As the economy began to recover last year, the top 100 b-to-b print advertisers spent $647.2 million in trade publications, up 16.5% over 2010, according to data supplied by IMS: The Auditor.
Making up the top 10 advertisers last year were three pharmaceutical companies, three high-tech companies, two manufacturing companies and two financial services companies.
The top advertiser was Forest Laboratories, which spent an estimated $39.7 million on b-to-b print ads last year, up 45.2% over 2010.
Forest Laboratories manufactures the popular anti-depressant drugs Celexa and Lexapro, as well as other pharmaceuticals, and it ran ads aimed at physicians in trade magazines including American Family Physician, Family Practice Management, Internal Medicine News and Medical Economics.
The No. 2 advertiser last year was IBM Corp., which spent an estimated $24.4 million in b-to-b publications, up 4.8% over 2010.
Last year was IBM's 100-year anniversary. The tech company ran an integrated “Centennial” branding campaign, as well as solutions campaigns such as “Smarter Commerce” and “Smarter Computing,” which included print ads. Those efforts were developed by IBM agency Ogilvy & Mather, New York.
IBM advertised in a variety of business and trade publications last year, including Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune and The Wall Street Journal. “We used a full portfolio of marketing technologies, both offline and online,” said John Kennedy, VP-corporate marketing at IBM.
However, he added, “We're going to continue to push very aggressively into emerging digital technologies, particularly technologies that allow us to create new assets that can be shared among our clients as well as among end users and people in the world at large. So it's really building a more assertive strategy in this whole earned-and-owned media space.”
IBM also continued to spend heavily on TV last year, with its “Smarter Planet” campaign as well as “Watson,” promoting its centennial.
The No. 3 b-to-b advertiser in trade magazines last year was Sprint Nextel Corp., which spent an estimated
$15.3 million, up 15.3%.
Last year, Sprint launched an integrated ad campaign with the tagline, “All. Together. Now,” created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, to promote its voice, data and texting services. The work included print, online and social media. Print ads for the campaign ran in The Wall Street Journal.
Sprint also debuted a campaign called “Biz 360” last year, aimed at small and midsize businesses, that was created by MindShare, New York. It included TV, print and online. Print ads ran in such publications as Counselor, Entrepreneur and Inc.
Rounding out the top 10 b-to-b advertisers last year were: Eli Lilly & Co. $12.8 million), Bank of America ($12.6 million), CDW Corp. ($12.5 million), Schneider Electric ($11.3 million), Prudential Financial ($11.0 million), Siemens ($11.0 million) and Pfizer Inc. ($10.4 million).
Of the top 10 advertisers, only two cut their spending on b-to-b print ads last year. Pfizer decreased its estimated b-to-b print spending by 42.0%, dropping from No. 3 in 2010 to No. 10, and CDW trimmed its spending by 12.9%, dropping from No. 5 to No. 6.
Last year, CDW launched an integrated campaign called “People Who Get IT,” created by Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, that used TV, print and online ads. Print ran in trade publications such as Computerworld, Education Week, Healthcare Informatics, InformationWeek, Modern Healthcare and PC World.
“We wanted to generate familiarity around CDW's capabilities with services and solutions, talking about technology problems in a way that shows how CDW might be able to help solve them,” said Neal Campbell, senior VP-CMO at CDW.
In another significant shift, Microsoft Corp. decreased its b-to-b print spending by 20.2% in 2011, to $10.3 million. The company dropped from No. 4 in 2010 spending to No. 11 last year.
Microsoft is increasingly shifting more of its media spending online. Last year, it debuted a campaign for Office 365 called “It All Works Together” that used print, online, radio and out-of-home ads. While Microsoft used some traditional media for the campaign, social media was a huge component, with Facebook and LinkedIn groups, as well as an online community of Office 365 users.
“We use social and community to establish a relationship with small-business professionals and focus our content strategy on showing how our solutions can help them think more about their business challenges and less about their IT infrastructure,” said Stephen Bury, senior product manager-Office division at Microsoft.