B2B Merchants to Increase 2012 Marketing Budgets

B2B merchants face many of the same challenges as any other marketer – at some point a real human being must make a buy decision. Getting a client to make a purchase might mean jumping through a few more budgetary hoops to reach the right person. These days, B2B merchants are increasing their online marketing to efforts to appeal to all levels of a client organization.

The latest survey from Sagefrog finds about 40% of B2B operators will increase their marketing budget in 2012. Another 56% will not change marketing expenditures and the remaining 4% say they’ll cut these expenses. Last year, the survey results indicated 11% of firms planned to cut marketing budgets.
On average, the businesses participating in this survey say they spend the following on marketing:

  • Less than 5% 43%
  • About 5% 25%
  • About 10% 19%
  • About 15% 6%
  • More than 15% 7%

Keep in mind that marketing expenditures involve far more than media outlay. The most popular tactics used by B2B operators include websites (90%), email marketing (70%), and press releases (57%). But executives also use seminars (46%), white papers (30%) and telemarketing (25%) to increase their visibility.

The B2B community  sees value in social media and the most frequently used formats are social networks and blogs. Several other marketing surveys have found that Facebook is usually the leading social network in the B2C marketplace. For B2B operators, the emphasis is slightly different as these figures show:

  • LinkedIn 58%
  • Facebook 50%
  • Twitter 43%

The Sagefrog survey revealed that about half of B2B operators handle some marketing needs internally but also use outside agencies. Only 4% outsource all marketing work. For those who do outsource, most work is done on a project basis (32%). The ongoing retainer format is used by 8% of firms.

[Source: 2011 B2B Marketing Mix Survey Results. Sagefrog Marketing Group. Sagefrog​.com. August 2011. Web. 8 Aug. 2011] 
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.