December 06, 2011

Marketing Research Chart: Tried-and-true tactics rank high in B2B marketing budgets

SUMMARY: In challenging times, firms must test new strategies and tactics to improve marketing effectiveness. Businesses need to maintain agility and adapt to an evolving marketplace, but cannot sacrifice tried-and-true tactics that have driven their lead generation programs for years.

To learn how B2B organizations balance the two, we asked survey participants to indicate the percentage of budget they allocate for a variety of inbound and outbound tactics. In this week’s chart, find out the results from more than 1,700 of your B2B marketing peers.
by Jen Doyle, Senior Research Manager

Chart title: The allocation of B2B marketing budgets by organization size

Q. Approximately what percentage of your marketing budget is allocated to each of the following tactics, including personnel, media and other direct costs?

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We learned that, overall, marketers are investing in tried-and-true tactics such as trade shows, website marketing and email, and are allocating the greatest slices of their budgets to these tactics. The top three tactics have remained consistent year-over-year.

Trade shows have claimed the greatest percentage of marketing budget allocation this year, with its greatest supporters being large organizations. On average, organizations of this size invest a third of the marketing budget to trade shows.

This significant investment may be a result of the perceived increase in the tactic’s effectiveness. Our study found trade shows moved from the seventh most effective tactic last year to the fourth position this year.

As the use of tablets, e-readers and smartphones increase, and more print publications add online services to readership, organizations in the media or publishing sector are prioritizing websites with the greatest average budget allocation of 22%.

When we analyze the allocation of B2B marketing budgets by the sophistication of a company’s marketing process, we learn that highly strategic marketing departments are most likely to invest in marketing automation, PPC and telemarketing.

The use of marketing automation in itself is an indication of maturity, as this requires attention to establishing formal lead qualification, scoring, nurturing and management processes. Likewise, PPC requires an intricate and consistent management of ad groups, keywords and bids.

Finally, these organizations are likely to use teleprospecting to qualify and nurture leads through relationship-building tactics.

For additional research data and insights about B2B marketing, download and read the free Executive Summary from MarketingSherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report: Research and Insights on Attracting and Converting the Modern B2B Buyer.

Useful links related to this chart

2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report

Trade Show Strategy Overhaul: 6 Steps to 36% Larger Deal Size

B2B Email Marketing: Why renting third-party lists is among the worst tactics

B2B Inbound Marketing: Top tactics for social media, SEO, PPC and optimization

B2B Marketing Infographic: How are B2B marketers optimizing their funnel?

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