Spiceworks report shows marketing becoming a bigger priority – with ABM and video key

More than a quarter of European organisations expect to beef up their marketing budgets in the coming year, with account-based marketing (ABM) and video high on the priority list, according to a new report from Spiceworks.

The report, which involved a survey of more than 350 B2B marketers in technology companies across North America and Europe, found half (49%) see their budgets remaining flat year on year with only 8% expecting a decline. When asked as to why their budgets were going up in 2019, more than half (51%) cited an increased priority within the business on marketing, while the usual suspects of customer expansion (48%) and greater revenues (45%) also highly cited.

On average, almost a third (30%) of European marketing budgets are allocated towards paid media, with 22% going on trade shows and events, and 20% on martech. Of this, perhaps unsurprisingly, it is martech which is seeing the greatest growth, with more than half (51%) of those polled saying they will spend more in that area in 2019.

Going deeper into the paid media side, search (28%), social (19%) and email marketing (12%) naturally made up the lion’s share, ahead of display advertising (10%) and events (9%). Looking at the specific technology, tech based around content and experience (28%) was the most popular, ahead of those which gauged social and customer relationships (20%).

The survey results showed more companies than not had a detailed enough marketing plan for 2019. Webinars were the most popular tool used when it came to driving lead generation, cited by half of those polled, ahead of whitepapers (48%) and case studies (45%), while only 8% of those polled said they didn’t have a blog plan outlined. For two in five (39%) who were able to set out a yearly marketing plan, the primary reason was being allocated annual budget availability. 19% of those polled said they did not buy annual programs.

Ultimately, the goal of marketing – to liaise with and improve sales – was also analysed. 55% of those polled said they were aligning sales and marketing goals, 52% they were coordinating activities between the two departments with the same number saying marketing and sales met regularly to optimise activities.

“When it comes to B2B marketing in the year ahead, budgets are growing and stable – thanks primarily to organisations ranking marketing as a higher priority in 2019,” the report concluded. “And with recent customer and revenue growth, marketers are prepared to keep the momentum going by spending the bulk of their funds on paid media, namely search marketing and paid social. It’s all part of an effort to meet their primary goal for the new year: generate leads and acquire new customers.

“The majority of businesses are poised to unite sales and marketing teams by aligning their goals and coordinating their activities to blast through obstacles and meet their objectives in 2019.”

You can read the full report here.

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