<p>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.</p>
<p>But according to Ramos, at the same time, CMOs’ plans for how to spend marketing budgets continue to multiply as new priorities gain&nbsp;importance.&nbsp;As a result, the struggle to make dollars stretch while protecting program allocations will persist into 2014. Specifically, B2B CMOs will:
<li>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.</li>
<li>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.</li>
<li>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. </li>
<p>Additionally, despite some fairly traditional budget choices, Ramos expects marketing leaders to prioritize a shortlist of tactics surrounding customer engagement &mdash; such as local events, thought leadership, videos, and B2B communities.</p>
<p>To learn more about this research, <a href=”http://blogs.forrester.com/laura_ramos/14-01-21-b2b_marketers_expect_bigger_2014_budgets_how_will_you_spend_it_wisely”>visit the CMO blog</a>.</p>