BtoB

Survey results bode well for '08

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In December, BtoB researched its marketer readership and found that despite economic unrest, 60% of respondents plan to increase their budgets this year. Of course, that was two months ago, and things may change; but this indicates strong resilience for most b-to-b segments this year.

A full 61% of those increasing marketing spending said they were upping it by more than 10%, and 30% were raising it more than 20%. These are very strong numbers and, for those of us in market segments not directly hit by consumer lending and housing, we have a good opportunity to avoid the downdraft this year.

The biggest area of increase, as expected, is online, with 79% of all marketers planning to boost spending. Events are also strong, with 50% of marketers planning increases.

Among online categories, Web site development, e-mail and search marketing are where the money is flowing, with most marketers planning increases in spending behind these tactics. And even online banners are in demand, with 36% planning to increase spending on them.

And how about print, you ask. Well, 28% of respondents said they were increasing print budgets. However, 20% are decreasing print spending, so don't plan on double-digit print increases this year.

Finally, only 28% rated trade media partners' willingness to work together toward marketing goals as excellent. That's much worse than the 40% that agencies garnered.

The dollars are out there. We just need to tailor new programs and work more closely with marketers, and this may be a sunny year after all.

Bob Felsenthal can be reached at bfelsenthal@crain.com.

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