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Outlook 2012: Marketers planning new ad campaigns

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With the primary goals of gaining new customers and raising brand awareness, 66% of b-to-b marketers will launch new ad campaigns this year, according to BtoB's "2012 Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Plans" study.

The report, now in its ninth year, was based on an online survey of 343 b-to-b marketers, conducted between Nov. 21 and Dec. 12. It found that the top goal of b-to-b marketers this year is customer acquisition (cited by 75% of respondents), followed by brand awareness (15%) and customer retention (10%).

To achieve these goals, marketers will use a variety of on- and offline programs. The biggest area of investment will be online, with 74% of marketers increasing their online budgets. Other areas that will see significant increases include events (41%) and direct mail (36%). Overall, 40% of marketers plan increases in their total marketing budgets.

Among the companies launching new ad campaigns this year are Fellowes Inc., IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Siemens. These marketers are using a broad mix of media in their ad campaigns.

Fellowes, which makes office equipment, last month rolled out a new campaign for its line of shredders called "Beyond Tough," created by Slack & Co., Chicago. The campaign includes TV, print, radio, online and out-of-home, and is aimed at business professionals. The budget was undisclosed.

"It's probably been a good five years since we've done television," said Maureen Moore, VP-marketing and communications at Fellowes. "With television, the reach you have is very, very large; and TV allows us to demonstrate the unique features of the shredder in ways other media do not."

Moore said Fellowes is decreasing its spending on print this year, although it is running print ads in The Wall Street Journal as part of an integrated program with that publication that also includes online ads and mobile apps for the iPad and iPhone. Other elements of the campaign include pre-roll video, social media and airport advertising.

Siemens, a global company that provides solutions in energy, healthcare and manufacturing, this month will break three new TV spots that are part of its ongoing "Siemens Answers" campaign, created by Ogilvy & Mather, New York. The campaign budget was undisclosed.

"We continue to invest in TV, print and out-of-home, as well as events," Siemens CMO Tom Haas said. "We really have a multichannel integrated program. We have never felt that any one medium overtakes the other."

In addition to traditional media, Siemens will use more social media this year, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

BtoB's survey found that 64% of b-to-b marketers will increase their social media spending this year.

Other areas of online investment this year include websites and email (each cited by 67% of marketers), search (54%), video (50%) and webcasts/virtual events (46%).

Mark Rentschler, marketing manager at machine tool company Makino Inc., said the company would increase its spending this year on search, online advertising and direct marketing, including email and direct mail. It will continue to use print, although its spending on this medium continues to decrease.

"We will revise a couple of ad campaigns so they have a more robust call to action, with not as much specific brand advertising as we've done in the last few years," Rentschler said. "Ideally, [ads] will deliver the respondents to a microsite, where we have a lot of sticky content that would interest them even further in Makino."

Mark Wilson, senior VP-corporate and field marketing at enterprise software company Sybase Inc., said Sybase plans to increase its spending this year in four key areas: collateral, social media, direct marketing and mobile.

"Spending is viewed with caution," Wilson said. "We will pull back on those areas that are not necessarily producing and increase the things that are. As marketers in general, we want to figure out how to squeeze the costs out of our proven marketing platforms."

Sybase will cut spending this year on search engine marketing and virtual events, and keep its advertising, events, PR and website budgets flat.

On the social media side, Sybase will use a variety of sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, to encourage discussion about its brand and products.

It will also increase mobile marketing spending, including display ads on mobile websites and more mobile apps, Wilson said.

IBM last month rolled out three new TV commercials that are part of its "Smarter Planet" campaign, created by Ogilvy & Mather, New York. The spots focus on IBM's analytics products, e-commerce solutions and cloud computing services. The campaign budget was undisclosed (see story, page 8).

Also, Microsoft Corp. last month rolled out an ad campaign called "Your Office, Your Terms," aimed at female entrepreneurs. The campaign includes a microsite, social media, an e-book and live events. The budget was undisclosed.

The latest work is part of a global ad campaign Microsoft launched in September, called "It All Works Together," to promote Office 365. That campaign includes print, online, out-of-home and events.

For information about obtaining the complete research findings from the "2012 Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Plans" survey, go to www.btobonline.com/intelligencecenter.

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