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b2b marketing | motarme - Part 2

Business Buyers Increasingly Use The Mobile Web

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Business-to-business (B2B) buyers are increasingly using mobile technologies to buy products and services for their organizations, according to recent US research.  The Forbes Insight survey of 511 senior executives found that 70% use mobile devices when researching products and services and a significant percentage make direct purchases from suppliers through mobile websites and apps.

“Senior executives are constantly on the move and using tablets and smartphones as they travel. They want their suppliers to provide mobile websites and apps that are as good as or better than the corporate website”, says Michael White, Managing Director of marketing technology firm Motarme  “This requires a significant shift in the way B2B companies promote themselves. They will have to provide mobile-ready websites and apps that enable potential customers to complete transactions quickly and simply.”

Key findings from the Forbes Insight report include:

  • More than a quarter of executives responded they were using mobile devices to research purchases exceeding $100,000 .
  • 9 out of 10 executives in the survey used their smartphones on a daily basis and are increasingly using tablets for business tasks.
  • 70% said they used smartphones or tablets to look up product information upon first learning of an offering.
  • A majority of respondents said they would prefer to use smartphones and tablets if vendors made it easier to buy on mobile devices.
  • Problems with mobile apps or websites often prevent them from buying directly.  The most frequent problem is mobile apps or websites that are too difficult to navigate or use.

“The findings of this report continue a trend we’ve been seeing over the past 3 years”, says White.  “According to US sales research agency SiriusDecisions, 67% of the business buyer’s journey is carried out online.  What’s different today is that executives increasingly do this web research while they are on the move, using smartphones and tablets.”

What should  businesses do about the change in buyer behaviour?  As a first step, White recommends that B2B companies check whether their website and online marketing campaigns are mobile-ready. “You should check how your corporate website and promotional campaigns look on mobile devices. There are technologies such as Responsive Web Design that adapt how your website displays depending on which device a visitor uses.  You can also take steps to ensure your email marketing and online advertising are suited to mobile. The key step is to make mobile a priority for your sales and marketing teams”.

For more information on the survey results, refer to the Forbes Insights report “The Connected Executive: Mobilizing the Path to Purchase” –


What is Lead Nurturing?

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Lead Nurturing refers to building regular, automated interactions with sales leads in order to develop a relationship and encourage a purchase. This guide explains what Lead Nurturing is, and the benefits you can obtain such as converting an extra 20% of leads to sales. We also describe step-by-step how to setup your first lead nurturing program.

Written by Michael White

Michael White is co-founder and Managing Director of Motarme, the Marketing Automation vendor. You can find him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

What Are Average B2B Website Conversion Rates?

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Pencil Line Chart

Most of us want to know how we compare with our peers or competitors, and that’s true in Business-to-Business (B2B) web marketing too. A lot of our clients want to know if there is any benchmark data for B2B conversion rates and traffic volumes. In this post I’ll outline some recent stats.

To start, we should be clear about what we mean by “conversion”. It can potentially cover a broad range of visitor actions, from clicking on a button through to completing an on-line purchase. In Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketing conversions often equate to sales e.g. how many visitors to the website of a shoe retailer bought a pair of their shoes. B2C conversion rates can be very high depending on the type of product and the purchase price (I quote some examples at the end of this post).

However, in Business-to-Business marketing conversions are generally not direct purchases but contact registrations of some form. People usually don’t visit a website, take out their credit card and buy $80k of engineering components. But a proportion will visit and download a technical specification or submit a contact form as the first step in their evaluation and purchase process. So when I talk about B2B conversion rates I mean someone completing a contact form, registering for a white paper or subscribing for a newsletter with their email address.

In our experience, conversion rates for these kind of B2B conversions (i.e. a web visitor signing up on a registration page) are typically in the 4% to 8% range. That is, on average, for every 100 visitors to a website we should be able to persuade between 4 and 8 of them to register or provide their contact details. The actual conversion rate for a company will depend on a lot of factors including your industry, your web page design, what you are selling, your typical sale price etc.

