Marketers still spending with ROI

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Last month in BtoB, we reported the sentiments of several major b-to-b marketers and ad agencies in the face of economic uncertainty. Virtually all said they were moving ahead with their original ad spending plans. “Steady as it goes” said Carl Anderson, CEO of Doremus, in regard to his clients. This seemed to be the mantra of large spenders such as FedEx Corp., Motorola Solutions and Sybase Inc. Of course, as we have seen in the past, sometimes marketers and agencies can pull in the reins quickly; but so far many vertical ad markets are not being affected by the threat of a global downturn. IDC last month revised downward the projected growth this year among tech marketers to 3.5%, but that's still not bad considering the overall economy and the markets' doom and gloom. In late September, on a day when the market gyrated, 18 of BtoB's 25 Top Digital Marketers gathered on stage in San Francisco and told the audience over and over that they were continuing to boost spending on digital marketing efforts. What are the coming hot spots? Social media, multichannel integration, analytics and mobile were cited by many. As we look back at what happened in 2008, this is a much better situation so far, and media executives need to keep one thing in mind: Spending will never be executed the same as in the past. We need to keep finding new ways to connect marketers with readers and to help marketers prove the spending worked. Yes, ROI is now the essence of marketing spending. Bob Felsenthal can be reached at