In 2017, for the first time in history, digital advertising will exceed television advertising in total media ad spending in the United States.
Why does this matter to B2B companies? It is yet another sign of a generational shift. The share of millennial B2B buyers continues to grow, and it’s well established that this generation favors digital over traditional TV as well as print.
Digital is just one factor to consider when allocating annual budget dollars to marketing, public relations, and advertising. The nature and size of your business will ultimately drive the need and amount of marketing to reach your target audience effectively and evoke a behavior change.
However, the trend toward digital will continue to gain momentum.
Digital is outperforming traditional.
The Marketing Budgets 2016 Report from Econsultancy, which analyzes trends in traditional and digital marketing, indicated that companies’ marketing budgets are consistent year after year except for the shift of marketing dollars from traditional advertising (print, radio, TV) to digital (search, display, video, social, etc.).
For example, residential and commercial contractors traditionally relied heavily on word-of-mouth and print advertising. But as user engagement continues to rise online and B2B decision-maker demographics shift, these industries will need to tap into digital to reach their audience.
Marketing budgets for digital will only increase over time.
Forrester Research estimates 35 percent of marketing budgets will be allocated to digital by 2019. This is an increase from 29 percent in 2014. Search engine marketing will capture the largest share of digital spend.
Google Adwords is expected to increase 75 percent by August 2017, mobile by 73 percent, and display (banner ads, video, etc.) by 39 percent, according to eMarketer.
Digital will surpass cable and broadcast TV combined in 2017.
Digital will transform the media mix.
With this huge shift to digital channels, companies need to be aware of the effects this will have on their media mix for 2017 and beyond. For example, companies that primarily sell through ecommerce websites should include more digital capabilities in their marketing campaign, while companies that depend on sales from both offline and online need to have a heavy mix of both.
Marketers can leverage available data such as customer insights and target research to build a robust digital strategy that will deliver the best value and results for your company. Because digital is extremely targeted and trackable, you are able to get the best use out of your marketing budget. With the help of your agency, you can define clear measurable goals, execute a digital strategy, measure, and optimize, making each dollar truly count.