Fewer than half (43%) of B2B marketers say their budget this year is higher than it was last year, and not much is expected to change next year, when 42% feel their budgets will be higher than they are this year. That’s according to the State of Marketing Budgets report [download page] from Integrate and Demand Metric.
Still, only 1 in 4 expect their budgets next year to be lower than this year, which is an improvement from the situation this year, when one-third say it’s lower than in 2021.
This year, only 1 in 3 respondents say they have more resources overall to work with than they did last year. Despite that, half of respondents say that they are expected to achieve more this year than they did in 2021.
With B2B marketers under the gun to produce results, a look at how they anticipate budgets will change across various areas may signal where they feel they can derive the most bang for the buck.
The area of investment most targeted for an increase next year is customer marketing. Some 54% expect they will spend more on customer marketing next year, while an additional 18% expect their investment levels will remain the same.
Content creation/strategy will also be a focus next year for B2B marketers, with 54% anticipating a hike in budgets for these activities and a further 14% planning steady budget levels.
Among other areas of note, almost half (47%) expect an increase in spending on marketing operations/technology, compared to 35% who envision a decrease in spending in this area. Demand generation is set for an increase in spend for 47% of respondents, against a decrease for almost 4 in 10 (39%). B2B demand gen marketers themselves aren’t quite as pessimistic, according to a recent study [download page] from Activate and MarketingCharts: just 1 in 8 (12%) expect a decrease in their demand gen budgets in the year to come, versus 46% who predict an increase.
Returning to the Integrate research, some areas don’t have quite as rosy a forecast. For example, the share of respondents who expect to cut their sales enablement spend (38%) is almost as large as the share who believe their spend will grow (40%). More expect their communications spend to shrink (41%) than expand (37%), while the picture is decidedly worse for account-based marketing (ABM). Fully 53% of respondents said their ABM budget might decrease next year, almost twice as many who said it might increase (29%). That pessimism is interesting in light of other research finding more than half (53%) of B2B marketers saying that ABM has generated more revenue than other marketing efforts.
Overall, a slim majority (52%) of B2B marketers are optimistic about their marketing team and its performance compared to a year ago, and most (56%) believe it likely that their marketing team will meet or exceed the goals set for it this year.
For more, download the study here.
About the Data: The results are based on a September survey of more than 500 US and UK-based B2B marketers, the majority of whom work at companies with more than $50 million in annual revenue.