US B2B Digital Advertising Trends

US B2B Digital Advertising Trends

Spend Will Exceed $6 Billion in 2019, but Market Still Lacks Maturity

Executive Summary

We estimate that since 2017, the business-to-business (B2B) digital advertising market in the US has grown by roughly $1 billion annually. Spending may be on the rise, but B2B companies have been slow to shift dollars to digital ads. Many still lack the foundational data and technology to successfully leverage digital.

How much are B2B companies in the US spending on digital advertising?

This year, B2B companies in the US will spend $6.08 billion on digital advertising, up 18.7% year over year, according to our latest forecast.

What percentage of digital advertising is mobile vs. desktop for B2Bs?

While more than 70% of total US digital ad dollars will go to mobile formats in 2019, the B2B split isn’t as mobile-heavy. In fact, we estimate US B2Bs will spend just 37.3%—$2.27 billion—of their digital ad dollars on mobile placements in 2019. The remaining 62.7% will be spent on ads appearing on desktop, laptop and other internet-connected devices. We do not foresee a tipping point where B2Bs will allocate more than half of their ad spend to mobile.

How is LinkedIn impacting the B2B digital ad market?

LinkedIn accounts for roughly one-fifth of all US B2B digital ad dollars, making it a primary market growth driver. We forecast that $1.25 billion will go to LinkedIn in 2019. On LinkedIn, the mobile share of spend is on par with desktop/laptop, making it a good place to reach more mobile buyers.

What is driving growth in US B2B digital advertising?

Many B2B companies are still buying media directly through publishers and finding success with content sponsorships, native ads and podcasts. As measurement improves and companies become more organizationally aligned (i.e. getting marketing and sales teams on the same page), investment in digital ads will grow. Advanced B2Bs are being more deliberate in their audience targeting focusing on account and people-based targeting, programmatic and personalized content sequencing.

What challenges must B2B advertisers still overcome?

Advanced tactics are only possible with the right foundation of tech and data. Therefore, hiring the right skill sets internally and focusing on data and technology are hurdles that must be overcome for buyers to pump more ad dollars into many of the aforementioned digital advertising tactics.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features the December 2018 update to our US B2B digital ad spending forecast. It also explores the trends that are driving (and preventing) increased spend in 2019 and beyond.

KEY STAT: This year, US B2B companies will spend over $6 billion dollars on digital advertising, up 18.7% from 2018 according to our December 2018 forecast.

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Jillian Ryan


Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Lauren Fisher
Principal Analyst
Oscar Orozco
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Peter Vahle