Ogilvy report reveals influencer marketing dominates B2B

Three-quarters of b2b marketing chiefs are investing in influencer marketing as a comms tool

Ogilvy has released a new report titled ‘Influencing business: The global rise of B2B influencer marketing’.

The report provides a global perspective by surveying marketing leaders across Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

It highlights both the similarities and comparisons of how business influence operates in different cultures and regions around the world.

Partnering with Opinium Research, LinkedIn and Onalytica, the report draws on a survey by Opinium of 550 senior marketing figures in 11 countries, showing the extent to which influencers are being used.

In addition to the survey data, the report features a series of in-depth interviews with CMOs at major companies such as LinkedIn, Dell, EY, IBM, Boots and Ben & Jerry’s.

Around 75 per cent of respondents are already using b2b influencer marketing – 93 per cent of whom are planning to increase their use of influencers.

Growth area

Rahul Titus, global head of influence at Ogilvy, said: “The world of influencer marketing has evolved – and grown exponentially. Goldman Sachs estimates that the Creator Economy will reach $500bn by 2027.

“Now, with the continued evolution of eCommerce, entrepreneurs and businesses alike are capitalising on the power of Influencers to not only drive sales, but to birth new businesses.

“Carefully selected Influencer partnerships now play an integral role in how businesses consume, verify and act on information. But not enough brands develop the deep, meaningful, and complex relationships with Influencers their audience demands.”

The report highlights, while the use of influencers in consumer comms ‘more often demands trendsetters and tastemakers’, the b2b sector ‘requires credible expertise rooted in proven experience that contributes to professional opinion’.

Around 92 per cent of the survey respondents agree that using b2b influencers for ‘hyper-targeted marketing or personalised messaging is an effective strategy for increasing brand consideration and customer acquisition’.

Almost half (49 per cent) believe influencers help their brands achieve ‘a more credible, believable, and trusted opinion than they could achieve by themselves’.

While four in 10 cite influencer campaigns has generated improved leads or sales.

Successful partnerships

Beyond LinkedIn, 50 per cent of b2b marketing teams consider YouTube the next most significant platform for influencer campaigns, closely followed by Facebook (48 per cent) and Instagram (46 per cent).

Other platforms such as WhatsApp (14 per cent), Reddit (seven per cent), and Telegram (nine per cent) ‘show untapped potential for reaching professional audiences when leveraged effectively’.

It shows companies choose the right influencer for them, ensuring ‘their voice and values fit with yours’, and invest in building ‘strong, meaningful, long-term relationships’ with them.

Employees should also be considered as potential influencers and are an ‘untapped marketing resource’.

One of the senior figures interviewed for the report, Yogesh Dhingra, chief executive at Smartr Logistics, said: “Influencers bring value to b2b marketing due to their credibility.”

Saad Abdullah, GM, Marketing at Al-Futtaim Toyota and Lexus, UAE, said: “Our responsibility as brands is to ensure that we leverage the right voices capable of impacting and delivering results as well as shaping the future of influence.”

Regional Campaigns 

The evolution of influence in the Middle East has closely mirrored global trends, while developing unique characteristics shaped by culture, language, and technology.

Saudi Arabia ranks 1st globally in terms of interest and appetite for B2B communications, with 100 per cent
of surveyed businesses utilising some form of B2B Influence in their communications and marketing strategies. The UAE follows closely behind at 96 per cent.

For example, Ogilvy together with GEMS Education launched an education campaign to foster understanding and positive impact among GEMS school students before exams.

They used 26 unique Influencers to own an element, symptom, or topic on mental health and leveraged a homegrown psychology clinic, which specialises in supporting young teens.

This added a credibility and allowed the school to deepen conversations and reach more audiences.

You can view the full report here.