B2B Advertisers Ahead of B2C In Use of Digital Ad Effectiveness Tools

January 30, 2018

When it comes to measuring digital advertising effectiveness, B2B advertisers display a greater likelihood to rely on various technologies than their B2C counterparts, according to a study from Salesforce [download page]. That’s particularly the case for data management platforms (DMPs), CRM reports, and marketing automation platforms.

The report is based on a survey of 900 advertisers across the world. Salesforce notes that more advertisers are now using DMPs (55% overall) and website analytics platforms (50%) than spreadsheets (42%), which it says marks a “critical turning point for advertisers’ sophistication in assessing performance, measurement, and attribution.”

While that’s true of both B2B and B2C advertisers, a breakdown of the two segments shows that B2B respondents are more likely – to some degree – to be using each of the 8 technologies identified.

Among those, the biggest discrepancies in technology usage for digital advertising effectiveness measurement are for:

  • DMPs (57% of B2B advertisers versus 49% of B2C advertisers);
  • CRM reports or dashboards (59% and 42%, respectively);
  • Reporting provided within advertising platforms (54% and 42%, respectively);
  • In-house/homegrown solutions (47% and 38%, respectively); and
  • Marketing automation platforms (35% and 25%, respectively).

The analysts point out that while B2B and B2C advertisers are converging in many ways, two results stand out as demonstrating their different approaches: 1) B2B advertisers are more likely to be using CRM reports and marketing automation platforms to measure effectiveness; but 2) they’re 1.4 times less likely to consider brand recognition an important measure of advertising success.

Brand recognition should be important to B2B advertisers. Research from Merkle has found that personal familiarity with brands positively impacts B2B buyers’ business decisions. And just 12% of IT buyers surveyed by Spiceworks said they’d be likely to respond to sales/marketing outreach had they never heard of the vendor.

Other Survey Highlights:

In other results from Salesforce’s report:

  • B2B advertisers (66%) were actually more likely than B2C advertisers (59%) to have increased their digital video ad spending last year, as a surprising 12% of B2C respondents reported cutting back on their digital video ad spend;
  • Respondents estimated allocating 15% of their digital ad spend in the previous fiscal year to YouTube, while Facebook and Instagram spend combined (27% share) matched search spend (28% share);
  • At least one-third of advertisers are already advertising across emerging technologies such as smart TVs (44%), voice-activated digital assistants (39%), wearable devices (36%) and augmented or virtual reality (32%).

The full report is available for download here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 900 full-time advertisers, media buyers, and marketers with titles of manager and above. Respondents were required to have decision-making responsibility for advertising and/or media buying at their company, as well as decision-making authority or influence over their companies’ digital marketing databases.

Respondents are from companies in North America (United States, Canada), Europe (France, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom/ Ireland), and the Asia-Pacific region (Japan, Australia/New Zealand). Each region is represented by a sample size of 300.

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