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BtoB

Marketing outlook: Mostly sunny

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BtoB's' ninth annual “Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Plans” study provides some very positive projections for this year. First and foremost, 41% of b-to-b marketers surveyed said they are increasing budgets this year. That's on top of the 52% that increased their spending last year. Nearly half this year (49%) are keeping spending flat, while just 10% plan to cut back. So marketing spending overall is way up from two years ago. While that's a mostly sunny forecast, the clouds for some media companies are where marketers will spend. Not surprising, digital again is leading the way, with 76% planning increases, followed by marketers' spending on their own websites (68% increasing). Other areas seeing increased spending include email, social, search, video and webcasts. Mobile is just starting to take hold in b-to-b, with 20% of marketers planning to increase their spending in this area this year. Where does this leave media companies? Well, among these increases are some hot pockets of opportunity, such as custom website content, email and lead-gen programs, virtual events and webcasts, online video advertising and social offerings. Unfortunately for media companies, much of the increased spending will be for such things as technology platforms, CRM software, marketing automation platforms and, perhaps the most challenging, social advertising and social staffing. Happily, event spending will be up, with 41% of respondents saying they plan increases, and many media companies will benefit from those dollars. Bob Felsenthal can be reached at bfelsenthal@crain.com.
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