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:
(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:
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.