Internet Ad Revenue for Q1 Hits $8.4 Billing Achieving Record Growth

With the improvement of the economy, online ad spending continues to grow.

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Internet advertising revenue hit $8.4 billion for the first three months of 2012, an increase of some 15 percent over the same period in 2011. The figure is reportedly the largest Q1 revenue that both IAB and PC have measured dating back to their first recordings in 1996.

David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers U.S., noted “The year-over-year growth between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012 sets quite a milestone. Moreover, a 15 percent increase over the comparable period in 2011 is a solid affirmation the Internet is delivering on its promise to attract consumers and the advertising dollars that follow.”

According to Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO, IAB “Marketers and agencies are clearly–and wisely–investing dollars to reach digitally connected consumers.”

Digital video advertising — which the IAB includes as a portion of display advertising — witnessed solid growth as well, increasing 29% from $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion. As a whole, display spending grew 15% in 2011 from $9.6 billion to $11.1 billion.

Search advertising witnessed even larger gains, increasing 27% from $11.7 billion to $14.8 billion. It continued to represent the biggest proportion of online ad spend: at 46.5%, up from 44.8% in 2010. That increase came at the expense of display, which declined from 37% in 2010 to 34.8% last year.

What’s Your Game Plan to Grow Your Lead Generation?

With the halfway point of 2012, coming up next month, B2B marketers should look at several items in order to be sure they are doing everything possible to increase their advertising sales lead generation. Among them:

  • Let your headlines and content speak – The content you put both on your Web site and emails needs to give customers a call to action.
  • Consider special offers – Buyers like deals, so make them available where and whenever possible.. Also keep in mind who you are sending the offers to so that you’re delivering relevant offers.
  • Make sure forms are up to date – If you have the consumer going to a form page on your site, be sure that it is easy to navigate and is short and sweet if requesting the consumer to fill it out.
  • Utilize social media – It is still rather amazing how many B2B companies are not taking advantage of all social media has to offer. Be sure that you have exposure on the main players such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for starters. If you are on such sites already, analyze the metrics to see how often you are using the sites, what kind of follow rate you are getting, and who exactly is following your company.

As some signs point to a recovering economy, what will Q2 say about your B2B online advertising efforts?

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Corporate Marketers’ Need to Zero In on Communication (Part 2)

As more and more B2B companies are discovering, the role played by the corporate marketer has a big impact on the success of the business.

That thinking is further supported by a recent report from the Institute for the Study of Business Markets at Penn State University and Illinois-based marketing agency Blue Canyon Partners.

Moving on from the first part of the study, this research centered on ongoing talks with B2B marketers, identified the 10 best practices for corporate B2B marketers.

Points six through 10 include:

6. Teach and Communicate – Corporate marketing must take advantage of the opportunity to bring a common language of the marketing discipline to their firm. In B2B firms, oftentimes the whole concept of “marketing” is quite misunderstood. Corporate marketing must facilitate common language and learning throughout the business, and take accountability for communicating what marketing is all about.

The success of the majority of messaging programs starts with the company’s own employees and close-in stakeholders. They are responsible for ensuring that their colleagues know of corporate-wide changes taking place, whether fundamental changes in the firm’s business model or changes tied to new corporate marketing communication efforts. Providing information regarding the changes permits for internal build buy-in to the new directions. They assist employees in answering questions from customers and suppliers, because, as many business-to-business marketers know, third parties are more apt to first turn to employees to obtain answers.

7. Drive Internal Integration – Corporate marketing must also form cross-functional integration, which is absolutely necessary in executing marketing plans. They understand that good marketing plans are not developed and then “handed off” to other functions. Good marketing plans incorporate tight integration with numerous functions throughout the corporation – most especially the sales function – as they’re developed.  Marketers get inputs from finance, operations, research and design, engineering, corporate communications, and other functions as plans are developed.  They are vigilant in connecting marketing plans to the major functions that will implement or execute them.

8. Communicate during a Crisis – Along with the public relations department, corporate marketing owns the responsibility for the company’s communications during a time of crisis.  Due to the fact crises often impact customers, suppliers, distributors, and other constituents, it’s very important that a well-coordinated crisis communication plan, with protocols and practiced processes, is set up in advance of a crisis. Marketing assists to plan, design and resource this process, and is an important cog in the crisis team when a situation arises.

9. Introduce New-to-the-World Trends and Tools – Companies that are passionate when it comes to deeply understanding new trends, new ideas, and new tools rely on corporate marketing to bring this learning to the table in a balanced and actionable way. These topics can include the need to understand global changes, assess the economic outlook, address technology trends, think on the implications of new business model concepts, stay up to speed on changes in the competitive environment, etc. From recent social networking phenomena to the economic global shifts underway in the 21st century, corporate marketing must put together a forum so that this information can be leveraged and spread throughout the corporation, and assist businesses deal with concepts that might well first appear to be “out in left field”, but which in truth can profoundly impact on success down the road.

10. Understand Marketing Funding and Measurement - Corporate marketing functions move through a number of maturity levels as to how they’re funded, and how their success is measured.

