56% of B2B Operators Set to Increase Marketing Spend in 2019

BY Kathy Crosett
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With 56% of business-​to-​business (B2B) operators set to increase marketing spend this year, 2019 will be a busy year. Specifically, 66% of these businesses understand the importance of having a formal marketing plan. They also say B2B lead generation activity is set to increase. And, that’s one of the key findings from the 2019 Marketing Mix Report recently published by Sagefrog Marketing Group.


The good news is that at least 63% of B2B marketers either completely outsource their marketing needs or at least use a model that blends in-​house and contractor expertise. When businesses look beyond their walls for help from advertising professionals, they do so as follows:

  • Project-​based work 47%
  • Retainer and/​or project based work 53%

B2B operators are feeling positive about the upcoming year. At least 42% allocate 5% of their budgets for marketing. Another 23% will allocate at least 10% to the marketing effort. Companies with a larger marketing focus include the 7% that spend 15% of their advertising budget on items like lead generation and the 8% of operators that devote more than 15% to bringing more new business through the doors. Clearly, B2B lead generation activity is set to increase as marketers plan for the future. Digital marketing remains a big focus for B2B operators. But, the following numbers show that plenty of businesses will allocate top spending on a variety of formats to reach their target audiences in 2019 instead of relying solely on digital marketing efforts.

  • Website development 58%
  • Digital marketing 57%
  • Trade shows/​events 42%
  • Social media 18%
  • Direct marketing/​print advertising 18%
  • Marketing collateral 23%
  • Marketing automation/​analytics 25%
  • Marketing planning/​brand strategy 14%
  • Public relations 14%

B2B marketing efforts are closely linked to sales targets. Last year, leads came from referrals (73%), trade shows/​events (46%), email (33%) and search engine optimization (SEO) (28%). In comparison, print advertising generates about 8% of leads and another 4% comes from direct mail.

Considering how cluttered everyone's email inboxes get every single day, it’s not surprising that email marketing is the most widely used tactic, 78%, for B2B operators. Sagefrog analysts found that SEO has risen nearly 20% this year and is used by 75% of B2B marketers. While your clients appreciate the benefits of digital marketing, at least 65% will go to trade shows and events in the coming year. And 39% plan to use print advertising.

B2B Marketers Set to Increase Marketing Spend

To get a read on how your prospect is doing in the digital arena, run a Digital Audit on them to see which areas of digital advertising are running smoothly and which aspects could use further improvement. Available at AdMall from Salesfuel, this tool can help you open the conversation about B2B marketers set to increase marketing spend. And with B2B lead generation activity set to increase, your clients need all the help they can get.