B to B 2010 Marketing Outlook Improves

Despite the common wisdom that higher ad budgets translate to more sales, 58% of B to B marketers cut their promotional budgets in 2009. Categories that fared the worst included events and print, both cut by 63% of BtoB Online’s 2010 Outlook Survey respondents. Not surprisingly, over 8 in 10 of these 884071_budget_cutsbusinesses increased online spending in 2009. What do these businesses plan to do when it comes to 2010 marketing?

The survey results indicate that 47% will keep spending at the same levels for next year while 39% will increase spending. Only 13% indicate they’ll cut ad budgets next year. Of those who plan to increase spending, look for a rise of between 5–14% for about half of these firms. The primary goal of BtoB marketers in 2010 will be as follows:

  • Customer acquisition 61%
  • Customer retention 16%
  • Brand awareness 15%
  • Other 9%

To generate interest in their products and services, nearly 2/3’s of these businesses will introduce new ad campaigns in 2010. Here are the media formats that will see increased spending by BtoB operators:

  • Online 73% (represents the number of operators planning to spend more in this category)
  • Direct mail 38%
  • Events 25%
  • Print 20%
  • Telemarketing 20%

Not surprisingly, these firms are continuing to shift more of their budgets to online formats. About 19% of companies, or 1 in 5, spend between 20–25% of their budgets online while another 15% spend between 30–39% online. Look for growth in the following online formats in 2010:

  • Web site 71%
  • Email 68%
  • Search 62%
  • Social media 60%

It appears that some optimism on the part of BtoB operators will result in limited increases in 2010 ad spending. This applies to businesses ranging from technology to manufacturing. In addition, look for newer media options such as e‑mail, search and social media to grab a larger share of the planning and execution resources as senior managers grapple with how to integrate these components into an effective overall strategy for marketing.

[Source: BtoB 2010 Outlook –Marketing Priorities and Plans Survey] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.