B2B Enterprises Spending More on Marketing Services

B2B marketers face different challenges than their B2C counterparts, especially when it comes to the lengthy sales cycle. But, these enterprises must promote their products and services to clients on an ongoing basis. The Forrester Research/​Business Marketing JobsAssociation study "Focus B2B Marketing Budget Gains On Business Outcomes To Succeed In 2014” reveals that B2B marketers, on average, will increase their marketing budgets by 6% this year.

While the budget increase is good news, Business Marketing Association Chairwoman Kathy Button Bell reports that the typical B2B marketer is spreading its resources across a wider range of programs. Firms in this study spend 4% of revenue on marketing, a number which is improving, but still down from pre-​recession levels of between 5% to 10%.

These enterprises expect to invest in the following new initiatives in 2014:

  • Marketing technology: Currently B2B marketers spend about 3% of their marketing budget on IT support and development. Over 60% of surveyed executives say that number will increase this year.
  • Data analytics: This line item accounts for about 1% of the marketing budget but 25% of these enterprises anticipate a significant increase in spending on data. Doing so will give them greater “insight across the customer life cycle.”
  • Innovation: B2B marketers allow only 3% of the typical budget for experimenting and 25% don’t budget for this activity at all. Experts believe more of these enterprises will be willing to take risks in marketing this year.

Bell predicts that most CMOs will further reduce spending on traditional ad formats while they increase their investment in digital and content marketing. However, trade shows appear to be one ongoing marketing effort that this sector will continue to invest in. Analysts believe that companies will try to spend on local trade shows wherever possible as they seek to strengthen loyalty with local customers.

If you're working with B2B marketers, do you see evidence of these trends? Are the decision makers consciously spending more on technology and less on traditional advertising formats?

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.