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Vital stats for B2B marketers: more than 80% of the sales cycle goes digital

By Rebecca Ley |



The Drum Network article

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March 26, 2021 | 4 min read

Award-winning B2B marketing agency Earnest has compiled the latest statistics and ‘need-to-knows’ for B2B marketers in 2021, compelling readers to reboot how they reach and engage their buyers.

B2B marketing

In an animated video and blog, the agency has pulled together the latest insights across leading industry sources, from Gartner and Forrester to Edelman and 360 Magazine, to arm marketers with the information they need to take a digital leap forward in 2021.

The research includes an expert prediction that 80% or more of the sales cycle is set to go digital and remote, because three-out-of-four buyers see this new way of doing business as more effective, safer and cost-saving.

But Earnest points out, remote doesn’t have to mean distant, especially when only 20-30% of B2B buyers say they’ll want to interact with sales reps in person post-Covid. Some 90% say they’ll be willing to digital self-serve – end-to-end – to make a B2B purchase.

Digital content is king

With a focus on positive change, Earnest says this year is a chance to become a more helpful brand and tune into new buyer preferences. One such change is a drive for digital, with buyers reading 40% more content assets than at the start of 2020, and 59% of senior executives preferring to watch videos over text format.

There’s also room for improvement when it comes to thought leadership, with only 17% of buyers thinking what they read is ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’, despite 49% believing it can impact their decisions.

The stats also reveal a move to audio content and a surge in influencer marketing spend, showing positive B2B change is on the horizon.

Other Vital Stats for B2B marketers include:

  • 44% of people are finding themselves using social media more now than before the Covid-19 outbreak

  • Content shared on LinkedIn is up 50% year-on-year

  • 44% more emails are currently being sent than before lockdown began, and email open rates have increased on average by 28%

  • Influencer marketing spend has increased by 70% year-on-year

  • 89% of marketers consider influencers comparable or superior in ROI to other popular marketing tactics

  • 18% of adults now tune in to podcasts every week, and 54% of podcast listeners say they are more likely to consider the brands they hear advertised on podcasts

Click here to read the full compilation of Vital Stats for B2B Marketers, and you can watch the video here.

For more information, contact

Rebecca Ley, content writer, Earnest.

Marketing Marketing Services Technology

Content by The Drum Network member:


Earnest is the award-winning B2B marketing agency that’s chasing out the humdrum in London and New York.

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