COVID-19 forced B2B companies to change up their marketing strategies for the year. Forced to throw out events, marketers sought out alternative methods for driving brand awareness and conversions.
Many event dollars were redirected to online advertising across B2B websites. Using our data, we can see the B2B industries and companies spending the most money on online advertising. Here, we share our findings.
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B2B Marketing Goes Online
Prior to the pandemic, B2B marketers relied on events to drive revenue. Without live events, there were few options besides going digital.
Print was not much of an option because the pandemic forced offices to close. B2B print magazines are typically delivered to offices—without offices open, magazines had nowhere to go but online. Lacking trade shows and print, event organizers quickly transformed in-person events into digital alternatives.
Forrester, for example, rapidly turned their large annual Sirius Decisions Summit into a completely digital for-pay event which received more than 100,000 views of its sessions. “Our goal was to provide the same experience that our attendees have come to expect at an in-person event,” explained global head of events at Forrester Research Lisa Riley.
Even if the in-person experience can’t be fully recreated online, this virtual summit kept the Forrester brand and community moving forward when other summits were cancelled.
But events are not the only online alternatives for B2B marketers. They’ve reallocated money into other digital channels, such as: content creation, SEO, press releases and articles, social media and video.
While we can’t speak to how much marketers are reallocating to every channel, we can use our data platform to assess how much brands are spending on advertising across B2B websites.
Industries experiencing higher demand due to COVID-19 have been spending the most on online advertising since March, when the pandemic took hold of the U.S.
Financial, pharmaceutical, and tech firms have spent the most money on advertising across B2B websites. In fact, when we analyzed the top 100 advertisers (by spending) in B2B, over half of the spend comes from those three product categories.
The largest online B2B advertisers during this time frame are leaders in these three industries.
- Johnson & Johnson
These brands dispersed their ads across many websites. On average, these top 100 advertisers ran ads across forty-one B2B websites and nearly 30% of them also ran sponsored ads using emails.
The B2B marketing playbook is changing in these virtual times. We will continue watching and sharing the advertising trends so you can stay informed.
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