B2B publishers take in more revenue from print than from any other marketer-related service they provide. The industry is changing, though, as marketers are anxious to spend on digital formats which they suspect will connect with the growing online audience. The new ABM Value of B‑to‑B Report highlights how quickly the B2B audience is moving in the digital direction, what marketers need to do to attract attention, and how publishers can maximize their profits in this changing environment.
The ABM report, sponsored by Adobe, notes that the revenue B2B publishers take in from marketers breaks out as follows:
- Print 43.1%
- Digital 35.5% (website ads are 17% of this amount)
- Events 15.1%
- Other 4.2%
Currently, nearly all, 96%, of surveyed B‑to‑B media users seek out industry-related content in print magazines. An equal number go to websites and 93% turn directly to product information from manufacturers to get their questions answered. In addition, 74% of these professionals say their decision making is based on information they glean from both digital and traditional media.
Media publishers realize their ecosystem is changing. 60% note that digital subscriptions to content are increasing. They also realize that users of B2B media say the most important sources for industry-related content in the next 3–4 years will be websites (77%), e‑newsletters (65%), product information from the manufacturers (61%), and mobile-optimized websites (52%).
Marketers are aware of how B‑to‑B professionals are changing their media use habits, especially on the digital front. As a whole, about 48% of these businesses will increase their ad budgets in the next year and 46% will keep the funding level. At least 32% will cut the funds they allocate to print in the next 12 months while 43% will increase the budget for mobile ads.
In response to this trend, more publishers will offer mobile solutions. Overall, marketers and publishers realize that the B‑to‑B audience is still shifting from traditional to digital media use. During this period, the best way to make a solid connection with this audience is to create integrated campaigns that are delivered across all media channels. Media companies that make the process easier for marketers and back up their claims with solid proof of audience engagement stand the best chance of winning new business.