B2B Marketers Expect a Bump in Ad Budgets in the Next Year - eMarketer

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B2B Marketers Expect a Bump in Ad Budgets in the Next Year

Last year also saw increases

August 14, 2013

Marketers operating in the business-to-business (B2B) realm have seen a steady uptick in dollars dedicated to marketing over the past year. According to April 2013 research from American Business Media (ABM), a B2B industry association, 29% of US marketers reported increasing their B2B advertising budgets over the preceding 12 months, while 59% said outlays had remained about the same. Only 9% indicated they had decreased at all.

Change in Ad Budget in the Past vs. Next 12 Months According to US B2B Marketers, March 2013 (% of respondents)

These decision-makers saw no significant change forthcoming in the near future. Almost half of marketers expected B2B advertising budgets to increase in the next year, while almost the same number thought spending would remain roughly the same.

B2B marketers now rely on three main channels in order to reach their audience: traditional print media, newer digital avenues and trade events. Marketers responding to ABM’s survey saw a clear trend towards an increase in budgets for digital channels. For example, 45% expected to increase search engine advertising spending, while 43% foresaw an increase in mobile advertising, and 41% an increase in e-newsletter ad spending. In comparison, only 27% anticipated an increase in face-to-face event sponsorship, while 32% anticipated a decrease in print advertising.

Change in Marketing Spending in the Next 12 Months According to US B2B Marketers, by Tactic, March 2013 (% of respondents)

That’s not to say that B2B marketers are abandoning print and event-based marketing for digital avenues. In fact, digital channels still take a back seat to in-person events in substantial ways: Marketers rated face-to-face event attendance and face-to-face event sponsorship as the top two methods of developing awareness of new products and services, as well as generating targeted leads.

Successful Marketing Tactics in Creating Awareness of New Products/Services and Generating Targeted Leads of New Buyers According to US B2B Marketers, March 2013 (% of respondents)

Marketers still see tremendous value in a number of digital channels, with many rated higher than the legacy media channels of print, radio, outdoor advertsing and television in terms of usefulness.

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