While some big b-to-b marketers, including Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp., have announced large-scale integrated campaigns that will break this fall—including a $300 million effort for HP's printing and imaging business, and a global ad campaign for Intel's processors called "Chips"—the majority of b-to-b advertisers are focusing on reaching audiences with more targeted, smaller-scale programs.
"In looking across the clients we work with, I'm not seeing anyone shying away from proceeding with plans that were made well before the recent economic fluctuations in the market," said John Osborn, president-CEO of BBDO New York, whose clients include General Electric Co., FedEx Corp. and Motorola Inc. He declined to comment on specific ad campaigns for clients that will break this fall.
"I'm seeing a lot more diversification in the media mix," Osborn said. "We are all approaching it in terms of being smart and very selective about which media vehicles are established to reach the target audience."
Trends include new media use
Osborn said some of the trends to watch for this fall include increased use of such new media as social networks, an emphasis on social and corporate responsibility in advertising, and more integration between live events and online efforts.
Rick Segal, CEO of HSR Business to Business, Cincinnati, also said the current economy is not hurting fall ad plans, although there have been some budget shifts toward more online advertising.
"For most of our clients, September through December will be a continuation of programs we launched earlier in the year. I really don't see any deterioration to schedules we set in place," he said. "It could be that the mix of the media spend has shifted, as clients have an increasing level of confidence in online media."
However, Segal added, "We're still creating a lot of print ads. I don't sense that print is declining a great deal."
One of HSR's clients is Kennametal, which manufactures metal-cutting tools.
Kennametal this fall is launching a print campaign targeted at the investment community, as well as customers and prospects.
"We have always advertised our products and services for the markets we serve," said Rudy Frank, manager of corporate advertising and marketing communications at Kennametal, which targets industries including oil and gas, mining and aerospace.
Last year, for example, Kennametal ran a print campaign that featured case studies of clients, with splashy photos and other visuals to attract readers.
"The new campaign is very simplistic in nature, but it has a very powerful message," Frank said. "It is really a better explanation of who we are."
The ads, which are solid yellow with black text describing how Kennametal can save companies more in total manufacturing costs, are running in trade magazines including Automotive Engineering, Aviation Week & Space Technology, Equipment Today and Oil & Gas Journal.
Beginning in October, the ads will start running in Fortune to reach investors, customers and prospects, Frank said.
Other b-to-b marketers are extending existing campaigns into the fall, adding more online components.
Tellabs Inc., which provides networking services to telecommunications providers, will roll out new online elements of a campaign it introduced earlier this year, with the tagline "Inspire the new life." The campaign was developed by Slack Barshinger, Chicago.
The new elements include podcasts, online video, white papers, case studies and thought leadership content.
"We are absolutely seeing a shift toward online because of the trackability," said Mike O'Malley, director of external marketing at Tellabs.
"You get more metrics, including who's going to the site, and a great deal of data you can't get on the print side."
Tellabs is also beginning to explore the use of social networking as part of its marketing efforts.