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BtoB's Outlook 2013: Marketers show robust optimism

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New York—Marketers plan to markedly increase spending this year and are as bullish as in 2011, according to a study by BtoB, which presented findings along with marketer reaction during a webcast Tuesday. The report, “Outlook 2013: Marketing Priorities & Plans,” found 49% of respondents planned to spend more this year, up from 40% in 2012. Only 10% said they planned to cut their budgets. Digital marketing will gain the most, with 67% planning to increase such spending, according to the online poll, conducted in November, which drew 366 b-to-b marketer respondents. Other areas projected to see increases include social marketing (cited by 54%), events (42%), mobile (35%) and direct mail (35%). “Demand-gen and customer acquisition are marketers' primary goals this year,” said John DiStefano, BtoB research director and a webcast panelist. Website development will be a particular focus, he said, commanding 21% of budgets this year. Panelist John Kennedy, VP-corporate marketing at IBM Corp., said his company's focus on content marketing will continue to showcase employees. “We do business through our people, showing that IBMers are an important part of our programs,” Kennedy said. Paid partnerships with social sites also have become a significant part of IBM's outreach. Kennedy cited the company's relationship with Tumblr, a project called IBMler, which highlights news about the company's patents. “That's become a way to drive engagement with the brand and create content that's sharable through external networks,” Kennedy said. Panelist Jamie DePeau, CMO at Lincoln Financial Group, said Lincoln also planned to increase its emphasis on partnerships and employee involvement. “We are looking for media partners with new ideas that are creative, to break through and get our target audience's attention,” DePeau said. “We'll use business cable, print and online as the foundation. We are shifting more online this year, using more thought leadership and less lifestyle messaging.” DePeau said Lincoln also plans to emphasize public relations and invest heavily in surveys and studies. This content will feature the views of Lincoln employees as prominent thought leaders, she said. To obtain BtoB's “Outlook 2013: Marketing Priorities & Plans” study, click here.
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