B2B Mixology: Paid Search Is Top Channel And TV Use Is Growing, Email Near Bottom

Paid search is now the biggest piece of the B2B marketing mix, according to AccessB2B Survey Topline Report, a study from Stirista, conducted by Thrive Analytics.  

Of marketers polled, 56% say paid search is a key component of their mix, getting a larger share of their overall marketing spend. 

Online display/video is second, with 44% saying so. And 25% report the same about television, connected TV (CTV), and over-the-top (OTT).

What’s more, 54% would use CTV and OTT if they had the necessary analytics to target the audience and monitor campaign performance.

Agencies are the biggest users of CTV and OTT, and 100% of those that do not plan to add it. 

Email is far down the list, with 16% describing it as a key component.

Another 33% say email is a part of their current mix, just less significant than other channels. However, 39% are not using email. Another 12% plan to start using it.

This is the media mix outlook as B2B brands look forward to a cookieless future. They expect that these activities will be affected by the loss of cookies: 

  • Website analytics — 86%
  • Targeted advertising — 76%
  • Data integrations and leveraging third-party data — 67%
  • Website personalization — 64%
  • Monetizing my data — 39% 



In line with this is the difficulty in onboarding data. Of the respondents, 42% are concerned the loss of cookies will impact onboarding and digital audience targeting as a whole. 

Critical factors for onboarding include scale (85%), match rate (81%) and overlays of third-party data (71%). Only 30% have a data provider targeting their first-party data.

"As we look ahead to a cookie-less future, the availability of cookie-free solutions for data onboarding and digital audience targeting is an area of significant concern as well as opportunity," says Will Kunkel, Stirista vice president of marketing.

Another issue is measurement, including that of email. The most relevant indicators are:

  • Campaign response (ex. Open rate/click-through rate) — 92%
  • Conversion (ex. Sign-ups, downloads ) — 86%
  • Site visits (i.e., individual level site visits) — 59%
  • Account engagement (i.e., account level site visits) — 43%
  • Other — 7%

Campaign measurement is rated the most relevant metric by 92% overall, including 100% in the business service sector, 97% in transportation, and 93% in the agency field. 

Conversions are second, with 86% of the overall total, and site visits (86%). 

One more issue is the shift to working from home. But 58% feel that has not affected advertising reach. As might be expected, those in the transportation industry are most likely to foresee a major impact. 

Stirista surveyed 225 executives at B2B organizations with annual revenues of more than $100 million from February 17-March 3, 2022. 



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