B2B Gamble: Brands Boost Their Marketing As They Brace For A Recession

B2B leaders are bracing for a recession by increasing their marketing budgets, although not to the degree you might think. 

Barely a third of B2B leaders — at 37% — have increased their spend in response to forecasts of stagflation and recession. But they are still ahead of non-leaders, only 23% of whom have done so, according to The annual B2B marketing effectiveness barometer, a global study by The Marketing Practice.  

And, overall, 46% have put more emphasis on growing existing customers or moving them to more profitable products/services.  

They list their objectives as follows: 

  1. Revenue growth
  2. Customer retention
  3. Customer satisfaction 

(That last one might be disappointing to customers).  

But companies are taking chances — 31% strongly agree that they are taking risks and experiments to improve results over time. That’s up from 12% in the 2020 survey. 



And 46% somewhat agree. Only 12% disagree —  down from 27% in 2020 — and only 2% feel strongly about it. 

What distinguishes a leader? For one thing, 20% say they have a common plan and work as one team across sales and marketing, versus 13% of the rest. And 33% have good understanding and strong collaboration, compared to 24% of the non-leaders.  

Meanwhile, 44% of the laggards merely say there is mutual respect and that the teams collaborate well “most of the time” Only 29% of the leaders agree with that statement. 

In addition, 25% of leaders feel their brand is extremely creative, compared to 8% of everyone else. And 21% of leaders say their buyer journey is tightly integrated, along with 9% of the rest. 

Leaders are also more likely to have a structured response to testing — 36% versus 18%.

Perhaps more importantly, 78% of leaders say their CMO sits on their company board, as do 52% of non-leaders.

In general, B2B companies see marketing in these ways:

  • Critical to long-term growth — 26%
  • Primary as a sales-support function — 20% 
  • An engine room for growth — 16%
  • A source of competitive advantage — 15% 
  • The voice of the customer—13%
  • A necessary cost center—9%

Is it working? Overall, 35% of marketers say their brand is extremely well connected.  

The Marketing Practice surveyed over 800 B2B marketers across the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Australia. 


Next story loading loading..