UK B2B Marketing Blogs

Where will your advertising spend be going on in the future? A new report suggests it may be wise to redirect it to mobile. 

Zenith, the media agency and data specialists, has released the latest edition of its Advertising Expenditure Forecasts. It predicts that mobile advertising will account for 30.5% of global ad spend by 2020 – a staggering growth of 21% per year.   

The surprising numbers continue… mobile advertising expenditure is expected to hit $187bn in 2020, which is just $5bn behind the spend forecast for TV. At this current rate of growth, Zenith predicts that, in 2021, mobile will finally nick the advertising throne that television has occupied for so long, despite some saying that mobile advertising is yet to be fully exploited.  

Vittorio Bonori, Global Brand President at Zenith, sums it up perfectly: ‘The mobile device in our pockets is becoming the gateway to our media world but its brand-building capabilities are still in question.’ 

One thing’s for sure: there are exciting times ahead for our advertising landscape.

What do Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify and Jaguar Land Rover have in common? They all offer subscriptions.

Wait… Jaguar Land Rover?

That’s right: JLR has become the latest car manufacturer (after BMW and Porsche) to offer petrolheads the opportunity to get a new vehicle every year through a subscription service.

‘Carpe’ was devised by InMotion Ventures and costs from £910 per month, allowing high-mileage drivers to bag the latest model on an annual basis. Some commentators have even compared it to a smartphone contract.

Sebastien Peck, managing director of InMotion Ventures, said: ‘For people who love driving premium vehicles but are tired of inflexible contracts, a subscription to Carpe is the solution. We aim to give our customers as much flexibility, freedom and choice as we can.’

Carpe is expected to roll out across Europe if it proves popular in America.


Advertisers who use augmented reality (AR) have achieved another breakthrough by securing a global platform: world football.

During the England v Costa Rica warm-up game, adverts around the perimeter of the pitch were specific to the UK (which ITV viewers could see). In a bit of tech magic, adverts for other countries were superimposed via Virtual Replacement Technology on a feed going out to other parts of the globe. Not only did this mean better targeting of adverts, the Football Association got to sell more advertising spots too. 

Tom Gracey, Senior Broadcast Manager of the FA said: ‘Perimeter LED displays have become a fundamental platform for activating brand partnerships in sport, so the ability to change that message to make it relevant for different fans around the world is hugely appealing.’ 

Here's to more innovations with AR in the advertising landscape. 

The Belgian Entertainment Association has come up with a very clever way to deal with movie piracy: sabotaging the files. 

In a country where all foreign movies are subtitled and never dubbed, accurate subs are essential to the Belgian movie-watching experience. So when someone illegally downloads a movie, they download the corresponding subtitle file too, which can be loaded onto the video. These fan-made text files are open to anybody wishing to improve them… or completely ruin.

One can only imagine the frustration when a sneaky pirate relaxes with the latest Hollywood blockbuster only to find the subtitles have been hijacked with (and we're pretty sure Mr L. Jackson doesn't say this): ‘Just watch legal, punk-ass.’ As the viewer watches on, they’re hit with more and more withering lines from the Belgian Entertainment Association.

You might as well just go to the cinema.

There’s too much plastic in our oceans. We all want to find ways to prevent this, but what if an additional solution is to use the debris? 

American Express has teamed up with environmentalists Parley to raise awareness of our big plastic problem. As part of this campaign, Amex has announced plans to launch the first-ever credit card created from recovered ocean plastic. 

Still in its prototype phase, the upcycled card is set to be released to customers within 12 months. Amex is also planning 'a comprehensive waste reduction strategy’ to reduce single-use plastic in its global operations. 

Doug Buckminster, Amex’s Group President of Global Consumer Services, said: ‘It’s important that we raise awareness and do our part to keep our oceans blue.’ 

Let’s hope this inspires other banks to follow suit.

Quick question. If ad blockers are, by definition, the enemies of advertisers, then surely no advertiser uses ad blockers themselves? 

It’d be great if that were true but – let’s face it – ad blockers are widespread and common nowadays. Approximately 615 million devices are using ad-blocking software – usage that is increasing by at least 30% annually. Last year, it was estimated ad blockers will cost advertisers a whopping £20bn in lost revenue by 2020. 

Advertisers have only got themselves to blame. Too much of their output is untargeted, unentertaining and uninformative; putting users off, obstructing their happy surfing experience. There's been much written about why people are switching off from online advertising but, in short, pop-ups, banners and displays are… just annoying. 

So what can be done to regain audience attention? 

Interactive adverts are a great way to hook potential buyers, who are more willing to engage with adverts (especially fun ones) rather than patiently sit through a commercial. Native advertising avoids ad blockers and are generally unobtrusive, while the rise of influencer marketing sees a different, arguably more authentic, way of reaching out to new audiences.

Whatever method you choose, do have the key question in mind: why do you use your ad blocker?

If it’s not on every marketer’s lips, then it should be, right? But how exactly can AI help you? 

The concept of AI has been around since Greek mythology times, but it’s only recently that it’s become the buzzword in B2B marketing. AI promises to remove much of the guesswork from marketing and, according to Salesforce’s State of Marketing report last year, half of the marketers out there are using AI right now. A quarter want to get into AI within the next two years – mostly small businesses. 

Tim Bosch from Resolution Media points out several ways in which AI can assist in marketing processes, especially on social media. From object recognition to chatbots and consumer insights to social optimisation tools, AI really does look like it could transform social advertising in the future. Marketers will find that their ads are better targeted as previously undetected patterns are revealed in huge bodies of data. 

So where are you with AI? The general advice is that, if you’re willing to put in the work now, you will definitely enjoy the fruits in our artificially intelligent future.

B2B Marketing has released an eye-opening report on what marketers really think of digital advertising. 

The B2B experts uncovered many surprising findings through their research, including how some marketers are only beginning to dip into digital advertising, despite the method existing for a quarter of a century (we feel old too). Plus, nearly two-thirds of respondents admitted having trouble targeting B2B audiences through digital advertising. 

The research also looks into the biggest challenges marketers face when buying digital advertising and investigates why they’re still yet to fully embrace it. The 199 B2B marketers surveyed also expressed an overwhelming demand for more transparency and accountability in the marketplace. 

Conducted in association with B2B Media Exchange and BPA Worldwide, the free, in-depth report is available to download now from the B2B Marketing website.

Time magazine has been in weekly publication since 1923. Given its long history, it’s fair to say it’d take something special to create an outstanding cover. But the New York magazine has gone and done just that. 

Time collaborated with Intel to send a swarm of drones with coloured lights into the sky in precise formation. Together, they formed the magazine’s logo and trademark red border while another drone snapped the image. Ingenious! 

The unorthodox photoshoot reflected the issue’s special report, ‘The Drone Age’, in which drone technology’s various applications are explored. You can now add creating cool magazine covers to that list… 

To see how the groundbreaking shoot was put together, click [here].

Want to start painting? Well, you’ll need some paint. And some paintbrushes. A paint palette too. Oh, and an arty beret might help. Actually, maybe all you need is… Microsoft Excel? 

When thrifty artist Tatsuo Horiuchi wanted to take up painting, he turned to his computer and its pre-installed software to avoid investing in art materials. He uses the ubiquitous Excel not to create tables and graphs, but blossom trees and mountains. 

How does he do it? We’re still utterly perplexed by his process, to be honest, but we do know he uses the programme’s Line tool and Bucket tool. 

The 78-year-old digital artist said: ‘I started painting with Excel in 2000. I set a goal: in 10 years I wanted to paint something decent that I could show to people.’ 

He certainly has done so, and more. Click here  to watch the man in action.

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