Complex Made Simple

Surprising trends in B2B, B2C media marketing and advertising

From B2B marketing to brands on the social commerce bandwagon and ad spend values way exceeding consumption, we look at the latest media trends but also the future of media

80% of TikTok users say the platform helps them get ideas about brands they never thought of before Creators boost discovery (78%), educate their audiences (76%), and inspire thems to try new products (73%) The largest gaps between social consumption and ad spend can be found in China

From B2B marketing to brands on the social commerce bandwagon and ad spend values way exceeding consumption, we look at the latest media trends but also at the future or media.  

WARCLIONS, and LinkedIn’s B2B Institute have recently published “The B2B Effectiveness Code,” one of the largest and most comprehensive studies ever carried out on the effectiveness of B2B marketing. 

The research demonstrates that Creative Commitment, the composite measure of the media budget, duration, and the number of media channels that highly correlate with effectiveness has declined in recent years.

Jann Martin Schwarz, Senior Director at LinkedIn and Head of the B2B Institute, said:

“The three most important things that B2B marketers can do in combination are: extend the duration of the advertising commitment; maximize the number of media channels and maintain, not reduce investment. These factors together make up the Creative Commitment, and the higher it is, the more effective the campaign.”

On average, B2B campaigns spend less, run for shorter durations, and use fewer media channels, meaning they skew heavily toward short-term, rational, and tightly targeted marketing. When comparing B2B with B2C, it was found that B2B campaigns generally have lower Creative Commitment than B2C.

The B2B Effectiveness Ladder

The B2B Effectiveness Ladder is a hierarchy of the six main types of effects that B2B marketing produces, from least to most commercially impactful. 

  • Level 1: Response Trigger – drive high rates of campaign response and interaction
  • Level 2: Lead Generator – improve the value of the brand’s sales pipeline
  • Level 3: Sale Closer – produce short-term sales or market share gains
  • Level 4: Fame Maker – get customers and the media talking and sharing
  • Level 5: Brand Builder – grow B2B brand equity
  • Level 6: Strategic Asset – grow the brand and business over the long term

Benefits of social commerce

80% of TikTok users say the social platform helps them get ideas about brands and products they had never thought of before.  

WARC, in partnership with TikTok and Publicis Groupe, released “From Discovery to Purchase: The Role of Community Commerce,” a new study revealing the potential of creator-driven marketing.

The study outlines the following insights:

  • Community commerce as an emerging opportunity

Entertaining creator-driven social content featuring brands sits at the intersection of community, shopping and entertainment.  

  • Discovery and inspiration disrupt the path to purchase

With social platforms inspiring 70% of consumers to shop, even when they weren’t looking to, the power of community can drive engagement and stimulate decision-making.  

  • Propelling purchase decisions 

Brands are becoming part of communities with many product categories having the potential to convert audiences: beauty, clothing, and accessories led the way, and now luxury and automotive are as well.

  • Content creators are the new brand storytellers

Creators boost discovery (78%), educate and inform their audiences (76%), and inspire their audiences to try new products (73%). 

 Huge ad spend versus consumption discrepancy

A new WARC analysis of advertising spend forecasts for 100 markets worldwide shows that advertiser spend (ad son TV and social media is highly inflated in relation to daily consumption).

As of Q1 of 2021, and for the first time, social media is now attracting more investment from advertisers than linear TV, however both media draw far more of advertising budgets than the average consumer spends with these channels each day.

Social media, for example, is forecast to account for 39.1% of 2022 ad spend among the eight media studied in the report – linear TV, online video, social media, print press, online press, podcasts, broadcast radio and online audio – but has a 21.4% share of daily media consumption, a discrepancy of 17.7% equivalent in value to $94.3 billion.

WARC expects daily social time to reach 2:30 hours during H2, 2021.

The largest gaps between social consumption and ad spend can be found in China (advertiser spend is 3.3x consumption), the UK (2.2x), and the US (2.0x). Conversely, in Australia (0.9x), India (0.4x), and Russia (0.5x), social’s share of daily media consumption is higher than its share of advertising budgets, a potential indicator of opportunity for brands.

Linear TV is forecast to account for a 31.5% share of advertising spend next year among the eight media studied, compared to a 16.1% share of daily media consumption. This would equate to an investment gap of $86.9 bn worldwide in 2022.

While linear TV spend is inflated in relation to its consumption, online video is now close to parity after years of underinvestment.  

Advertisers are forecast to spend $71.9 bn on online video this year, a 13.6% share of the eight studies media which compares to a 12.9% of media consumption, or 1 hour 37 minutes.

 Audio and online press heavily undervalued

Data show that audio media appear highly undervalued – a trend that was recently highlighted by WARC in the US.

Podcasts were found to be undervalued by $40bn, with the greatest opportunities for advertisers among audiences aged 16–24, middle earners, and those educated until the age of 16. 

One in three internet users now listens to a podcast each month, but a cost per thousand (CPM) of $23.55 is higher than even TV. Spotify has quickly gained ground on Apple to become the largest app for podcast streaming as of March this year.

Online press also appears to be another heavy undervalued medium: advertisers would need to spend $58 bn on online press ads globally next year to achieve parity with consumption levels. Instead, the forecast spend is just $12.8 bn.

  • Gen Z consumers are twice as likely to buy from a brand with a sonic identity
  • Direct mail campaigns more likely to successfully use personalization
  • Consumers in Poland, Spain, and the UK most likely to always accept website cookies

The future of media

The global satellite and broadcast industries are in the midst of unparalleled transformation forcing strategic mindset shifts among satellite operators and content producers, according to CABSAT 2021, the Middle East and Africa’s event for the satellite, broadcast, and filmed content industry.


Over-the-top (OTT) revenues are prompting producers to re-engineer their entire strategies. Siddarth Roy Kapur, Founder and Managing Director of Roy Kapur Films and President of the Producers Guild of India, said in the past year global OTT revenues soared by 35% to $24.5 bn as people consumed unprecedented amounts of content.  

Majed Al Suwaidi

Broadcast radio is facing disruption in a digital era while gaming is set to command the lion’s share of the regional media market, according to Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, and Dubai Production City said: “Traditional broadcast radio is being challenged with the advent of digital radio, which saw a growth of 25% in 2020. Another industry we are all watching closely is gaming, where compound growth of the sector is expected to increase by 8.9% by 2024.” 

Hans Fraikin, Head of Abu Dhabi Film and Television Commission, said the UAE capital is on course this year to surpass its 2020 $100 million production value total with its success during the pandemic giving it “strong momentum”.