The $6 Billion US B2B Digital Advertising Market: 4 Reasons Why it Will Continue to Grow

Posted by David Terry on April 23, 2019

The business-to-business (B2B) digital advertising market in the US grew by roughly $1 billion in 2018 and will surpass $6 billion in 2019, even though the market “still lacks maturity” - according to a new eMarketer report titled ‘US B2B Digital Advertising Trends’.

The report claims that the digital marketing market will grow 18.7% in 2019 to reach $6.1 billion, up from $2.91 billion in 2015.

How will digital ad spend be divided?

While more than 70% of total US digital ad dollars will go to mobile formats in 2019, the B2B split isn’t as mobile-heavy.

In fact, the eMarketer report estimates that US B2Bs will spend just 37.3% ($2.27 billion) of their digital ad dollars on mobile placements in 2019. The remaining 62.7% will be spent on ads appearing on desktop, laptop and other internet-connected devices.

The report states: “We do not foresee a tipping point where B2Bs will allocate more than half of their ad spend to mobile.”

How does LinkedIn impact the digital B2B ad market?

LinkedIn, which controls about 20% of the market, is identified as the largest player in B2B advertising by the report - with its Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail offerings becoming increasingly popular with marketers.

eMarketer forecasts that $1.25 billion will be spent on LinkedIn digital ads in 2019.

Does this mean B2B companies now fully understand the importance of digital advertising?

Not quite, even though the B2B digital ad market as a whole is poised to surpass $6 billion, many B2B marketers “still lack the foundational data and technology to successfully leverage digital,” according to eMarketer.

Many B2B marketers have still not yet fully embraced the powerful targeting options offered by digital advertising.

In the report, Joseph Leichman, Senior Director of Buyer Development at programmatic advertising vendor OpenX, said: “There is a long standing belief that if you are targeting a B2B buyer with advertising, you only need to be in a few major trade publications or go to a handful of trade shows.”

According to the report, some of the areas that B2B marketers lag behind include:

  • Not taking advantage of the retargeting offered by digital and social platforms, with just 20.3% deploying retargeted ads.
  • Mobile advertising - US B2B marketers spend just 37.3% of their digital ad dollars on mobile, while about 70% of the overall digital ad market is mobile.

Four trends that are driving digital marketing growth

Despite the B2B’s relative lack of maturity when it comes to digital advertising, spending in the US B2B digital advertising market is expected to continue its rapid growth. eMarketer has identified four key trends for this growth:

1 - Account-based marketing

Account-based marketing is the process of focusing customized marketing efforts on specific accounts, and this can be paired perfectly with the precise targeting offered by digital advertising.

eMarketer has found that 66% of account-based marketing marketers use retargeting in their digital advertising strategy.

2 - People-based marketing

In its report, eMarketer explains that people-based marketing targets messages and advertisements “to specific individuals across multiple devices by using data rather than relying on a web-based cookie.”

This marketing tactic is a way of delivering targeted ads on different devices and platforms based on user behavior.

3 - Programmatic

Programmatic automates the buying and targeting of digital advertising. eMarketer says that the programmatic infrastructure on the web is allowing B2B marketers to scale their ABM and people-based advertising programs.

4 - Personalized content sequencing

Personalized content sequencing is way of delivering content through a meaningful series of targeted points, taking buyers through their buyer's journey. This allows companies to target buyers who are in a specific stage of the funnel - think lower funnel ads to prospects who are in the consideration stage.

eMarketer claims that an increasing number of B2B marketers are investing in digital advertising to deliver this kind of personalized, sequenced content.

Want to learn more about how digital marketing can drive your B2B business into the future and foster growth? Contact the Brit Agency today to learn more.Inbound Marketing: The Essential Guide eBook


Topics: Digital Marketing, B2B Inbound Marketing