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Brief: What 2019 Looked Like for B2B Digital Advertising

Brief: What 2019 Looked Like for B2B Digital Advertising

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We covered quite a few B2B advertising developments and insights in 2019. From new B2B ad formats (and how brands are using them) to why B2B brands are advertising on Instagram, these developments shaped B2B advertising for the year. 

Now that the year has come and gone, the question is: what did the market look like as a whole?  

Overall, spending on B2B digital advertising increased slightly in 2019 (with 1 percent growth). 

Of all ad formats, mobile ads saw the biggest growth (+5.6 percent). Still, mobile advertising remains the smallest part of most B2B advertising budgets. It accounts for just about 1 percent of all spend. Display ads continue to dominate the industry, both in adoption and in spend. In 2018, display accounted for 95 percent of all B2B online ad sales. In 2019, it was up to 96 percent. 

We put together a graph that shows the biggest takeaways for B2B digital advertising across display, mobile, native and video ads. 

These are the highlights: 

  • Display advertising remains king of B2B in terms of usage, even though the number of B2B advertising using the format decreased slightly. 
  • More B2B companies used native ad formats in 2019, although growth was slow. In 2018, only 6.9 percent of B2B advertisers used the format, compared to 7.2 percent in 2019. 
  • Mobile advertising also experienced an uptick, with 21.2 percent of B2B advertisers using the format in 2019 (compared to 20.3 percent the previous year). 
  • Video ads — a rapidly growing medium for consumer advertising — actually decreased YoY for B2B advertising, from 3 percent to 2.6 percent. 

Although not included in the graph, many B2B companies also experimented in podcast ads in 2019. In fact, B2B advertiser Ziprecruiter was a top 3 podcast advertiser last year across all industries. We expect this trend to continue in 2020. 

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