If the funding model for the corporate marketing function involves ongoing cycles of justification with business units, all of whom contribute to the corporate marketing function budget (by way of an allocation or what is often viewed as a “tax”), the real leverage of this function is greatly limited.  While this methodology does ensure ongoing contact with the business units, this model can often lead to on-going wasteful discussions and a corporate function whose fate increases and decreases with the state of the economy, and business-unit-specific politics.

When a corporate matching fund is deployed well, it enhances connection between the corporate and business unit functions, greases the skids of execution, and can result in healthy synergistic relationships.


In conclusion, in the B2B environment corporate marketing must bring superior competencies, stronger processes, crisper language and brand direction to the forefront.  The move toward world-class corporate marketing takes time and investment, but involves a path that does not detour into the long-term parking lot. By zeroing in on the Top 10 best practices described, a corporate marketing leader can start a journey toward contributing enormously to the enterprise’s goals.

As a B2B marketer, are you willing and able to try and tie some of these principles into your pay-per-click campaigns and lead generation?

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Corporate Marketer’s Role Ever-Increasing for Successful B2B Companies

As more and more B2B companies are discovering, the role played by the corporate marketer has a big impact on the success of the business.

That thinking is further supported by a recent report from the Institute for the Study of Business Markets at Penn State University and Illinois-based marketing agency Blue Canyon Partners.

The study, centered on ongoing talks with B2B marketers, identified the 10 best practices for corporate B2B marketers:

1. Drive Marketing Planning – Corporate marketing drives a systematic approach for developing company-wide marketing plans. Closely tied with their business unit colleagues, the corporate marketing leader heads the approach to engineer the planning process, and constructs the tool sets to back the marketing planning effort. This framework involves an understanding as the way to go about addressing a number of planning options. Those options include decision “rights” at different levels of the organization, expectations as to the level of detail that is necessary, promulgation of the tools to be used within the corporation, templates illustrating the recommended approach to plan design, etc.

2. Be the Brand Steward – Corporate marketing takes care of the corporate brand.  Custodianship starts with clearly articulating what the firm wants its corporate brand to mean, and putting together the tools, techniques, and training to communicate this to all constituent audiences. In today’s business-to-business environment, the brand is reinforced and maintained via numerous employees of the firm.

Going past setting corporate brand direction, corporate marketing also involves setting the ground rules on the use of the corporate brand, nurturing and protecting the master brand, and offering overall quality control, brand architecture, and decision making relating to building the corporation’s brand equity. This includes creating frameworks for how to handle brand transitions (for new product development, for acquisitions, for sun-setting brands, etc.) along with measuring and monitoring brand equity (e.g., brand assessments, customer satisfaction, etc.);

3. Ensure that Voice of the Customer Informs Business Strategy -  When corporate leadership wants to update, re-think, or re-establish the fundamental strategy of the business, corporate marketing needs to have major involvement in this endeavor.  Marketing represents the voice of the market and customer as business strategies are put together, as goals are set, and as opportunities for growth – both organic and inorganic – are talked about.  This can include the formation of a clear and genuinely differentiated statement of the mission and vision of the firm, but goes past that.

The voice of the customer championed by corporate marketing should be viewed by executives as very important to assisting build market-driven differentiated strategy;

4. Train and Develop Marketing Talent - Corporate marketing must partner with human resources to recruit, hire, on-board, train, and develop career paths for talented marketing professionals. Marketing leaders establish career paths that enable marketers to have a well-rounded view of the company, and that bring a marketing point of view – and marketing talent – into key positions throughout the firm.  These companies aspire to have a marketing career ladder, much like the “technical ladder” where senior technical people can move to a greater level of responsibility and impact, as individual contributors.

A large number of firms that do not reach the level of world-class business-to-business firms sometimes “park” executives in the corporate marketing role, if they have no other logical place go.  Stronger organizations understand that a person with an engineering background, but with no particular skill, talent, or understanding of marketing may not always be the best choice to be positioned into a senior marketing role. Progressive companies include marketing positions as part of the must-have stepping stones for fast track managers.

5. Deploy Specialist Teams - Marketing specialists can run the gamut. A number of organizations form enterprise shared services.

Other marketing organizations have put together SWAT teams that are deployable resources with strong, practical marketing competencies. These teams are often wanted by business unit leaders to take care of strategic problems or address special opportunities that might come about. These resources are called in routinely to assist with growth challenges that the business leaders face.  They are trusted advisers who can see past obstacles, take a broader view, and provide a focused team of talented professionals, beyond what a business unit may be able to find (or fund) in the normal course of business.

These issues can include needing a plan to grow into adjacent markets, to grow quicker than the market, or to reposition a brand that is dealing with a crisis.  This team is not empowered to simply be the arms and legs and extra resources for the business unit; instead, the goal of the team is to give the whole corporation a leveraging effect by working with business units on the big matters that can yield positive ramifications throughout the entire company.

Editor’s note: Look for Part 2 (steps 6 through 10) in Friday’s post.