In terms of the content channels used by buyers, information sharing across the organization was the preferred channel across all stages of the funnel. It was joined at the top by social usage only at the awareness stage, with social usage falling behind online search across the “scope,” “plan” and “select” stages.
Social media usage tends to dwindle as buyers progress through the stages of the funnel, with usage as follows:
- 67% during the “awareness” stage;
- 48% during the “scope” stage;
- 42% during the “plan” stage;
- 41% during the “select” stage; and
- 32% during the “implement” stage.
Please note: the majority of the survey sample are LinkedIn members, which may skew the results in favor of social media usage. For those interested in more data about the use of social media by B2B marketers and buyers, see the MarketingCharts report on B2B digital marketing.
Other results from the LinkedIn study:
- Buyers who use social media were considerably more likely than those who do not to say their relationships with vendors have grown stronger over the past year (55% vs. 34%);
- Buyers, marketers and salespeople knowledgeable about sales process technology were more likely than those not knowledgeable on the topic to report strengthening relationships with each other; and
- 86% of marketers reported aligned relationships with sales, though almost 4 in 10 salespeople said that marketing does not provide enough quality leads.
About the Data: The report is based on For this research, a survey of 6,375 buyers, marketers and salespeople in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. About half of the sample (3,210) were LinkedIn members, and the other half (3,165) were selected from Ipsos’ database (many of whom also are LinkedIn members). The surveys were in the field from July-August 2015. The targets were B2B buyers, marketers, and salespeople at mid-sized to enterprise companies around the globe. 57% of buyers were from enterprises (1,000+ employees), as were 46% of marketing and sales respondents. The tech industry was the most heavily represented across groups.