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Top 100 B2B advertisers spending more than ever today

Last updated on August 27th, 2015 at 02:41 pm

The top 100 U.S. B2B advertisers are spending on advertising at an unprecedented rate, according to an Ad Age Datacenter analysis.

From 2013 to 2014, total spending went from $4.75 billion to $4.79 billion representing a 0.9 percent rise, and the distribution of where the money is going has shifted as well.

TV spending increased 7.7 percent and makes up the lion’s share of all advertising spending at 60.8 percent. Spending on radio ads also increased, but all other media saw a reduction.

Internet is the second largest sector, but spending on this area declined by 2.7 percent with $685 million spent on digital display ads over the year. That’s a surprising development given the rise of digital advertising and the widespread effectiveness of social media which are increasingly becoming the go-to places for advertisers.

Magazines and newspapers are the third and fourth largest sectors, but they received far less than in previous years. Spending on print ads in magazines fell by 14.4 percent, while newspapers did even worse with 15.7 percent less than in 2013.

The biggest B2B advertising spender by a long shot was Microsoft. They were the number one spender in the previous year as well, and even though they decreased their B2B ad spend by 19 percent they are still far above the second largest spender, AT&T.

The other companies rounding out the top 10 were Apple, Samsung Electronics Co., IBM Corp., General Electric Co., Intel Corp., Staples and Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile).

The shift away from traditional media such as newspapers and magazines is of little surprise, but it does seem unusual that spending on internet ads has decreased. For B2B companies investing in online marketing, LinkedIn is reputed to be one of the best sites to look for placement. Twitter and Facebook have also been making strides into serving business better with their own marketing programs and paid content. Mobile ads are another marketing sector with rapid growth that companies should consider.

It’s important to note that the Top 100 list does not represent what the entire industry is doing. Ad spending for the entire US B2B industry was $10.2 billion for the same period, so the top 100 account for less than half of the industry’s total ad spending.

One thing that we can be sure of is that the B2B industry will continue to spend more and more on advertising. An ITMSA pool conducted in February 2015 found that, worldwide, B2B marketing budgets are expected to increase 4.4 percent. The poll also found that in North America, 52 percent of B2B firms plan on putting more than half of their budget into digital media. The future of B2B marketing will be on the Web, while traditional print mediums become obsolete.

Graph via Ad Age Datacenter


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Chris Riddell
Chris Riddell
Chris Riddell is a freelance journalist, copywriter and poet from Mississauga who now lives in Montreal. His byline has appeared in many newspapers and websites such as The National Post, The Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette, and Torontoist. He's an expert profiler and has interviewed many notable personalities such as KISSmetrics founder Neil Patel, Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray, and Hollywood actor Michael Rooker. If you want to find out more about him, visit his website and follow him on Twitter @riddellwriter.