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B2B: Bullish 2 Ballsy?

Business-to-business marketers are in a confident mood, according to B2B Marketing's annual State of the Market survey, carried out in association with LBM, with 67 per cent describing their market as 'buoyant' or 'very buoyant'. This is marginally higher than the figure in the 2005 State of the Market survey, which was 63 per cent. Yet since last year, the number of practitioners who believe the market to be in decline has risen slightly to nine and a half per cent, which perhaps balances out the figures. Just under one quarter of respondents believe their market is static.

News was less positive regarding budgets (see Figure 2), with the number of marketers reporting a decline in budgets during the last 12 months rising fractionally from 13 to 15 per cent between 2005 and 2006. However, the vast majority of companies report that budgets have either remained static (44 per cent) or increased (42 per cent). Similarly, optimism for the coming year remains high, with 54 per cent of respondents expecting marketing budgets to grow (exactly the same as last year) and only eight per cent predicting a decline (slightly higher).

Board-level and inter-departmental support: Generally, B2B marketers report good relations and support from the board, with 71 per cent describing attitudes towards, and understanding of, marketing to be either 'excellent' (28 per cent) or 'good' (43 per cent). Only five per cent described relationships as 'poor'. The trend in relationships appears to be one of gradual improvement, with 48 per cent reporting a positive change in the last 12 months, and only eight per cent claiming relations have worsened.