U.S. to Remain Tops for B2B Marketing

The U.S. is currently the top market in the world for B2B advertising. While growth rates in other countries, especially Brazil, Russia, and China, will outpace businessmeeting2advances in the U.S., the spending on our domestic B2B market will amount to $94.7 billion in 2017. This will account for 44.25% of the total in 2017 according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)  in their Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report.

One big shift in the B2B market will be the crossover in directory advertising. In 2014, the digital directory ad market will be worth about $10 billion and this format should rise to $15 billion by 2017. The digital market’s fortunes will come at the expense of the B2B print directory sector which will drop to $10 billion sometime in 2015 and continue falling, to $7.5 billion by 2017.

Analysts don’t yet see the exact year when digital B2B advertising will surpass print, on a global basis. However, the gap between the two formats is narrowing. This year, B2B print advertising should come in at about $50 billion and fall to just under $40 billion by 2017. Digital B2B advertising should rise to $20 billion in 2014 and then increase to $28.9 billion in 2017. This category includes digital ads in trade directories and magazines as well as subscriptions to online publications. However, PcW analysts report that the trade magazine and book industry overall will see revenues fall during this period, suggesting that the digital revenue being generated won’t be significant enough to offset print losses.

B2B operators remain bullish about trade shows and will continue to spend money on the format, giving the industry $36 billion in 2017 revenue which is a sizeable jump from the $29.4 billion the industry saw in 2012.

However, overall the B2B market will grow only 2.2% (compound annual growth rate) between 2012 and 2017.  If you're in B2B marketing, do you anticipate increasing your promotional budget significantly more than the average reported here?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.