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?
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