Should I Increase My B2B Marketing Budget the Remainder of the Year?

As B2B marketers review their options for keeping their budgets in line the remainder of 2012, holding the line entirely on spending does not seem to be an option for a number them.

Two recent reports surveying how B2B marketers planned to spend their budgeting funds for 2012 indicate a plan to increase such budgets and a turn toward marketing automation solutions.

First, a recent report from Forrester Research notes that B2B marketers say they will grow their marketing budgets by 6.8 percent during the year.

According to B2B Marketers Must Focus on Partnership and Experimentation as 2012 Budgets Rises, a little more than one-fourth (27 percent) of marketers will increase their budgets somewhere between 10 to 19 percent this year. Twenty percent of them state they will likely grow their budgets between 5 percent and 9 percent, while 18 percent plan to increase budgets anywhere from 1 to 4 percent. Lastly, 16 percent of marketers indicate they will be enhancing their budgets by more than 20 percent this year.

The survey also points out that industries planning to utilize the greatest portion of their budgets on marketing include finance and insurance (3 percent), high-tech (2.7 percent) and pharma and medical (2.6 percent).

While B2B marketing budgets for this year have already been planned out, that does not mean they cannot be tweaked to fit necessary needs.

Among the ways to make sure you came up with the right budget for this year are:

  • Review the 2011 budget to see where alterations were made during last year and whether or not those proved to be wise decisions;
  • Did you use blank-page budgeting? If so, you are able to construct the budget as you go along, using both the marketing plan and its marketing communications tactics to better assist your needs;
  • Allowing for potential cuts. In the event your boss/bosses are discussing plans to trim the budget from its present state, discuss with them which area of sales they would be comfortable part with, given the fact decreasing the budget will lead to less sales revenue;
  • See what the competition has done. One means by which to potentially stave off major slashes in the B2B marketing budget is by showing management what the competition has been doing to date. If there are areas to where you can capitalize on moves the competition has made, you are more likely to get approval from management.

Meantime, a Wakefly survey of several hundred B2B marketers’ points out the attention towards marketing automation solutions this time around.

According to the survey, while B2B marketers previously indicated allocating less than 3 percent of their entire online marketing budget to marketing automation solutions in the past, now more than 10 percent indicate doing such.

Overall, 61 percent of those surveyed said 2012 would provide them with budget increase, with 31 percent planning the same expenditures as they had in 2011. A mere 8 percent said this year’s budget would shrink from a year ago.

Other major growth was expected in marketing allocations for PPC search and landing page design, together making up another 30 percent of B2B marketing allocations for this year.

Surprisingly, no increase was noted in allocations over 2011 for both social media marketing and e-mail marketing.

In looking at the first four months of 2012, what appears to be working for you and what is not doing as well?

With seven months left to go in the year, what changes if any are planned for your B2B marketing budget?

Photo credit:

Are You Tracking Campaign-Generated Revenue?

With many businesses wanting to track where each and every dollar goes, a recent survey from Pardot leads to some surprising news.

According to the report, nearly 37 percent of marketers state they do not track revenue that is generated through their campaigns. As close to 40 percent of them report, they do not have time and/or necessary resources available to make and study reports.

While the majority of those in B2B marketing find themselves responsible for putting together and implementing productive lead management programs, it turns out this rather large percentage that are not fail to show their real value to their companies.

Among the notable findings from the survey:

  • One-fifth of marketers report not measuring marketing-sourced leads in the first place;
  • Nearly one-third state they do not track advanced metrics like marketing-sourced opportunities, while the same figure report they do not have the proper tools necessary to follow leads from start to finish in the sales cycle;
  • Thirty-five percent claim not to be utilizing lead nurturing when it comes to less qualified leads;
  • Approximately 33 percent of marketers responding were in agreement that MQLs (marketing qualified leads) are the key metric to measure, with marketing-contributed opportunities coming in second; less revenue-focused metrics, including Web site traffic and page views, were viewed as lowest on the importance list.

While some of those numbers may seem troubling to many that run businesses, the survey also notes that the message of necessary action is registering with many B2B marketers.

The survey goes on to point out that 80 percent of those polled state they plan to devote additional time to marketing metrics this year as opposed to prior years.

Close to 85 percent of marketers stated that they are requiring that leads meet a noted set of criteria, including job title and/or industry, prior to passing the leads along to the sales department. Meantime, more than half commented that they used a complex group of qualifiers that brought together both demographic factors and lead activity.

According to Pardot COO and co-founder Adam Blitzer, “In today’s lean-and-mean small business environment, it’s crucial that marketers understand what’s working and what’s not, so programs can be improved and forecasts refined.”

As a B2B marketer, how are you going about tracking campaign-generated revenue?

Are you doing something differently through the first quarter of 2012 that you did not do in 2011?

Lastly, what is the biggest challenge you find your marketing department facing through the first quarter of this year?

Photo credit: