by Jaimie Siegle | Advertising Systems Inc.
B2B marketing budgets are expected to rise in 2014, with businesses prioritizing their digital needs in order to most effectively reach their customers, according to a study conducted by Forrester Research and the Business Marketing Association.
“Many B2B CMOs will struggle to make dollars stretch while protecting program allocations,” said BMA Chairwoman Kathy Button Bell said in a statement regarding the newly published study. “Specifically, we’ll see CMOs trading off traditional ad dollars in favor of digital, investing in content marketing, and carrying on the love/hate relationship with trade shows and conferences.”
But when it comes to digital marketing, there are countless ways to spend a marketing budget, from search engine optimization and email marketing to display advertising, social media or mobile applications. Not every strategy will work for every business, and there’s no perfect formula to make a product or website go viral.
Instead, small businesses – especially B2Bs – will need to determine who their target consumers are and how they spend their time online, then create a cohesive marketing plan around them. This past holiday season, for example, e-commerce sales in the U.S. jumped almost 10 percent from the previous year, according to eMarketer. In addition, most retailers and small businesses cited organic search and direct digital marketing as having the greatest impact on increased sales.
The Forrester/BMA study reported that more marketing dollars may go toward data analytics and digital technology, two sectors which have become more popular over the past few years as businesses continue to search for a competitive edge in the digital space.