Effectiveness of B2B Online Display Advertising Questioned

According to a new report from Forrester, summarized by MarketingProfs, only 13% of B2B interactive marketers say they have increased online display budgets in 2011 relative to 2010 levels, in large part due to perceptions of ineffectiveness.

71% of B2B marketers surveyed say they used display advertising during the fourth quarter of 2010, whereas 86% of B2C marketers reported doing so.

Attitudes toward online display are negative, particularly toward ad exchanges, DSPs (demand-side platforms), and ad networks:

  •  27% of B2B marketers say they anticipate increased effectiveness of display advertising via exchanges over the next three years
  •  21% expect increased effectiveness of display media via DSPs over the next three years
  • 16% expect increased effectiveness of display ads via ad networks over the next three years

Given lengthy and complex purchase cycles, says the report, most B2B marketers focus display efforts on increasing brand awareness, lead generation, reaching key target audiences, and driving direct sales.

Primary Objectives (Top 3) for Online Display Media Advertising


% of Respondents

Increase brand awareness


Lead generation


Reaching key target audience


Driving direct sales


Increase engagement


Increase loyalty


Increase site visits


Increase brand favorability


Drive customer lifetime value


Align with offline media buys


Drive in-store sales


Source: Forrester Research, Dec. 2010 Executive Panel Survey, March 2011

Only 20% of marketers focus display efforts on increasing site visits (e.g., using campaigns to drive clicks to lead-securing and nurturing opportunities such as webinars, whitepapers, and virtual events). Still fewer marketers focus display efforts on driving brand favorability (17%) and customer lifetime value (14%), observes the report. 

To access the complete report, Making Online Display Marketing Work for B2B, from Forrester please visit here.

1 comment about "Effectiveness of B2B Online Display Advertising Questioned ".
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  1. Mike Kelly from LIN Media, April 1, 2011 at 9:05 a.m.

    I would have expected the headline to read..."Effectiveness of B2B Has Room for Improvement" - A quick review of both their creative and media strategies point to a guarantee of lower CTRs and networks are spray and pray with little back end transparancy..on the client side, their lack of focus on increasing site traffic and compelling creative leave them relying on impressions only without leveraging the best benefit of walk a prospect into your virtual business. Local media websites are the natural place for B2B....the bulk of their users M-F are in business environments. We, as an industry, have a responsibility to help B2B create the right message in the right place.

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