Between 2001 and 2004, the percentage of change in IM expenditure was 30.6 per cent in B2B compared to 28.2 per cent in B2C.
Patrick Barwise, Professor of Management & Marketing at LBS and co-author of the study, comments, "IM tends to be more 1-2-1 and less mass and this suits B2B where it's more about relationships with a smaller number of customers."
Data was collected from chief marketing officers at businesses spending at least one million Euros on marketing in the last year in the UK, US, Japan, Germany, France, and two emerging markets China and Brazil.
IM was defined as Internet advertising and sponsorship, websites, extranets, email marketing, online promotions and incentives, and new media. Permission-based email communications and online promotions/incentives emerged as the fastest-growing activities.
The findings highlight that there is more to IM spend than Internet advertising and search (those areas given most coverage in the media). Barwise states that maintaining a state-of-the-art website demands continuous investment and that the use of email as a substantial tool "will chip away at DM."
On the challenges facing marketers, Barwise comments, "It's not that traditional methods have disappeared, companies have to find the right combination to get synergies and to present a consistent brand across all of the different touch points.
"It hasn't been a revolution but it has been a fast evolution that's been made more difficult by the fragmentation of many agencies, each of which has bias towards their own specialisms," he adds.