Majority of B2B Brand Marketers Say Brand Building Gets Less Than A Third of Marketing Budgets

September 9, 2022

More than half of B2B brand marketers are at least reasonably confident that they’ll meet their brand building goals, including almost half (46%) who are “very confident,” according to The State of B2B Brand Building 2022 report [download page] from Transmission. Respondents to the survey express this confidence despite what the study calls a “worryingly low” investment in brand building programs.

The study’s authors cite other research suggesting that brand building should account for almost half (46% share) of B2B budgets, with the remainder devoted to lead generation. However the report’s results find that the majority of B2B brands are spending less than a third of their budgets on brand building and brand marketing programs. In fact, almost half (47%) are spending 20% or less of their budgets on brand building, with an additional 16% allocating 20-30%, such that 63% are investing 30% or less of their budgets to brand marketing.

By comparison, a scant 18% are allocating at least 40% of their budgets to this area.

That’s despite almost all respondents saying that brand building programs are either more important (43%) or equally as important (54%) as demand/lead generation programs. Some 93% likewise say that brand building is either more important (32%) or equally as important (61%) as account-based marketing programs.

Still, brand building budgets look set to grow. Some 57% said that these investments will increase, and an additional 38% said that they will stay the same. Separate data from the CMO Survey released earlier this year [pdf] found that B2B product companies intended to increase their brand building spending in the year ahead by 8.9%, while B2B services companies predicted a hike of 14.8%, a bigger increase than for B2C companies.

Whether those budget increases will be enough remains to be seen: brand budget limitations emerged as the second-most cited barrier to achieving brand objectives in the Transmission survey, behind only brand reputation and risk.

Other Findings:

  • About one-fifth (21% share) of respondents said they are already using the metaverse for their brand experiences, and a further 57% plan to do so in the next year (35%) or two (22%).
  • The top brand marketing objectives in the year ahead are growing brand awareness and familiarity, improving creative stand out and creative identity, and strengthening brand strategy and positioning.
  • Some 43% of B2B brands surveyed are currently taking an active stance on societal issues. The top issues that respondent brands are currently taking a public-facing stance on are climate change and other sustainability concerns, gender inequality, and racial discrimination.
  • About 2 in 3 say that their brand champions societal causes for both commercial and ethical reasons, while 22% believe their brand does it for commercial gain only.
  • More than half (56%) believe it’s either highly (21%) or somewhat (35%) likely that their brand could be pushing misleading cause-based messaging or claims without checking their true authenticity.

For more, download the study here.

About the Data: The results are based on an April survey of 500 B2B brand marketers across Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Singapore, the UK, and the US. Some 27% work at large enterprises ($500+ million), while another 44% are at small to medium enterprises ($10-500 million). The majority (63%) are the primary marketing budget decision-maker, while the remainder have shared decision-making responsibilities or influence the decision-making.

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