are not dead

    • 74% of B2B Marketers still find direct mail effective
    • 71% think email marketing is critical
    • And 72% are sure that events still pack a punch
    • But the numbers are worth taking into account… outbound costs $364 per lead compared to $135 for inbound

Source: Marketing Sherpa

Source: HubSpot

Source: Circle Research

However, reaching the right people is getting harder

    • An average marketing database contains 25-30% useless records
    • And 88% of people report having lied on registration forms
    • Data has a shelf life – if it’s more than 3 years old, chances are only 10% of your data will be clean and useful
    • But get it right and the best quality data can drive 70% more revenue

Source: B2B Digital

Source: Fearless competitor

Source: Sirius Decisions