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B2B companies ‘failing to see benefits of online’

B2B companies ‘failing to see benefits of online’

Research from the Internet Advertising Bureau – the trade association for digital marketing – has found that

B2B marketers are yet to see the brand-building potential of online, with only 7% of respondents using the medium with this objective, according to new findings from the Internet Advertising Bureau.

The survey of nearly 140 UK B2B marketing professionals found that online is still being used predominantly to drive sales, with 51% of the sample focusing their digital efforts on lead generation, management and development.

Encouraging 29% of those surveyed currently spend between 10 and 20% of their marketing spend on digital techniques, with 39% of all respondents planning to increase their budgets over the next year. Furthermore, 55% of B2B marketers had not altered their investment in digital, despite the downturn.

The survey, conducted by the trade association for digital marketing, found that email is the most popular tool amongst B2B organisations, with 18% of respondents stating that they use this form of digital marketing the most.

This was followed by search engine optimisation (SEO), with 14% of those surveyed investing most heavily in this area, display advertising (13%) and PPC (10%).   Currently only 3% of B2B marketers were using mobile as their most significant form of digital communications.

Email was also cited as the most effective form of digital marketing, with 45% of respondents believing it was most suitable at achieving their marketing objectives. In second place was SEO (15%), followed by PPC and display, which were neck and neck on 8%.

Whilst some respondents stated they had used social media tactics such as blogging, podcasting and their own online community, it’s clearly on the agenda in B2B marketing.  Some 60% of respondents stated that they are either currently using, or are looking to incorporate social media into their digital marketing strategies.

When looking to the future of their marketing plans and use of the medium, over a third (34%) agreed that marketing is progressively migrating to digital techniques, and 23% believed that ‘email and search marketing have replaced print ads and DM as critical B2B channels’.

However, almost a quarter of respondents (24%) believed that there are not currently enough good case studies to show effective use of online and 14% of B2B marketers said that a lack of understanding was the biggest obstacle for further investment.

“Despite tough trading conditions, B2B marketers are continuing to invest in online, but it’s clear that the medium is showing most appeal as a sales driver,” said senior insights manager for the IAB, Sorcha Proctor.

“Over the next 12 months we’d urge B2B organisations to look to social media and display advertising to further build their brands in competitive markets, and fully establish their online presence outside of their corporate website."

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