Marketers' budgets to grow in 2007

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If 2006 taught us one thing, it's that change is here. Guess what? There is more change coming in 2007, and it's coming fast.

The good news is that marketers' budgets, according to our recent BtoB survey of 580 marketers, are going up. Sixty-seven percent of those polled plan to increase their budgets, and more than a third expect to boost them by more than 20%.

I should mention that we also found that while 20% plan to decrease their print budgets, 34% plan to increase their print outlay. And most important: 76% are increasing online spending.

The dollars are there; we have budgets to tap in b-to-b. We just need to make sure we are offering the complete integrated package to attract that spending. From e-mail to webcasts, banners to search, publishers need a large quiver filled with arrows for marketers to use to hunt down their prey. And they are hunting. A majority of marketers (67%) said they are most focused on new customer acquisition—for the third year in a row.

We all need to start developing additional lead generation programs; building online directories that can be searched (MediaBrains Inc. has helped us do that on our site); producing webinars (we have done many over the past year, using ON24 Inc.); and adding more white paper microsites, e-mail newsletters, videocasts and podcasts. If we do that and keep the content strong in our print and event products, publishers will see revenue leap.

The most important thing may be to start charging more for online advertising and sponsorships, significantly more.

Bob Felsenthal can be reached at [email protected].

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