Last week, Media Radar’s CEO Todd Krizelman joined MediaGrowth’s 2020 Summit to speak about the state of B2B advertising. Along with other industry leaders, participants discussed how the B2B media landscape changed this year and what is to come in 2021.
Let’s dive into the highlights.
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B2B Print Face Strong Headwinds
Print already was starting in a lower position due to market trends—but COVID-19 only made the number of advertisers smaller. By July, the number of advertisers was down 42% YoY. However, things started to look better starting in August. In August, the number recovered to -33%. It’s important to note that spend had recovered to normal levels by August.
Digital Advertising Benefits From the Pandemic
As print decreased and live events were out, the number of advertisers on these B2B websites increased. In recent months, it has been up roughly 25% YoY.
According to the B2B Marketing Zone Survey, 65% of B2B Marketers will reallocate dollars from live event budgets to digital advertising. When we looked at which advertisers were starting to advertise digitally, it was the largely same companies who previously advertised at events and via print.
Webinars more popular amid the pandemic
We’ve also seen a spike in webinar advertisements. However, the number has recently fallen off—likely due to “webinar fatigue.” The September number represents a projected 43% YoY increase from last year, up from 317 webinar sponsors.
Industries Increasing their Digital B2B Ad Spend
COVID-19 accelerated the B2B digital buying shift in the manufacturing industry. Procurement specialists are swiftly switching to digital interactive systems where they can preview a product instead of meeting with a sales rep.
From March to mid-July ad spend from manufacturing firms was down 55% YoY—and negative for 22 weeks in a row. However, spending rapidly changed course. Since mid-July, these brands are up 30% YoY.
US B2B eCommerce is on track for positive growth in 2020 despite pandemic. This suggests that the shift was already coming and the pandemic forced industries to pivot quickly to more efficient systems.
According to Brivo, American offices are “57% open”, based on the activity in their systems. As we see offices reopening, we see a push for heightened security. For example, the Building Owners & Managers Association released their advice on re-opening offices, with the security of offices a key component.
With an increased interest in managing building access from companies, security technology companies have upped their ad spending by 40% YoY since March began. As more return to the office, it’s unlikely that we see this trend go away anytime soon.
Commercial Construction & Architecture
Construction was considered essential in most states and did not see any decrease in home building during the pandemic.
Architects have been sourced to work on smaller projects amid COVID-19. Homes under construction in the US did not see much of an impact due to COVID-19, with stats maintaining consistent levels. In fact, YoY the number of homes under construction in the US was up 5.7% YoY in August, according to the US Census Bureau.
Advertisers are targeting architects, builders, general contractors, and building materials distributors, bringing ad spend up 292% YoY so far in 2020.
Forbes points out that the world of business insurance is chaotic as business owners scramble to figure out what is and isn’t covered in their plans amid COVID-19. One of the industries most focused on insurance is the healthcare industry as employees come face to face with the virus.
Since March began B2B digital ad spend from Insurance brands is up 241% YoY.
Sub-categories driving this increase include legal expense insurance (+4,011%), workers comp. insurance (+143%), and automotive fleet insurance (+198%).
Since March began B2B digital ad spend from Cybersecurity brands is up 304% YoY.
With work from home becoming the norm during the pandemic, IT leaders across many companies are looking for ways to ensure they maintain their companies cybersecurity.
Todd covered several more industries that grew significantly during the pandemic. If your industry was not one of the ones we highlighted and you’d like to learn more, reach out to your sales rep or customer service team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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