Television remains a key advertising strategy for B2C, while B2B leans more toward digital channels

TV advertising is still the primary focus of marketing efforts for nearly one quarter (22 per cent) of US enterprises who indicated that TV is their number-one priority channel. Further, 85 per cent of companies have a website, and almost 80 per cent are active on social media according to the results of a recent study released today by B2B research firm Clutch and marketing agency R2integrated (R2i).

marketing channels used in the enterprise
marketing channels in the enterprise

The findings strongly suggest that while many enterprise companies depend on digital as part of their multi-channel approach — in an effort to be where their customers are — they also rely significantly on traditional forms of advertising such as TV.

"Marketers recognize a need to be fully integrated and not ignore traditional media as a way of reaching their intended audience," said Mark Sneider, owner and president of business development firm RSW/US. "They know digital is important and their agency is talking about it and pushing them there, but they continue to value what TV can do for the brand as one component of an entire marketing program."

Additionally, traditional channels like print, TV and radio are more common among B2C marketers whereas content marketing is increasingly the domain for B2B marketers. Additionally, there are distinctions in the type of buyer making a consumer purchase and in B2B buying, the sales cycle is longer and more complex.

"B2B buyers often follow a buying pattern heavy with research. For any enterprise B2B purchase, the investment is generally significant and there are layers of stakeholders and personas involved in the process," said Natalie Staines, director of marketing R2i. "Content plays a key role in each phase of the buying journey due to its duration and complexity."

The importance of digital is not lost on enterprises, even as they set their sights on TV exposure. Brand awareness is evidently a key driver for developing the multi-channel approach as nearly 35 per cent of marketers surveyed say that brand awareness is their top strategic priority.

Those enterprises that integrate their TV advertising message into a continuous experience across their online presence tend to report the most return on investment, according to industry insiders.

"Today's buyers expect what they see, hear, or experience on one channel to relate to their next experience with the brand," said Natalie Staines, Director of Marketing at R2i. "Research shows spikes in searches and social engagements, and sometimes direct purchases following TV advertising so it's up to the marketer to be prepared to extend the TV experience into those other channels."

The 2016 Enterprise Marketing Survey also addressed how companies work with marketing agencies and marketing technology platforms. The study involved 500 marketers at US companies with 500+ employees. About half of the survey respondents come from companies with 1000+ employees, and 88% are manager level or higher.