B2B marketers were prioritizing digital advertising as part of their 2020 strategy even before COVID-19 disrupted business as usual and forced marketers to shift even more of their focus onto digital. So, it’s not surprising that even amid the uncertainty the pandemic has caused, new data from eMarketer shows that B2B digital ad spending in the US this year is expected to grow by 22.6% over 2019.
The data forecasts US B2B digital advertising to reach a total of $8.14 billion in 2020, up from $6.64 billion in 2019.
Which Industries Are Investing in Digital Ads During COVID-19?
Not every industry is spending more on digital advertising, but there are many upping their investments. eMarketer’s data expects that US digital ad spend in the healthcare sector will grow by 41.2% year-over-year (y-o-y). On a more granular basis, a new report [download page] from MediaRadar shows that B2B medical and pharmaceutical brand spending on digital ads increased by 56% y-o-y in the first weeks of May 2020.
With many US workers having been sent home to work once the pandemic was declared – and thus increasing the need for ways to work and communicate efficiently away from the office – B2B software companies increased their spending on digital ads by more than 250% y-o-y during the 3rd week of March, per MediaRadar. Nevertheless, despite the initial surge in ad spend, by mid-May, spending was back down to nearly the same level it was in 2019.
MediaRadar also reports that industrial companies, which include subcategories such as industrial machinery, construction, chemicals and energy, have boosted their digital ad spend by 23% y-o-y from the beginning of March through the end of June.
In the meantime, one industry that has cut its digital ad spend is travel. eMarketer reports that B2B digital travel ad spending is predicted to drop by 44.5% in 2020. This is consistent with other data that shows overall global ad spend allocated for Travel and Tourism is expected to see significant losses this year.
Will the Growth Continue?
The near-23% growth in digital ad spend this year is not expected to be repeated in 2021. Instead, eMarketer estimates spending on B2B digital ads in 2021 will only grow by 10.9%, to reach $9.03 billion. That said, separate research from Gartner did find that, globally, two-thirds (68%) of CMOs of B2B enterprise companies expect that their digital advertising budgets will increase next year.
About the Data: eMarketer data includes internet advertising across all internet devices and includes ads such as Facebook’s News Feed Ads and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets.