More than three-quarters of b-to-b marketers expect their budgets to increase or stay the same next year, according to the “2011 B2B Marketing Outlook” study conducted by Google in September and October.
Despite the rapid, decade-long growth of Google and other digital means of advertising, traditional channels still commanded 66% of b-to-b marketing budgets this year, the study found. In fact, traditional media accounted for the top three budget items for the average b-to-b marketer: trade shows and events (28%), magazines/trade publications (13%) and direct mail (9%).
Nonetheless, more than 80% of marketers are using digital marketing methods in one form or another. “Digital is becoming kind of traditional,” said Sam Sebastian, Google's director-local and b-to-b markets.
E-mail marketing was the top digital expenditure, garnering 8% of a typical b-to-b marketing budget. Google's bread and butter, search engine marketing, accounted for 5%, as did search engine optimization.
A majority of b-to-b marketers said that combining digital with traditional and using multiple media in a campaign improves effectiveness. Six in 10 marketers said offline efforts affect online activity. “When efforts across the marketing continuum are well- coordinated ... we see all boats rise,” an unidentified General Electric Co. marketing executive said in the survey.
The research was conducted by Ipsos OTX, which surveyed 636 b-to-b marketing executives online. An additional five marketing executives participated in 20-minute phone interviews.