The leading categories for B-to-B revenue growth were "building, engineering and construction," which jumped about 8 percent--followed by "automotive" and "resources, environment, and utility," which both grew about 7.9 percent.
Mirroring the broader market, the big winner in terms of delivery was the Internet--a development that seems to confirm two recent reports: a study by Forrester Research performed for American Business Media, called "The B2B Digital Marketing Shift," and a study by Harris Interactive.
Harris reported that 49 percent of business executives said a B-to-B Web site led them to recommend a product to their organization, and 35 percent said they had made business purchases online. Harris based its report on a survey of 588 executives in 21 different business areas.
The Internet appears to work best in conjunction with trade shows, noted the Harris study. Seventy-seven percent of Harris respondents said trade shows drove them to find more information about products or services on the Internet. Plus, direct personal contact appears to be the most effective means of reaching executives. According to Harris, 70 percent of the study respondents said interactions with company reps at industry functions caused them to make or recommend a purchase to their company.