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Q4 Numbers: What’s Up and What’s Down in B2B Advertising

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As we near the end of 2019 and face the biggest advertising quarter of the year, it’s time to look at how, why and how much B2B brands are spending. 

While it’s too premature for Q4 numbers, we can start by looking at the year-over-year trends of B2B advertising. With MediaRadar data, we see not only individual brands’ ad spend, but also how ad spend trends over time. 

If you’re in the middle of Q4, either wondering how to keep up or excited to get ahead, don’t forget to look back. 

These are the biggest takeaways for B2B advertising from 2018 to 2017: 

  • Overall, ad spend was flat from 2017 to 2018.

It’s less a question of B2B advertisers spending more, and more a question of how and where they’re spending. 

  • In 2018, digital advertising accounted for 27 percent of all B2B ad budgets. 

This was up from 19 percent in 2017 and represents a 42 percent increase in digital advertising. 

  • Only 11 percent of B2B brands bought advertising across multiple formats in 2018. 

Most B2B advertisers stick with either digital or print advertising – a boon for some and a challenge for others. 

  • The number of brands advertising online with native ads was up 50 percent YoY in 2018.

This made native advertising the fastest-growing ad format for B2B. In that vein, we’ve reported on the convergence of native and programmatic, and provide an in-depth guide to native ads at work. 

  • Revenue from the average B2B event was up 5 percent YoY in 2018.

Events are quickly becoming indispensable to both the marketer’s stack and the B2B publication’s portfolio. For more on this, see How Can B2B Publishers Make the Most of Events and our answers to your questions on event marketing.