Corporate Eye

B2B Marketing Budgets Revealed

Cahners Advertising Research Reports revealed the distribution of business-to-business marketing budgets and the results shake out just about as one would expect them to with a heavy investment in trade magazine and trade shows.  However, there are a few surprises and the results definitely make one wonder whether companies are distributing their marketing budgets appropriately given the current trends in media advertising and consumers’ reactions to and interests in those media.

Here’s the breakdown courtesy of Branding Strategy Insider:

  • Trade magazines 23%
  • Trade Shows 18%
  • Direct Mail 10%
  • Promotion/Market Support 9%
  • Internet/electronic media 9%
  • Publicity/Public Relations 7%
  • General magazine advertising 6%
  • Dealer/Distributor Materials 5%
  • Directories 5%
  • Market Research 4%
  • Telemarketing/Telecommunications 3%
  • Other 1%

I’m pleased to see that 9% is being invested in internet and electronic media, but honestly, this number needs to increase.  While companies and brands are still learning how best to leverage the internet to drive business, particularly the social web, they have to at least take some risks, get on board and start testing the waters.  The age of passive marketing has passed, and active marketing is the way of the future.  Companies that understand the shifting trend and embrace it will reap the rewards in the long run.  This holds true for both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets.

I’m also surprised that 3% is still invested in telemarketing and telecommunications, unless mobile advertising is included in that number.  If so, then the number makes more sense, and I’d expect we’ll see it grow in the future. 

The other statistic that really sticks out to me in this report is the 10% investment in direct mail.  Certainly, direct mail is a traditional advertising standard, and it’s hard to give it up.  However, with postage costs rising to exorbitant prices, it’s time to start finding other marketing tactics to take the place of direct mail.  That brings me back to my first point above about the need to boost marketing spending in internet and electronic media.

What stands out as surprising to you in these statistics?  What statistic screams for change, and which ones are just right?

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

I agree…I think that online marketing is crucial. This is why I use dotMailer for email marketing. They have helped me boost my ROI and increase my customer base 10 fold. Excellant company. Brilliant service. Would definitely recommend.

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