Everywhere I turn, I’m reading about how companies are slashing their advertising and media budgets. Some of my favorite sources (including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, and The New York Times) have posted articles citing declines in advertising budgets of 40 percent or more.
Declining B2C advertising budgets may be the reality on the whole, but there’s one segment near and dear to my heart that’s absent from the headlines: business to business (or B2B). In fact, for B2B, advertising budgets have been increasing. How can this be?
To start, the dynamics of how companies allocate budget to target consumers (B2C) versus businesses (B2B) are entirely different. B2C marketing budgets typically have large allocations dedicated to digital, streaming services, TV, mobile, and other broad reach channels. B2B budgets, on the other hand, are typically allocated toward laser-targeted programs, including in-person events like trade shows, specific digital channels, executive dinners, and other field programs.
It wouldn’t be fake news, or even news for that matter, to say that trade show and event budgets have all but dried up in 2020. But the dollars that had been allocated to these events are still instrumental for restructured marketing initiatives. And businesses are reallocating marketing budgets toward channels that offer greater scale, precision, and measurement, such as digital advertising.
While we don’t expect this trend to continue long-term, in the past few months, we’ve seen marketers expand digital ad budgets by 20 percent.
Additionally, B2B advertising campaigns have taken a more humane and sensitive tone due to the challenging economic climate we face today. Healthcare and financial services companies acted the fastest, with nearly 30 percent of advertisers in these industries changing their ad creative and content to address the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve also seen leading companies quickly execute campaigns that promote their contributions to fighting the epidemic.
Last, but not least, one of the top questions I get from customers is, “How can we laser-target people at businesses when everyone is working from home?” It’s a great question. The answer includes the use of artificial intelligence, cookies, and a patented methodology of using network IP to map to businesses. My colleague, Russ Martin, does a wonderful job explaining it in his article, Your Target Accounts Are Working From Home? Demandbase Has the Answer.
These are just a few recent examples of where we’ve seen advertising budgets drive B2B success. Here’s the challenge: As you scroll through your daily feed and tune into the evening news, do not be deterred by the bold headlines regarding advertising decline. Consider your business’s position from a point of strength. There are resources available for our B2B efforts that will prove invaluable as we continue nurturing our pipelines and revenue goals. Let’s use them in authentic and meaningful ways.
Not all B2B identification and targeting are the same. With employees working from home, the difference is sharper than ever. Is your B2B digital program ready to address the new normal?
Check out the blog post Your Target Accounts are Working from Home? Demandbase Has the Answer
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