Forrester research on how B2B marketers will spend their budgets in 2014

Posted on by Laura Hamlyn

Forrester and the Business Marketing Association surveyed B2B marketers and found that their budgets will increase by 6% in 2014--but budgets are still not back up to pre-recession numbers.

Trends in spending include an increase in reliance on technology to track customer engagement (via AdAge):

Changes to the buying process are partly responsible for the greater investment in tech, said Ms. Ramos. "Buyers have more control over the purchase process," she said. "They self educate, they look for information earlier in the purchase process and they're waiting longer to talk to sales. From that standpoint, companies are saying, 'how do we get involved in that purchase-making decision earlier, before sales talks to them?'"

Forrester had some recommendations on how modern marketers should allocate their budgets:

For 2014, the B2B marketing portfolio should include:

  1. Investing in assets with high reuse potential. To further extend reports, whitepapers, and videos, CMOs should ask agency partners to divide these assets into component parts publishable as blog posts, shared slides, infographics, or website content that marketing teams can incorporate easily into automated campaigns
  2. Prioritizing regional or industry-specific events over big shows. Events should create opportunities for prospects and clients mingle with executives, key partners, and thought leaders.
  3. Optimizing digital/social spend to drive business results. Marketing leadership must also seek out the right tools and partners that can help their teams pinpoint which digital elements of the online marketing mix reach the right buyers and produce results that help the business reach revenue and growth goals — not just reach
  4. Focusing content creation on thought leadership versus product collateral. B2B CMOs will need to direct content marketing efforts on delivering new commercial insights, inspiring customer stories, or forward-looking viewpoints to provoke buyer engagement
  5. Setting aside money for the unexpected trend to test