Social media marketing to be key growth area
Social media is likely to be the largest future growth area in business to business marketing, expanding by 65%.
That is one of the main findings in a new survey commissioned by ABBA (the Association of Business-to-Business Agencies) and the UK’s Institute of Direct Marketing, to look into current and future B2B marketing budget trends. The B2B Barometer survey was sent out to over 2000 members of the IDM who qualified as being B2B organisations with control over their B2B budget and on the client side rather than agency.
Lack of Knowledge
Key details from the survey showed a significant lack of knowledge in new activity areas such as social media marketing, which featured highly in future marketing plans. 71% of the respondents agreed that there had recently been a change in emphasis from strategic marketing to lead generation based marketing. And 71% of the surveyed group were in agreement that B2B marketing had matured as a discipline.
Print is alive and well despite rumours to the contrary
Further results revealed that, despite current feelings among many marketers, digital media has still got a long way to go to totally replace conventional print. In fact 80% of respondents held this opinion and were happy to admit that they still relied on trade media for some information ahead of websites. Many hard copy publishers will doubtless be happy to learn that 80% of the surveyed group disagreed that digital media will make print advertising obsolete.
The survey also revealed forecast future spending trends and the digital sector received a huge boost as we have already outlined – social media +65%, but the traditional marketing activities of direct mail, trade shows and print were significantly in the minus with DM recording a drop of 10%, PR a drop of 11%, Trade shows down by 13% and the previously lauded print advertising is thought likely to be on a downward trend in 2010, reducing by 22%.
So what about confidence in the economy? 13% of B2B marketers were of the opinion that the current downturn will last for another 9-12 months, whilst 34% forecast 12-18 months and 29% opted for 18-24 months. 50% of those surveyed revealed that they were confident in their organisation’s future outlook, though 82% indicated that budgets would remain static or even fall over the next 12 months.
33% of those surveyed reported that their focus in the future will be to acquire new customers. 10% said retention was the plan whilst 57% indicated an equal focus on acquisition and retention.
And finally, the biggest priorities for the future: Increase online presence, build lead generation, communicate value for money, make sure databases were more accurate and, above all, remain profitable.