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eMarketer: US B2B digital ad spend soars 22.6%

In the silver linings department, we have an unlikely development: B2B digital ad spend is leading the charge. The disappearance of in-person events, and a pause in the use of traditional tactics, has led to significant digital growth – especially in the healthcare, tech and financial services categories.
B2B digital ad spend will hit $8.14bn, up 22.6% from 2019.
Comparatively, US digital ad spend, as a whole, will only rise 1.7% this year, to $134.66bn.
LinkedIn will secure a fifth of all B2B ad dollars in 2020.
However, the surge in these digital platforms and tactics can’t prevent overall US B2B ad spending from plummeting 9.6% to $21.42bn.
The leader of the B2B spending pack is tech products and services.
It makes up 29.6% of all B2B digital ad spend.
Up 37.2%, the category will account for $2.41bn in digital ad spend.
“They’re really upping their spend, because their products and services are enabling a lot of the digital transformation that we're talking about.”
The laptop, not mobile, becomes the hot spot
Year-over-year as of April, there has been a 5.3% uptick in desktop/laptop time spent.
Within this context, what are some of the tactics that are working?
Search: “As many B2B deals dried up, search has become a really good place to put dollars because it captures intent. You know that you're going to have an active buyer or someone who’s actively looking to educate themselves.”
LinkedIn: “Obviously social media is a big piece of this too. Like search, it was tried and true before the pandemic, but B2Bs are putting a lot more money there. We estimate, roughly, that LinkedIn will secure, roughly, a fifth of all US B2B digital ad dollars in 2020.”
B2B publishers: “They’ve really upped their game to make sure that they’re able to offer bespoke webinars and these virtual paid executions.”
Podcasts: “There was definitely a drop in that at the start of the pandemic, but we’re seeing that listenership starting to normalize.”
“And as you know, cookies are going away. To prepare for this, B2B advertisers should be focused on growing their first-party data set.”
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