B2B brands are pushing ahead, with 74% increasing their budgets this year — up from 68% in 2021, according to State of B2B Digital Marketing, a study by Ascend2 and Wpromote.
But they face challenges, including privacy and the loss of third-party cookies.
Only 36% are completely prepared for impending data privacy changes, although 67% among best-in-class B2B marketers are. Overall, 60% are somewhat ready, and only 4% not at all.
Email is key to brand strategy as firms deal with the loss of third-party cookies (despite the decline of email open rates as a metric due to Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection). They are employing:
Of course, revenue is the top marketing objective in 2022. B2B marketers seek to:
But the main challenges are different:
Despite these imperatives, only 12% plan to significantly increase their marketing budget this year, down from 26% in 2021. But 62% will boost them moderately, versus 42% last year. Another 5% will keep them as is, but few expect decreases.
Less than a third of companies plan to increase their email budgets this year:
Ascend2 and Wpromote surveyed 321 B2B marketing professionals, including 23% from firms with revenue of $100 million to $500 million, 23% with $25 million-$100 million, 20% with $10 million-$25 million, 13% with $1 billion+ and 10% with less than $10 million.
Of this sample, 34% rate themselves as best-in-class, and 36% as being in growth mode (10% in the last year).
Email ranks third in terms of driving revenue:
In the upper funnel, which is the place for building brand awareness and educating prospects, email is second as a tactic:
But when you get to the bottom of the funnel, when the customer is moving toward conversion, email is first:
At the front end, brands face these obstacles to successful lead generation:
What are they measuring? The top KPIs are: