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B2B companies overlook the power of Internet ads

The Internet's billion-pound UK advertising market is being overlooked by the business-to-business sector, but B2B companies have plans to increase their online budgets in the next year, according to an Internet Advertising Bureau survey.

Although online advertising is worth around £1bn in the UK, B2B marketers have yet to fully embrace the market, with only 39% using display ads, while 39% use pay-per-click search and 29% use online classifieds.

The results of the survey suggest that B2B marketers do plan to take advantage of the Internet's capacity by increasing their online advertising budgets in the next 12 months, with 63% of respondents saying that the Internet will take more of their marketing budgets in the future.

Furthermore, almost a third pledged to increase spend by up to 20% in the next 12 months, with 13% saying they will increase spend by over 30%.

Of the companies that do use the Internet, more than a third said that conducting business online has helped their growth, with 35% believing the Internet has revolutionised their marketing communications. Only 12% believe that the majority of their business will eventually be conducted online.

At the same time, B2B advertisers have taken to email marketing, with 83% of respondents using it largely for product promotion and company newsletters.

Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the IAB, said: "These results suggest that B2B advertisers still have much to learn about online advertising.

"Email marketing has proved effective for the majority of businesses but it's our job to educate them further on everything else the Internet has to offer."

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