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Nearly half of business-to-business (B2B) marketers worldwide expect their marketing budgets to increase this year, while just 17% say they’ll decrease. That’s according to ITSMA polling conducted in February 2015, which found that overall, budgets were expected to increase 4.4%.
Where will B2Bs spend those dollars? Employees were the biggest expense, grabbing 42% of services marketing budgets. Marketing programs and campaigns were expected to take in the biggest chunk of marketing-focused dollars, with 28% allocated to such efforts. Despite the emphasis on content marketing this year, content development was expected to account for just 15%.
ITSMA found that 55% of marketing program and campaign dollars would go to offline marketing, while 45% would focus on digital. However, January 2015 polling by Regalix found that the majority (52%) of B2B marketers in North America expected to put more than half of their overall marketing budgets toward digital this year, vs. just 36% who did so in 2014.
Despite their positive outlook for increased marketing budgets this year, B2B marketers trail their business-to-consumer (B2C) counterparts in total marketing budget, according to a February 2015 study by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, commissioned by the American Marketing Association and McKinsey & Company, which found that B2B services and product marketers in the US each expected marketing budgets to increase just over 9% this year. Services marketers reported that their marketing spend as a percentage of company revenues was 8.6%, and B2B product marketers put this figure at an even lower 7.4%. Meanwhile, B2C product marketing budgets represented 9.1% of marketing spend as a percentage of firm revenues, and B2C services led the pack, at 9.3%.
ITSMA found that plenty of B2B marketers could look beyond their own budgets though. Just under eight in 10 said they had access to additional money and funds outside of the official marketing budget, vs. just 21% who didn’t have this luxury.
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