With an extra focus on mobile marketing to reach buyers in the workplace, B2B marketers will increase their spending on digital advertising by 13% next year to approach $5 billion, a new study says.

Business-to-business advertisers are sharpening their online efforts to reach buyers wherever they happen to be in their work environment, marketing research firm eMarketer says in a study released yesterday.

At many B2B companies, the media mix is evolving, with a stronger emphasis on digital buying.
Jillian Ryan, analyst

In its inaugural forecast of spending in the United States on B2B digital advertising, eMarketer projects that marketers will spend $4.60 billion next year, up 13% from its estimated $4.07 billion in 2017. “At many B2B companies, the media mix is evolving, with a stronger emphasis on digital buying and placement than in the past,” eMarketer analyst Jillian Ryan says.

She adds that the increase in digital ad spend is being led “mostly by big-spending, high-tech B2B companies.”

The sharpest growth in B2B digital ad spending, however, is in the ads that appear on buyers’ smartphones and other mobile devices, the research firm says. It projects that spending on B2B mobile ads will jump 25% next year to reach $1.91 billion, up from $1.53 billion in 2017, as B2B mobile ads increase to 41.5% of total B2B ad spend from 37.6%.

B2B ads on desktop and latptop computers, however, will continue to account for well over half of digital ad spend—at least for now, eMarketer says. It projects that ads on desktops and laptops will increase 8.9% year over year this year to $2.54 billion, and 6% next year to $2.69 billion.


EMarketer says its figures on B2B digital ad spend includes “the advertising of products and services to businesses and other organizations for use in the production of goods, business operations and resale,” but not advertising targeted at individual consumers. Its figures also includes ads that run in social media, such as ads placed on Facebook and Twitter.

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