Content & Buyer's Journey

Ryan Dekker's picture

Benchmark Report - Executive Summary

The Content & the Buyer’s Journey Benchmark Study survey was administered online during the period of May 28, 2014 through June 4, 2014. During this period, 244 responses were collected, 185 of which were complete enough for inclusion in the analysis. The data was analyzed using SPSS to ensure the statistical validity of the findings.

Key Facts & Stats





Only 25% of buyers reveal themselves to vendors early in their journey. (Source)



90% of study participants believe that it is somewhat or very important to engage buyers earlier in their journey. (Source)



44% of study participants report that buyers respond moderately or very well to content, "converting" or responding to it in the desired way. (Source)



Just 25% of study participants rated their content as slightly or very interactive. 39% rated it at a moderate level for engagement, and 36% rated their content as somewhat or very passive. (Source)



Interactive content, such as apps, assessments, calculators, configurators and quizzes, generates conversions moderately or very well 70% of the time, compared to just 36% for passive content. (Source)



93% of study participants reported interactive content as somewhat or very effective in educating the buying audience. Only 70% of passive content users reported the same level of effectiveness. (Source)



88% of interactive content users report it is somewhat or very effective at differentiating from competitors, while 55% of passive content users report the same level of effectiveness. (Source)



38% of study participants reported that their interactive content is frequently or very frequently shared. Just 17% of passive content is shared with the same level of frequency. (Source)



By a slight margin, content is most effective in the middle stage of the buyer's journey, followed by the early stage then the late stage. The middle stage occurs when buyers begin purchase consideration of solution alternatives. (Source)





By a considerable margin, content is least effective in the late stage of a buyer's journey (51%), followed by the early stage (34%) and the middle stage (15%), respectively. (Source)



The most frequently encountered problem with content marketing efforts is "content doesn't create opportunities for interaction and engagement", experienced by 58% of study participants. (Source)



Interactive content enjoys a quality perception advantage, produces better engagement (as it's designed to do), is perceived as more interesting and is better at generating attention than passive content. (Source)





40% of study participants do not use any interactive content or apps, such as assessments, calculators, quizzes, etc. (Source)



The top three barriers to content creation reported - staffing/resources constraints (66%), budget constraints (60%) and time/agility constraints (53%) - are all related. (Source)



17% of study participants have no content effectiveness measurements in place, and 49% are using only basic metrics, such as clicks or downloads. (Source)



55% of organizations are allocating 15% or less of their marketing budgets to content creation and marketing. The study found no relationship between increased spending on content and increased content effectiveness. (Source)




Report Overview 

Content marketing is a brilliant strategy. Organizations of all sizes are recognizing that content is the best way to influence buyers during their journey from need realization to purchase decision. In fact, Demand Metric’s Lead Generation Benchmark Report for 2014 reveals that content marketing is the top area for investment over the next 12 months.

As a strategy, content marketing isn’t new, but it has certainly come into its own as an approach to influence customers across their entire journey. This influence is especially seen at the beginning of the journey, when they are self-educating and out of view of the vendors that could provide them with the solutions they seek. So from an adoption perspective, content marketing is now mainstream, and most organizations have some sort of content initiative in place.

Marketers have witnessed an evolution in content marketing formats. It’s still said that “content is king”, but many marketers are observing growing signs of content fatigue. Even a brilliantly written and beautifully designed white paper must now take its place alongside thousands, even millions of others. Static content is increasingly failing to impress, even if it performs well from an SEO perspective.

Marketers are finding that formats that used to work don’t pull audience interest like they once did. The content clutter that is producing content fatigue is causing marketers to innovate with new forms of content, and the common denominator of what works best is engagement. Any content that stimulates engagement with a member of the target audience is far more effective and influential than content that doesn’t.

In a study sponsored by ion interactive, Demand Metric conducted a survey to explore how effectively marketers are using content to influence the buyer’s journey.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Executive Summary
  3. The Buyer's Journey
  4. Content Performance
  5. Buying Stage Content Effectiveness
  6. Content Marketing Problems
  7. Analyst Bottom Line
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. About ion interactive
  10. About Demand Metric
  11. Appendix - Survey Background


Parent Info 
2015 Modern Marketing Factbook
Page Weight 
Customer Engagement Facts