B2B Marketers Need Digital Advertising Guidance in 2019

BY Kathy Crosett
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B2B marketers may have been slow to catch onto the digital advertising trend. But, that doesn’t mean they intend to stay behind the pack this year. The latest research shows how B2B operators plan to shift to digital marketing in 2019.

The Plan for 2019

According to the CMO Survey, published by Deloitte, the AMA and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, B2B product companies plan to increase digital marketing by 13.9%, and B2B services companies are looking at a 13.2% bump in digital ad spending this year. In addition, both B2B product and services companies tell researchers they’ll be increasing their spending on new marketing knowledge and capabilities by at least 8% in 2019. Those statistics suggest a growing interest in becoming experts at digital marketing.

What's Holding B2B Marketers Back?

This interest dovetails well with statistics recently summarized by eMarketer. They cited industry experts who say that the lag in digital spending is all about the reticence to invest in tactics B2B operators don’t understand and aren’t sure will deliver a return on investment. They’re particularly hampered by the desire to reach niche audiences cost-​effectively. The latest tech handles the need for BtoC targeting in programmatic ad buying. But B2B marketers need account-​based marketing tech systems, and the providers aren’t quite up to par yet, especially in terms of delivering an affordable system that can scale. Analysts point out that it’s much easier for these businesses to fall back on buying space in trade publications, in print or online. 

Current Tactics and Future Opportunity

Currently, B2B marketers are using the following marketing strategies to guide leads down the sales funnel:

  • Personalized emails/​calls 79.7%
  • Email campaigns 64.4%
  • Content marketing such as white papers, tip sheets 49.2%
  • Monthly marketing newsletter 30.5%
  • Retargeting ads 20.3%
  • Direct mail 10.2%

B2B marketers spend much less of their budget on social media than their B2C counterparts, according to the CMO Survey:

  • B2B products 9.7%
  • B2B services 13.9%
  • B2C products 18.6%
  • B2C services 17.6%

In 2019, B2B product companies will boost their social media spend to 12.1% of the marketing budget. For B2B service companies, the planned increase will bring their spending to 14.9% of total marketing spending.

As B2B marketers explore where they want to go with digital, you can show them statistics that will guide their decision making. Run a Digital Audit that compares their digital presence to competitors or the industry activity. You’ll find the tool on AdMall from SalesFuel.