Mike Miller works closely with business-to-business (B2B) marketers across a variety of industry verticals—ranging from oil/energy and manufacturing/industrial to business services—that are using Google’s digital platforms in order to advertise. He spoke with eMarketer’s Tobi Elkin for the B2B Perspective Series about trends he’s seeing in the B2B marketing space.
eMarketer: What digital platforms and advertising services are Google’s B2B customers using?
Mike Miller: We still see a very strong orientation around search. We see some customers using display advertising and some moving into social, although they’re still trying to figure some of that out. We’ve also seen some customers starting to make use of video platforms. For us, that’s YouTube. Mobile is also a theme, although that cuts across each of those platforms.
We did some research last year with Compete, and we saw a sea change in terms of internet usage within the B2B space. Typically, you see incremental change from one year to the next, but in our research we saw a jump from 71% usage in 2011 to 88% in 2012 in terms of researching business purchases in the B2B space. That is a huge jump in one year. We also asked B2B marketers how they’ve used search to research business purchases and saw a 23% change year over year—it went from 67% of B2B marketers who relied on search for their business purchases to 90%.
The 2013 Emerging Markets Mobile Attitudes Report from marketing technology company Upstream, which commissioned YouGov and Vanson Bourne to poll the views of a representative sample of 3,670 adults in Brazil, India, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, revealed that while Apple’s success in the West has been predominately shaped by its premium brand status, the door is open for others such as Nokia to stake its claim on the emerging market audience.
The report reveals that Apple (21 per cent) only secures third place on emerging market consumers’ wish lists – after Samsung (32 per cent) and Nokia (22 per cent). Despite its recent decline in Western markets, Nokia has been named the brand most Nigerians would like to own (37 per cent), and second favourite in Brazil after Samsung. While an appetite for high-end smartphone devices exists throughout emerging markets – 16 per cent willing to spend more than $450 on a device – the report finds that brand desirability cannot guarantee success in these new markets. The report reveals that almost a third of consumers (27 per cent) with less purchasing power will ultimately bypass their favourite brands and buy devices with similar functionality, but at a cheaper price.
Marketers should not overlook traditional marketing in the rush to become digital-led businesses as the majority of consumers currently find brands’ online efforts ‘annoying’, ‘invasive’’ and ‘distractive’, a report suggests. Adobe’s “Click Here: State of Online Advertising” study found consumers still prefer “old school” – print, TV, outdoor – advertising to newer online channels, suggesting brands have “a lot of work to do” to capture consumer attention in the digital world.
Print magazines were voted the most popular advertising medium (39 per cent of the poll) in the UK, ahead of TV ads (23 per cent) and websites (12 per cent).
The popularity of print magazines seems to be at odds with where marketers are placing their spend. Ad expenditure on print magazine brands fell 9.4 per cent year on year in 2012 to £1.1bn, according to the latest quarterly AA/Warc report. “Internet spend” – which excludes digital ad spend on news and magazine brands – grew 13.2 per cent year on year at £5.2bn.
Some seven in 10 consumers (70 per cent) said they thought TV ads are “more important” than online ads, particularly those from John Lewis and Guinnes.
IDC claims BRICs to account for 60% of smartphone, tablet and PC shipments to developing economies.
Shipments of smartphones, tablets and PCs to emerging markets will reach 1 billion units in 2014, predicted IDC on Monday.
On a global basis, the research firm expects smart connected device volumes to exceed 1.7 billion units next year, and for overall annual shipment value to near $700 billion. Smartphones and tablets will represent $500 billion of that total, while PCs will account for less than $200 billion.
“It is evident that smartphones and tablets have successfully established a strong presence as the second screen, owing to the transformation in usage patterns, device affordability, and, most of all, the comfort of a mobile and digital lifestyle,” said IDC research analyst Megha Saini, in a statement.
Vendors certainly know the true value of what they are vending, but when they seek to convince business buyers of the value, the buyers become suspicious.
According to “Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field,” a new study from the CMO Council and NetLine, business buyers belittle vendors and give much higher marks for content trustworthiness to professional organizations and industry groups, whose information is considered more usable and relevant.
“Buyers are not happy with vendors,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, in an interview with CMO.com. “Their content [tends to be] overtechnical, product-centric, and self-serving”–and buyers sense this. Neale-May said B2B marketers annually invest $16.6 billion in digital content publishing, used primarily to produce leads.
The report surveyed more than 400 business buyers across a wide range of global industries and other disciplines. It found a critical need for marketing organizations to bring more discipline and strategic thinking to content specification, delivery, and analytics.
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IDC found that there are clear patterns of marketing investment and behavior that distinguish marketing Leaders from those that are marketing Challenged. Taking into account differences that exist between different company sizes, industry segments, and business models, IDC identified three factors that most differentiate marketing Leaders from those that are marketing Challenged.