The good news is that 4 in 10 BtoB operators plan to increase their marketing budgets in 2012. This figure is slightly lower than it was last year. However, the real story can be found in the shift that these businesses are making to employ less expensive marketing channels while they increase the effectiveness of their spending.
BtoB Online has been issuing its annual outlook for 9 years and bases its study on the responses of over 300 marketers in this sector. In addition to businesses that plan to increase their budget this years, the survey finds that 48.4% will level-fund marketing expenditures and 10.8% plan to cut back. A significant number of marketers have identified online media as the best place to increase spending with 74% moving in that direction. Key channels for online spending (those cited by marketers as being targeted for higher budget amounts) include:
- Websites 67.6%
- Email 67.5%
- Social media 64.3%
- Search 54.8%
- Video 50.5%
- Webcasts/virtual events 45.6%
Traditional media spending will benefit from increased spending by some of these enterprises this year as well. The following percentages of B2B operators say they’ll allocate more money to:
- Events 41.4%
- Direct mail 36.5%
- Print 20.1%
Of course, not all of these businesses will bump up their commitment to formats such as print. Overall, 22.4% say they’ll reduce this kind of spending. But they don’t intend to cut it completely. Tom Haas, CMO Siemens Corp. notes "We find that print works really well to drive people to our website, so we will continue to use print."
This sentiment suggests B2B operators understand that a mix of media formats will yield the highest return on their marketing investment.[Source: Outlook 2012. BtoBonline.com. 16 Jan. 2012. Web. 31 Jan. 2012]