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Oct 27, 2008

B2B Marketing and Social Media Use

Significant New-Media Platform Use by B2B Marketers

“New” media platforms have become a critical and sizeable component of the marketing mix for B2B marketers, according to a new survey conducted by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) and BtoB Magazine in partnership with Guideline Inc.

One-third of B2B firms surveyed reported spending more than 20% of their total media budget in new media, whereas only 5% of B2C firms surveyed did the same.

The bulk of new media spending for B2B marketers are for more established platforms, including the company’s own website and email marketing.

The survey, “Harnessing the Power of New Media Platforms,” explores the 15 new media platforms in the B2B market, including social networks, user-generated content, podcasts, and blogging, as well as the seminal platforms such as proprietary websites and email marketing.

Addressing issues relating to B2B marketing, the study also found that based on current usage rates, new media platform categories fall into three distinct tiers:

  • Top Tier: Proprietary websites, email marketing, Online Ads, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Webinars
  • Middle Tier: Blogs, RSS Feeds, Podcasts, Video On Demand
  • Bottom Tier: Wikis, Mobile, Viral Video, Social Networks, Second Life

About 50% of B2B marketers report that the two established channels - their own website and email marketing - will be where most new media dollars are allocated. Given their levels of penetration, top tier platforms will continue to garner the lion’s share of spending on new media.

For B2B marketers, the primary objective for the use of top tier platforms is for “demand generation,” reserving the use of middle and bottom tier channels for “brand building.”

Although penetration levels vary widely across the specific platforms, the survey found that B2B marketers are increasing their use of middle tier media, which should attain at least 50% penetration in the B2B market.

The bottom tier platforms will show strong rates of growth this year, but will not reach a 50% penetration level, according to the study.

The average planned increase for new-media platform spending by B2B companies for 2007 is 11.5%, and only 3% of B2B respondents said they would spend less on new media this year, writes BtoB Online.

About the survey: More than 145 B2B marketers participated in this survey, comprising the ANA’s Brand Leadership Community panel member and BtoB Magazine subscribers. With the objective to explore the dynamics of 15 new media platforms in the B2B market, the research addressed marketers’ current and intended usage of new media platforms, spending, measurement/ROI, resource allocation, and integration with other elements of the communications mix.

B2B Marketers Prefer Blogs, RSS, Podcasts among Web 2.0 Tools

Web 2.0 is transforming B2B marketing with blogs, podcasts, wikis and social networks, which are serving as new way of communicating with customers, prospects and partners, according to “The B2B Web 2.0 Tools Report” issued by Direct Impact Marketing and Buzz Marketing for Technology blog.

B2B marketers have adopted blogs and RSS more than other Web 2.0 tools such as wikis, according to the report; moreover, smaller marketers - the Davids among the Goliaths - are at the forefront: Some three-quarters of surveyed marketers that have deployed Web 2.0 tools are in companies of 10,000 or fewer people.

Some other findings from “The B2B Web 2.0 Tools Report”:

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents use blogs, 58% use RSS feeds, followed by podcasts (54%), videocasts (43%), social networks and communities (42%) and wikis (19%).


  • The most frequently noted blogging services were WordPress (35%) and Blogger (30%), followed by TypePad (19%).
  • Users’ favorite RSS readers are those offered by Mozilla Firefox (23%), MyYahoo (20%) and Bloglines (17%).

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