In the first quarter of 2013, ABM polled 74 marketers about their expectations for future B-to-B advertising. Separately, Forrester Research polled 56 marketers in the third quarter of 2013 on the same topic. The results showed some deep parallels. Here are some responses to similar questions posed in the ABM research, called The Value of B-to-B, and the Forrester research, called Q3 2013 North American B2B Marketing Budget Online Survey, reported in a white paper called Focus B2B Marketing Budget Gains On Business Outcomes To Succeed In 2014. The Business Marketing Association (BMA) was a partner in both studies.
MARKETER BUDGETS ON THE RISE
Both research projects asked marketers to estimate their future budgets:
Both surveys show that ad budgets are on the rise. The later research shows a smaller forecasted rise, so the trendline is for continuing growth in marketer budgets, although perhaps at a decelerating pace.
DIGITAL SPENDING A PRIORITY
The two studies also asked marketers about their priorities for future spending, that is, detailing areas in which they expect to increase and decrease spending:
Here too we see similar trends: Digital ad budgets are on the rise across the board. More marketers plan to decrease their traditional print advertising than plan to increase it.
One major difference: Forrester found little support for face-to-face events (30 percent plan to decrease spending vs 21 percent planning an increase), while ABM found much more support for events (only 9 percent planning to spend less, with 38 percent planning to spend more).
RESEARCH FIRM FORRESTER URGES MORE SPENDING ON RESEARCH
One major “key takeaway” not supported by either research study: Forrester emphasizes that “CMOs must focus budget choices on customer engagement,” including “thought leadership.” Deep into the report, Forrester explains this takeaway: “Forrester believes that the survey reflects more conservative responses than we will see play out in practice.” Unsupported by its own results, then, Forrester advises CMOs to prioritize regional shows over national, to optimize digital and social, and to focus content creation on thought leadership.
“Thought leadership” means “CMOs will need to concentrate content marketing efforts on independent customer-centered research.” Or in other words, independent research firm Forrester advises CMOs to spend more on independent research, based on no actual research.
In related news, McDonalds top execs urge consumers to eat more hamburgers. Also, Rolling Stone Magazine says “Like a Rolling Stone” is the greatest song of all time.
By Michael Moran Alterio