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B2B Marketing Budgets To Increase By 6% In 2014
January 21, 2014

B2B marketing execs expect budgets to increase by 6% on average in 2014, with a total of 32% of recent Forrester/BMA joint survey respondents expecting some budget increase in the next year. But despite this cautious optimism, notes Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Laura Ramos in a new report, many marketers still face ongoing pressure to justify their budgets. For instance, 52% of survey respondents said they feel challenged to connect marketing goals to business objectives in ways that defend budget requests, while 50% find it difficult to attribute marketing activity directly to revenue results as another means to justify budgets.

But according to Ramos, at the same time, CMOs' plans for how to spend marketing budgets continue to multiply as new priorities gain importance. As a result, the struggle to make dollars stretch while protecting program allocations will persist into 2014. Specifically, B2B CMOs will:

  • Place bigger bets on marketing technology. Some 61% of surveyed marketing execs expect the ratio of technology spend to marketing program spend to increase, investing more than the current 3% earmarked for IT support and development.
  • Beef up spending on data analytics. B2B marketers see the advantage of using data to drive deeper insight across the customer life cycle, with 25% planning to increasing spending from the 1% currently allocated here.
  • Struggle to squeeze out a few bucks for innovation. Marketers will only dedicate 3% of overall marketing budgets to experimentation, with more than 25% neglecting to formally set budget aside for it at all.

Additionally, despite some fairly traditional budget choices, Ramos expects marketing leaders to prioritize a shortlist of tactics surrounding customer engagement — such as local events, thought leadership, videos, and B2B communities.

To learn more about this research, visit the CMO blog.

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