Often overlooked in our marketing and advertising field is the important role of Business-to-Business (B2B) advertising. At $18.47 Billion projected in advertising spending in 2024, it’s time to give B2B its due. The seismic changes triggered by the pandemic also included an accelerated shift in B2B advertising from in-person channels to digital ads, with B2B ad spending growing 30% year over year from 2019-2024. (Statista 2023)
Still just under 6% in total advertising spend 2023, B2B advertising is vital to the US economy, considering that every product or service that makes its way to end users must first be sold to manufacturers, specifiers, purchasing agents or providers, then sold through a sales organization to distributors, buyers and retailers.
In this first installment in a series about B2B marketing and advertising, we’ll explore what’s happening at the macro level. and In future articles, we’ll Brk_down trends, share digital media opportunities, and discuss the growing role of data.
B2B marketers’ top priority today is to increase revenue and sales, knocking increasing brand awareness down to the third spot from last year (Hubspot 2023). Flanking those priorities to round out the top five are: customer experience, increasing engagement, and improving brand loyalty. Below are some things to keep in mind:
B2B customers want to be educated and to look like the workplace heroes thanks to their excellent decisions. In order for them to make good decisions, they need to have in-depth knowledge of the products or services they’re considering.
B2B customers are busy, and require detailed and straight-forward content. B2B customers expect to be “catered to” by sales and marketing teams that answer, “What will it do for my business?”
B2B marketers must deal with a complicated chain of command, where procurement, legal, accounting, department heads, and senior leadership often approve purchases or are involved in the decision-making process
The B2B buying cycle is much longer than B2C, requiring more lead nurturing, close attention to the user experience, and communication throughout the complicated marketing funnel. For example, corporate meeting and event planners are working two-to-three years ahead.
Contracts for B2B purchases tend to last months or even years, and B2B purchases often involve long-term relationships with vendors.
B2B purchases are emotionally driven too, because B2B customers have to think in terms of business impact, personal professional results, and financial incentive.
Most importantly, B2B marketing and advertising must demonstrate ROI, and that’s where digital advertising and data excel, because nearly every tactic can be matched to measurable results.
At Brkthru, we’re big on B2B marketing and know how to reach B2B customers where they are, when they’re making decisions. Let’s start a conversation.