According to a newly released Forrester and BMA research, CMOs from b-to-b companies are feeling somewhat optimistic when it comes to marketing budgets in 2014. While 45% expect budgets to remain flat compared with 2013, one third (32%) expects budgets to increase.
Two years ago, the study indicated that b-to-b marketers spent about 2.5% of company revenue on marketing. In 2013, this number increased to an average of 4%, but still, this is less than the 5-10% that many companies had in place before the recession.
While much of this seems like a step in the right direction, marketing executives report that budget scrutiny continues as more than half of the respondents feel ongoing pressures in justifying their budgets. When asked their top three biggest challenges in setting their marketing budgets:
- 52% say they are challenged when it comes to connecting marketing goals to business objectives
- 50% find it difficult to attribute marketing activity directly to revenue results as a means to justify budgets
- 41% have trouble securing incremental spend for experimentation and innovation
Marketers will have to be even more mindful this year about stretching their marketing dollars, as many will have to cover technology marketing items such as data analytics and IT development. Sixty-one percent say that they expect the ratio of technology spend to marketing program spend to increase, and 25% plan to increase data analytics spending.
According to the report, “Despite some fairly traditional budget choices, we expect marketing leaders to spend differently and prioritize a short list of tactics -- like local events, thought leadership, videos, and B2B communities -- that create two-way interaction with buyers while accelerating the purchase journey.”
Forrester and BMA’s “Focus B2B Marketing Budget Gains On Business Outcomes To Succeed In 2014” report surveyed 56 marketing executives from b-to-b companies.
CreateYourNextCustomer.com will be releasing its own 2014 Digital Marketing Priorities report next week (in partnership with IT Marketing World), where we’ll share specifically how technology marketers are allocating their resources. Stay tuned for that report!