This is the Executive Summary of B-to-B Marketing in 2009: Trends in Strategies and Spending By MarketingProfs.
1- Budget reductions are expected – In terms of their budget expectations for the coming year, marketers at the end of 2007 were more likely to anticipate increased spending; this expectation has been replaced at the end of 2008 by an outlook rooted in the realities of an economic crisis. Anticipated increases often failed to materialize in 2008, and marketers are far more likely to expect budget cuts in 2009.
2-Marketers are sharpening their focus – In coping with the effects of reduced budgets, the majority of marketers indicate they plan to direct their activities to a more selective target audience. This is consistent with findings regarding increased usage of Web 2.0 tactics, as many of these tactics lend themselves much more to “one-to-one” communication and can therefore be very specific to their audiences.
3-New media are on the rise – Digital tactics, both Web 1.0 and 2.0, have generally held claimed usage levels while traditional media have declined. With company websites and email marketing (both Web 1.0) approaching saturation levels in terms of usage, attention is now shifting to interactive/social media. While some of these tactics are still in their infancy (in terms of marketers’ experience with them), as a group they are growing rapidly (off a small base) and beginning to share prominence with more traditional tactics.
4-Emphasis is particularly strong for Search Marketing, Webinars, Email and Company Web Site – Marketers most often cite these tactics among those slated for budget increases; they also see these tactics as having increasing effectiveness; and they expect these media to be more important in the 2009 marketing mix.
The trend toward adoption of digital tactics, which started before the economic crisis, has been accelerated by the need for B2B marketers to “do more with less” in the current environment.
With a heighted focus on select targets, reduced budgets, and new media in the mix, we would expect that marketers will be faced with a few new challenges:
-An increased need to measure and track effectiveness of all marketing tactics and strategies to identify the optimum mix on an ongoing basis. The demand for both marketing effectiveness and efficiency will likely increase in the coming months, probably to a greater extent than ever before.
-The opportunity to leverage a deeper understanding of customer needs, afforded by the application of interactive/social media.
-The need to explore and learn from best practices for tactical implementation, as marketers continue to integrate traditional and digital tactics into their overall marketing mix.
Survey Participants: The composition of participants spans a wide spectrum of industries and company sizes, as detailed on the following pages. Small companies (i.e., those with less than $20 million in annual sales) represent 46% of the respondent base, while those with annual sales exceeding $1 billion represent 12%. This is a significant shift from the respondent base last year, when small companies represented 35% and those with $1 billion in sales represented 24%.
Related, at least in part, to the shift in the respondent base (by company size), 62% of respondents report marketing budgets under $1 million, compared to 40% in the previous year.
The majority of respondents are in professional services (32%) or high-tech products manufacturing (24%), distribute their products exclusively through direct channels (48%) or some combination of direct and indirect (46%), and are involved in B2B marketing exclusively (49%) or primarily (28%). The majority (82%) also indicate that they are in senior marketing positions.
Current RevenuesWhile survey respondents represent organizations of all sizes, small companies (<$20 million) account for the largest segment of survey participants at 46%, a sharp increase over the segment’s presence in last year’s study (35%). In contrast, just 12% represent companies with fiscal year revenues surpassing $1 billion, a significant drop from 24% about one year prior.
To Be Contained...