There are some published stats available too. The first item comes from MarketingSherpa, a great research firm focused on B2B technology marketing. In October 2012 they published a chart showing average website conversion rates per industry

MarketingSherpa Website Conversion Rates by Industry

The figures range from 2% for non-profits up to 10% for Professional services. However, the problem with these figures is that the definition of what survey respondents meant by ‘conversion’ may not have been consistent.

A second useful post,  What’s a Good Website Conversion Rate, comes from Blue Corona, a web marketing and conversion optimization agency. They think visit-to-lead conversion rates for B2B service companies should be around 5-8%. In comparison, their estimate for B2C home services like heating, ventilation and air conditioning is around 15%. For higher ticket price or non-necessary home services (B2C) they expect the rate to be around 1 to 4.5%. BlueCorona also make the point that if businesses have less than 500 visitors per month then it will be difficult to determine what your visit-to-conversion rate is – they estimate about 1500 visitors or more per month as being a reasonable rate of traffic. I agree – if you are a B2B business generating less than 1,000 visitors per month then you need to focus on driving more traffic before you worry about conversion rates.

The third post I thought interesting comes from MarketingExperiments, a sister company of MarketingSherpa. In their post MarketingResearch: average conversion rates they have a chart showing the range of conversion rates reported by survey respondents for organic web traffic (i.e. visitors arriving from an ordinary search rather than a paid ad). The conversion rates vary from just over 0% to 60%, with an average of 8% and (probably more useful) a median of 4%. So again these rates seem similar to our own experience. The conversion rates for visitors arriving from paid search traffic range from 1% to 60%, with an average of 8.4% and a median of 3.5%.

We came across a LinkedIn discussion on the topic of conversion rates in theSmart Insights Digital Marketinggroup and the rates quoted there are generally quite low – 1% to 3%, but contributors point out that optimization can push these rates up higher.

Optify published their “2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report” earlier in 2013, based on analysis of 600 small and medium-sized B2B firms. They reported an overall conversion rate of 1.6% across email, paid and unpaid search. The rate for organic visitors was 1.65%. In this case conversion was defined as the percentage of visitors submitting a form during a single visit. This conversion rate seems a little low, but it is based on actual recent data. They also make the point that there is huge variability across companies. Another interesting stat from that report was that average site traffic was 1,784 visitors per month among the 600 companies surveyed.

This leads to a related question – what volume of visitors should a B2B company expect to get? There is a post from digital marketing consultancy NetworkIntellect  that provides a range of expected visitor volumes, which they say is based on data collected from almost 1500 websites. According to Network Intellect, B2B companies with 11-25 employees should generate approximately 270 visitors per week (1080 per month), companies with 26-50 employees should generate about 510 visitors per week (2040 per month) and those with 51-200 employees should have about 710 per week (2840 per month).

So, we have some average figures for B2B web conversion and they range from 1% to about 10%. This doesn’t mean you can relax if you’re obtaining a 4% or 5% conversion rate. For particular industries and products you should be able to drive the conversion rates much higher. And if you want to set yourself an ambitious target, look at what some of the top performing B2C retailers achieve. In a 2009 analysis of stats from Nielsen Online and MegaView Retail, MarketingCharts reported that online food retailer Schwan’s had a conversion rate of 50.5%, while the other top retailers that year had rates ranging from 27.2% (FTD.com) to 18.5% (QVC).

Finally, if you’re a benchmarking junkie you should find this post interesting –  “The essential benchmarks for all B2B Marketers”. Figures include typical B2B marketing budget as percentage of revenue, email response rates and online display ad response rates.

I would be really interested in any other good statistics you can point out for B2B website conversion rates, website traffic rates and other metrics, so please get in touch if you have some interesting numbers.


Written by Michael White

Michael White is co-founder and Managing Director of Motarme, the Marketing Automation vendor. You can find him on , LinkedIn and Twitter.


Mergon Group adopts Motarme for Marketing Automation

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Mergon Group has implemented Motarme for Marketing Automation.  Mergon Group is among the top 5 providers of technical blow moulded and injection moulded plastics in the world. Customers include BMW, Abbott, Volkswagen, Toyata and Bosch.  With 400 staff and multi-million revenues, the company has plants in South Carolina and the Czech Republic and is headquartered in Castlepollard, Westmeath, Ireland.

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