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.
Recently I’ve been helping one of my clients redesign its online presence. As we all know, our website is our brand’s front door – just as important, if not more so, than our company’s physical presence. It’s how potential clients learn more about our brand, and where existing clients will go to stay connected with us. When executed well, a great B2B website can do the job of 100 salespeople, scaling your message to the masses and helping drive loads of revenue. They can help with retention, upselling, and help facilitate customer service. So, why are so many of them so terrible?
In general, a great B2B website does five things:
1. Gets users the information they came for quickly. Ad specs, contact info, you name it. Run a survey with your visitors – or look at your Google Analytics to see which pages generate the most engagement – to determine the reason they’re coming to your site; put those items in a location that’s easily accessible, like the footer.
Nearly half of revenue of 550 leading media and entertainment companies comes from digital sales
For traditional media companies fighting to stay on top in the internet age it may no longer be a case of forgoing analog dollars in favor of digital pennies just to stay ahead of the pack. Media and entertainment companies say that 47 percent of their overall revenues currently come from digital products, according to a new report by professional services firm Ernst & Young. Further, they project that by 2015 a majority of their income, or 57 percent, will be generated from digital sales.
“The media and entertainment industry has been on a digital journey for quite some time, but when you drill down into the data in advertising, in social media, in film and in broadcast and cable, you see that the digital transition isn’t this thing of tomorrow to keep in the back of the mind, it’s here,” John Nendick, Ernst & Young’s global head of media and entertainment, said.