Is Digital Marketing Important for B2B Businesses?

Why b2b digital marketing is important

There’s an idea that B2B businesses haven’t caught up. Still using marketing channels that were on offer 20 years ago, that don’t have the same effect as they used to.

As the world continues to grow into a more digital-focused environment, it’s critical that B2B businesses start to adopt more modern marketing channels.

Or in other words, introducing digital marketing into their marketing strategies.

Some B2B Businesses Still Favour Traditional Marketing

Digital marketing is full of new channels for marketers and understandably B2B businesses still favor traditional marketing. This isn’t a bad thing and traditional marketing channels still have a very important place in the B2B world. Especially when it comes to some very specific industries.

For example, construction, commercial real estate, and building supply companies rely heavily on trade magazines and trade shows to build brand awareness and this makes sense. Tradies and employees of large companies turn to trade magazines or trade shows to get their information on industry news and emerging brands.

But now, 97% of people will interact with a brand online before making a purchase. Whether this is looking at a business’s website, interacting with their company profile on LinkedIn or searching for reviews.

So it’s more important than ever that B2B businesses start to build an online presence.

Why B2B Businesses Should Shift to Digital Marketing

Let’s go over some key advantages that digital marketing offers over traditional marketing for B2B businesses.

Decrease Marketing Spend

Traditional marketing channels, such as TV ads, newspaper ads, and brochure dropping come with a heavy cost and can take months to actually launch.

A TV Ad alone will cost $10,000 – $20,000 just to get developed than can cost in the $10’s of thousands to run and offer’s no way of tracking whether it was successful or not.

CPM for b2b marketing channels
Photo from Lyfe Marketing

Brochure dropping is another popular method used by B2B businesses. This is where a B2B business will get a brochure developed and printed and then distributed by getting an employee to drive around to all relevant businesses to hand out. Not only is this expensive to design and print but they then need to pay someone to hand them out. After that, it could be months until you see any success and will most likely need to commit a lot of time following up.

Digital marketing channels are far greater than any of these channels. While it’s a new ecosystem to the marketing world, it offers a much better ROI compared to traditional marketing channels.

For comparison, the average CPM for a national TV ad is around $20.00, whereas the average CPM for Facebook ads comes in at $2.80.

Better Attribution and Data

A big issue with traditional marketing channels is their lack of attribution and lack of data to prove success.

If a B2B business is running a TV ad, magazine ads, and going to trade shows, they may see an uplift in conversions but they can’t identify which conversions are coming from where, unless they individually ask every single one.

With digital marketing channels, every lead can be attributed to an exact channel and all website traffic can be nailed down to the exact links they clicked in order to get to your website. Which can then be used by B2B digital marketers and business owners to develop a strategy that funnels money and time into the channels that are actually converting.

Improve Brand Image

With 4.5 billion internet users, B2B businesses have access to a much larger target market than they would with traditional marketing. Making it easier to grow leads, build awareness, and harness the potential of going global with a laptop, an internet connection and digital marketing.

We also mentioned that 97% of purchasers will use some form of a digital platform to research a company before they make a purchase. This could be looking at a companies website, social media pages, or reviews on Google or a review platform such as Capterra.

Digital marketing allows B2B businesses to start building a presence online for next to no cost using organic marketing strategies, like engaging on social media platforms or creating blog content to post on their website for SEO.

Increase Conversions

Like we spoke about above, digital marketing allows you to reach a far larger target market for much cheaper when compared to traditional marketing.

Most newspapers and magazines that were originally the staple for some industries are moving online and many more people are opting for Netflix or Stan rather than free-to-air TV to get their entertainment.

Conversation rate of digital marketing channels
Photo from Marketo

To give you an example, a magazine ad might cost around $10,000 and get your brand in front of 10,000 readers. Now, it’s important to note that the people reading the magazine will be highly engaged readers – if you’re advertising in a construction magazine, the readers will be interested in construction.

But there are many more questions that need to be answered – what’s their title, what management level are they, are they just juniors who got told to read it, are the people reading the content or looking to be sold to, and so on.

Whereas on say, LinkedIn, if you take that $10,000 and invest it in ads on the platform, with an average cost of $8.39 CPM, you could get in front of 10’s of thousands of people. Not only that but you could set your ads up to target a very specific profile. With the construction example, you could target someone who works at a construction company, has been there for 2 years, and is the Site Manager.

Having the ability to target this well, will allow you to get far more conversions than you would through traditional marketing.

And there you have it. While traditional marketing serves a very important role in some B2B industries, digital marketing should at least be introduced into your marketing strategy in order to stay competitive, reach greater target markets, and generate more conversions.

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