Social Media’s Impact on B2B Marketing Budgets?
For the third year, MarketingProfs and Forrester teamed up to author and field a survey that looks at business-to-business marketing mix and budget trends. With many parts of North America and Europe (my home state of California for one) still feeling the effects of last year’s economic downturn, I believe that this year’s survey will show some marked changes on which tactics marketers choose to spend their limited budget dollars – we’re especially interested in the impact of social media on the marketing mix.
Would you like to help me find out? If so, please click here to take the survey. The survey should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete, and I will share a copy of the report — due sometime in March — with those of you who complete the survey.
Taking a closer look at B2B marketing budgets in our 2008/2009 survey, we found:
1) Digital spending moved ahead but failed to shake up the status quo. While B2B marketers wrestle with a more complex marketing mix, digital channels have finally gained much needed mindshare. Web sites and email topped the list of the most popular marketing tactics, and search marketing moved up six percentage points since our last report. However, conventional approaches like trade shows, PR, direct mail, print advertising, sponsorships, and executive events still dominated the marketing mix in 2008. Will 2009 show even more dramatic changes? Tell us in the survey and find out.
2) Traditional tactics commanded the lion’s share of B2B budgets. Conventional marketing tactics continued to capture big chunks of B2B marketer budgets. In fact, traditional tactics had a tight grip on the five top spots in our list of the most expensive B2B tactics. Coming in sixth, the company Web site was the only digital tactic to scrape together a double-digit percentage of the budget.
3) Social media managed to make only a few budget inroads in 2008/early 09. Virtual trade shows, community sites, rich media (video, podcasts, etc.), blogs, and other Web 2.0 tools like RSS subscriptions, mashups, and widgets got the B2B budget scraps. Yet, while marketers try to work out social media’s place in the marketing mix, we were pleased to see, when taken together, these tactics accrued more than 10% of the marketing budget. I expect this year’s survey may show some surprising changes in this category.
I can hypothesize on my blog all day about how marketing tactic choices and budgets changed in 2009 relative to 2008 — and where B2B marketers expect them to go in 2010 — but the survey results will provide the real facts, not conjecture. Please join me and take 15 minutes now to let me, and your B2B marketing colleagues, how your 2010 budget plans are shaping up.