In many cases, whenever organizations need to make cutbacks, marketing usually is first on the chopping block. For some reason a lot of companies still look at marketing as expendable and a cost center rather than an investment.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, and smart companies know that wise spending on marketing during a downturn will result in better brand recognition, lead generation and market share. This is specifically true in today’s digital age where marketing has grown in importance and any letup is noticeable.
That’s why it’s no surprise that business-to-business marketing budgets are expected to increase this year, despite the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. economy. In fact, B2B marketing executives said they expect their budgets to increase by 6 percent on average in 2014, with a total of 32 percent expecting some budget increase in the next year, according to of recent Forrester/BMA joint survey.
But this doesn’t mean marketing has a blank check. Every dollar still needs to be accounted for.
In fact, 52 percent of marketing executives said they feel challenged to connect marketing goals to business objectives in ways that defend budget requests, according to the survey. Meanwhile, 50 percent said they find it difficult to attribute marketing activity directly to revenue results as another means to justify budgets.
Here is where partnering with a reputable media partner that can create highly targeted custom assets can play a significant role. These are assets that a traditional marketing department doesn’t have the bandwidth to create—such as though leadership white papers and smart sites; research initiatives that can be used for position papers, webcasts and even live events.
When marketers embrace these content creation assets and lead generation tools they will an essential part of the revenue generator equation. This is specifically true as mobile and social technologies enable more employees to be customer touch points.
Also, CMOs’ plans for spending their marketing budgets get more complicated as they look to embrace new marketing mediums while protecting existing programs. According to the survey, B2B CMOs will:
• Invest more in marketing technology, with approximately 61 percent of respondents expecting the ratio of technology spend to marketing program spend to increase;
• Increase spending on data analytics by using data to drive deeper insight across the customer life cycle, with 25 percent planning to increase spending;
• Struggle to find more money for innovation, with more than 25 percent neglecting to formally set budget aside for it at all.
In today’s ultra-competitive business environment, where customers’ attention is being pulled in many different directions, marketers continually must work on new ways to get their message out. They need to engage with a media services company to develop thought leadership assets and then use them to promote these assets.