Budgeting for the Best: Offline Marketing in 2013

B2B Marketing Budget 2013 Online Offline

In part one of setting marketing budgets for 2013, we discussed online marketing. However, B2B businesses don’t just find success through online marketing strategies; offline marketing proves to be valuable for those in the B2B realm. In a 2012 study commissioned by Forrester Consulting, SMBs showed a marked preference for traditional face-to-face techniques as personal networking, trade shows and seminars topped the list. While online marketing is a valuable asset, you can’t ignore offline opportunities as they are valuable, long-term brand builders.


Many B2B businesses have a preference for face-to-face offline efforts. Meeting a prospect in-person can sometimes create a deeper relationship than one developed online. While at a trade show, seminar or other face-to-face event, your team has the opportunity to network, gather information for reaching out at a later date and market your brand and business. Trade shows and seminars get all the right people you want to connect with under one roof, help you convert leads, and can propel your business into the position of thought leader as you provide valuable information to those attending.

  • Forrester Research found that 16 percent of B2B marketing program budgets was allocated to trade shows and another 9 percent went towards their company’s presence at events.
  • A 2011 MarketingSherpa study found that B2B businesses, on average, allocate 21 percent of their marketing budgets to trade shows. If you’re going to be using nearly one-quarter of your budget on tradeshows, make sure it is worth the investment. And be sure to have your pre and post-show email marketing and sales initiatives well planned out to get the most bang for your buck.

Print Marketing

In order to stand out, you may be considering increasing your print marketing b
udget for 2013. From customized direct mail pieces to unique business cards, print marketing can put your business center stage. Since many companies have moved away from it, direct mail can be especially effective at catching the attention of your audience. Effective direct mail is rarely standardized. You’ll need to vary your copy and design based on the segments that emerge from your database analysis, similar to segmenting your email marketing messages.

  • According to USPS direct mail stats, 12-15 percent of people went to the company’s website and made a purchase after receiving a letter or catalog.
  • The Direct Marketing Association’s “Quarterly Business Review” – based on an online survey in October — found that 75 percent of respondents are confident about the growth prospects of both digital and direct marketing.

When it comes to offline marketing, such as direct mail marketing and networking events, consider the cost per conversion. How much was invested in the fliers, swag bags, travel, etc. and did the company make a significant enough to make these events worthwhile? By analyzing your 2012 offline marketing investments and finding the areas where your business was most successful, you can reallocate your budget for 2013 accordingly.

How is your marketing team getting ready for 2013?

Erica Bell

Erica Bell

Author's Website: http://www.business.com

Author's Social Links: Author Google Plus Profile Link Author Twitter Profile Link Author LinkedIn Profile Link

Erica Bell is the Social Media Specialist and a B2B marketing and advertising writer at Business.com Media, Inc. Her favorite B2B marketing topics include marketing automation, lead generation, online advertising, social media and business-to-business content best practices.

Erica began her marketing career in college through internships at B2C companies and migrated to the B2B world following graduation. Outside of reading and writing about marketing and social media, she loves going to the beach, playing soccer and most other sports, and spending time with her dog, Moo.

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2 Responses to Budgeting for the Best: Offline Marketing in 2013

  1. Great post on offline marketing. I feel that as online marketers we get too wrapped up in the digital world and forget that there is alot going on in offline marketing.

    That was an interesting statistic regarding offline marketing budget allocations being weighted most heavily on trade shows and events. I wonder if that is a function of SMBs not having quite enough budget to do TV/radio/print?

  2. Alex says:

    Great article guys. Can I ask your opinion-how do you track ROI in something that doesnt have a direct response associated to it? Or would you say that anything that is more brand and credibility building is too risky nowadays if not trackable?

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