While B2C companies still drive the majority of digital advertising spending, B2B companies are following suit. New data from eMarketer estimates that B2B advertisers will spend $4.07 billion on U.S. digital advertising in 2017. That spend is expected to jump 13% to $4.6 billion in 2018. Desktops and laptops attract the majority of B2B digital ad dollars – an anticipated $2.54 billion in 2017. However, mobile spend is increasing every year, and is projected to reach $1.53 billion this year alone.
Some promotional products companies are seeing this digital spend increase firsthand. Kat Magner, partner at Canary Marketing (asi/156455), thinks the digital ad segment has been clearly growing over the past five years. “We are continuing to onboard new clients within the digital marketing and advertising vertical,” Magner said. “We are also seeing our media partners and our digital advertising and marketing platform clients getting ready for big growth in 2018, which means they anticipate more digital ad dollars coming their way.”
In terms of its own marketing, Magner says that Canary Marketing has approached digital marketing a few different ways. First and foremost, she says, maintaining a modern and relevant website is vital for credibility. “When new clients find Canary, we make sure they are instantly impressed. We guide them to the site with AdWords campaigns, good SEO and social media promotions,” Magner said.
Conversely, Kevin Mullaney, vice president at Brandito (asi/325944), has found digital advertising to be a failed investment. He says his company spent $5,000 on its first digital ad in a local online publication earlier this year.
“When we talk about ROI being tough to track in the promotional products space, I would find the same to be true in the digital advertisement world,” Mullaney said. “I'm not going to say that we were duped, but we had zero responses. Our advertisement yielded no new leads, and we never received any type of reporting for click-through rates, views, etc. It was a really frustrating experience for us with our first investment.”
Mullaney says the company would have been better off sponsoring a local event or handing out promotional products and apparel to its target demographics. “Digital is mission critical in today’s world, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing quite like good old word of mouth reputation marketing to grow a small business,” Magner said.