Nearly 9 in 10 business-to-business marketers say their budgets will grow or stay the same in 2012 compared with 2011. And online marketing is the biggest area of growth.
These are among the findings of an online survey BtoB Magazine conducted among 343 B2B marketers in late November and early December 2011.*
Nearly half of marketers (48.4%) say their budgets will stay the same, and 40.8% say their budgets will grow. The balance (10.8%) say their budgets will shrink. (See chart below.)
What areas of spending will see the biggest changes?
Most marketers report increases in online spending
Nearly three quarters (74.0%) of marketers said they'll increase spending for online marketing, and none expected cuts. For all other categories of marketing tactics, some marketers reported increases while others reported decreases. (See figure below.)
Websites and e-mail tie for most important online tactics
Among online tactics, marketers most often reported that they use websites (at 67.9%) and e-mail (at 67.6%). Social media (64.3%), video (50.5%), and webcases or virtual events (45.6%) were the other areas of spending they cited. (See chart below.)
Revenue growth eclipses other marketing priorities
The primary B2B marketing goals for 2012 focus mainly on customer acquisition (as reported by 75.4% of respondents), followed by brand awareness (14.9%), and customer retention (9.7%). (See chart below.)
Social media much more prevalent than mobile marketing
Seven B2B marketers in 10 (70.3%) say they use social media. They use it to advance four main goals:
- to build their brand (82.6%)
- to generate leads (51.4%)
- to build a reputation for thought leadership (47.4%), and
- to collect feedback from customers (39.5%).
In contrast, just less than a quarter (24.0%) of B2B marketers use strategies that involve mobile technologies. These include websites enabled for use with smartphones as well as development of content and applications specifically for use on tablet computers and other mobile devides.
*"Outlook 2012," BtoB Magazine, January 16, 2012, 1.