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B2B budgets at an all-time high

Budgets are looking healthy in B2B, says Andrew Dalglish, director of Circle Research

The latest wave of the B2B Barometer suggests the money trees are blossoming in the land of B2B marketing. The survey of 116 B2B marketers with a collective spend of £95 million reveals that:

• Fifty-six per cent have seen their budget grow in the last 12 months.

• The average budget increase is 19 per cent.

• The outlook remains rosy – 87 per cent expect their company’s revenue to grow over the coming 12 months.

When asked where they plan to spend their budget over the coming 12 months, three channels stood out:

• Events topped the list with the average marketer planning to spend 15 per cent of their budget on trade shows.

• Email follows a close second, receiving 12 per cent of budget.

• Website development stands to receive an average of 10 per cent.

These are the headline facts, but if we look deeper into spending, three interesting patterns emerge:

First: the long anticipated dominance of digital channels still isn’t here. In Q1 2014, 39 per cent of marketing spend was on digital. Guess what it was in Q2 2009? Yup, 39 per cent.

Second: direct sales and telemarketing are ‘all-or-nothing’ channels. Only one-third use direct sales, but if they do it receives 21 per cent of budget. Likewise, only one-fifth use telemarketing, but they spend 12 per cent of budget on it.

Third: content creation and social media are the fastest growing areas of spend. A net of 50 per cent report greater investment in content, and 45 per cent do the same for social media. And this is growth from a low base suggesting there’s more to come. 

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