A 2019 report from Spiceworks revealed that 44 percent of B2B companies upped their marketing budgets while only 8 percent lowered it.
Marketing budgets are a tricky thing to figure out, because they’re going to be different for every company based on revenue, goals and the strategies that work.
But, with 2020 looming and just a month or so left to plan out your budget, here’s how you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your marketing investment over the next year.
Breakdown Your Budget
By now, you likely have a ballpark figure for a marketing budget in mind.
This will depend on your yearly revenue and your goals for the coming year. For example, if you had a great year revenue-wise, you might up your budget from last year to give your marketing efforts an extra push.
Coming to an agreed budget isn’t the hard part; the difficulty comes when you’re trying to break down that budget into different strategies, teams and outcomes.
Take the Spiceworks report, for example.
It showed that, in 2019, B2B brands planned to spend one-third of their marketing budgets on paid media, 22 percent on trade shows and events, 21 percent on marketing technology investments and 19 percent on help from agencies and partners.
Your Biggest Marketing Purchase
More often than not, you’ll find that you have one marketing spend that’s bigger than the rest. This might be paid ads — if that’s how you’re promoting your business — or it might be outsourcing content to freelancers, or it might be something else.
It’s worth factoring in this big outlay of money first, before you start planning the rest of your marketing budget.
Over the next few years, reports show that the largest increase in marketing spend for B2B companies is going to be investment in technologies that help improve content, experience, engagement and analytics.
So, while you might have your marketing budget all planned out right down to the last penny, remember that unexpected developments in technology might mean you need to spend a little extra in new areas. In these cases, it’s best to reserve a bit of your budget for this kind of thing.
Taking in to Account the Key Trends
The world of marketing changes constantly for B2B brands, and staying on top of everything can be overwhelming and, in some cases, near impossible.
Before you carve your marketing budget into stone, it’s worth considering the key trends that are set to take precedence in 2020.
First, we’ll start seeing more and more B2B companies tapping into account-based marketing (ABM), which is where marketing efforts are laser-focused on individual accounts rather than a larger, more generic audience.
This strategy helps you build deeper connections with prospects and, as a result, decrease the length of the sales cycle and boost customer satisfaction.
In fact, this is such a hot trend that over half (60 percent) of B2B brands are dead set of implementing this model in the coming year.
Chatbots to Improve Customer Experience
Customer experience is such a huge part of marketing these days for both B2Cs and B2Bs. In fact, it’s been identified as the most exciting business opportunity over the next year.
This means soothing customer pain points, answering obligations in a timely manner and generally providing an enjoyable experience for all prospects.
However, this can be tricky when you’ve got a lot of inquiries coming in and not a lot of resources.
As a result, many B2B brands are turning to chatbots to answer simple questions on the spot and to help personalize the buying experience for their prospects. We’ll start to see more of this in 2020 as an increasing number of B2B brands lock onto this experience-boosting strategy.
Video marketing isn’t a particularly new marketing trend, but we can expect to see more B2B companies tapping into its power over the next 12 months. 96 percent of B2B companies are already using it in their marketing arsenals, but it will become an integral part of the vast majority ofB2B marketing campaigns in 2020.
All of these trends require investment in one way or another, whether it’s extra staff to deal with the personal aspect of ABM, or tools and equipment to shoot compelling videos. It’s worth bearing this in mind when planning your budget.
Determining Your Marketing Budget
The final part of the process is actually figuring out the exact numbers in your marketing budget and what money is going to be spent where. There is no one-size-fits-all formula to apply here unfortunately, but there are a few key questions you can ask yourself to straighten things out.
Consider questions such as:
- What marketing strategies do you want to run? Think about strategies that have worked for you over the past year and the ones you want to look into moving forward.
- How many team members do you have? Is that enough to handle all your marketing needs, or will you need to outsource some activities?
- What big outlays of money will you have to pay out? Think about the biggest marketing strategy you use for your business.
- What ROI are you hoping for? Like with most things, the more you put in, the more you get out.
Have You Got Your Budget Sorted?
With 2020 just around the corner, it’s vital that you start planning next year’s marketing budget as soon as possible.
The amount you spend will depend on your revenue, the activities you want to experiment with and the kind of results you want to achieve. The budget one B2B brand has won’t be the same as another, so it’s important that you figure out what works for you and your business.
Once that’s done, you can welcome 2020 with open arms.