B2B Firms to Increase Marketing Spend in 2011

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Interesting news for companies who operate in the business to business arena, following a survey from BtoB Online magazine.

Their survey, including 426 b2b marketers, indicated that 52 per cent of B2B firms intend to up their marketing spend in the coming year and only 7.3 per cent are decreasing their marketing budget this year. 40.8 per cent plan to keep the budget at the same level as in 2010. This is in contrast to 57.7% who said they would slash their budgets in 2009. This may give an indication of a belief that the worst is over and that now is a good time to look to grow activity to make sure they don’t get left behind.

Most companies who are increasing their budgets are doing so by double digits. a quarter by more than 25% and some by more than 50% .

The vast majority of responders said that they would be increasing their online spend, followed by events (44%), direct mail (36.6%), telemarketing (24.8%) and finally print (19.2%).

One of the most interesting developments is the increase in the budgets allocated to social media by b2b companies, with 68.6% now using it for marketing.

The top uses for social media in marketing include brand building (79.6%), thought leadership (53.6%), lead generation (46.8%), customer feedback (40.6%) and advertising (37.6%).

Paul Dunay, global director of services and social media at Avaya, said that while his company is investing heavily in interactive, it will continue to use print and other traditional media to reach business customers. “I thought we overrotated last year toward digital, so this year we rotated back toward more print,” he said.

Dunay also said that 15% of Avaya’s online budget this year will go toward social media, including monitoring tools.

BtoB’s survey also found that new-campaign activity will be up this year, with 65.7% of marketers planning new ad campaigns, an increase of 60.0% over last year.

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