In a recent post, we spoke of the rose-colored forecast for 2014 SMB growth that left B2B marketers licking their chops at potential opportunities. CMOs are enthusiastically devising viable marketing strategies while ideas are free-flowing throughout psyched marketing departments. Advertising Age's 2014 BtoB's Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Planning survey attests to this optimism, shedding light on the increase in overall marketing budgets. Of the 364 B2B marketers surveyed,
- 52.5% plan to increase their overall B2B marketing budget in 2014 and,
- 36.4% of respondents plan to see an increase in budget greater than 10%
While some are devoting more money globally to their full range of marketing tactics, others are seeing marginal increases and are forced to carefully shift around existing budgets. So where should B2B marketers reallocate their money this year? It's simple: to those areas with the greatest ROI potential.
Ramping Up ROI with Digital Marketing
When asked which media form they plan to increase their marketing spend on, four out of five respondents indicated they'll be allocating a larger slice of the pie to digital marketing- a 13% increase from last year's survey (Tweet This Stat!). With more traditional marketing tactics like print, TV, direct mail, and radio flatlining in spend, the majority of B2B marketers are seeing success and a succulent ROI on digital media outlets. Of these investigated leading B2B marketers,
- 61% are projecting to spend over 25% of their total marketing budgets on digital platforms
- 10% claim to spend 75-100% of their total marketing budgets on digital platforms
Mobile and Content Strategies are the Leading Ladies
Digging down even further, the survey found that not only are marketing budgets cleaving away from traditional advertising methods, the digital landscape itself is also in flux. When asked where majority of their online marketing budgets will be spent, Ad Age found an obvious emphasis on content marketing. 75% of B2B marketers are increasing their content efforts this year with a 12% increase in using social media as a major content delivery platform.
Responsive design and mobile advertising remains a huge priority for B2B companies. With 65% of C-level executives completely comfortable with making a business purchase on a mobile device, optimizing your web site, lead forms, and crafted content to be mobile-friendly should be a major initiative for you this year.
Striking Gold with Video
White papers, eBooks, infographics, and case studies will remain effective forms of content, but the major boost in spend this year will be in in the production of webinars, videos, and webcasts. As video is quickly turning heads, make sure you fully optimize this asset before dumping all your budget into this one medium. More than 50% of videos receive less than 1,000 views, so make sure you're aligning video ideas with your current marketing strategies. For more information on incorporating video and webinars into the B2B marketing mix check out this article.
To review, and to take the sage advice from the surveyed CMOs, shift your B2B marketing dollars to digital. And within the digital sector, focus on making engaging content like video, webinars, and webcasts with mobile and social sharing in mind at every stage of the design process.