Double dip recession.  Greek bond defaults.  Spanish bailout.  We’re clearly not quite out of the ‘Great Recession’ yet.

But we business-to-business marketers have always been an optimistic bunch.

The latest B2B Barometer survey explored the opinions of 128 B2B marketing professionals collectively controlling budgets of £29.1 million.

It reveals that despite the economic turmoil, the majority of client-side B2B marketers see happier times ahead.

Confidence is high

A balance of 70% are confident in their organisation’s commercial prospects for the coming 12 months.  This starkly contrasts with the low point of 48% reached two years ago in June 2010.

This confidence is reflected in marketing budgets.  One half (49%) report that their budget for the next 12 months is set to increase and only one quarter (28%) expect budgets to decline.

B2B marketing agencies are even more optimistic.

Two thirds (61%) of agencies report that their billings have increased over the past 12 months.  Looking ahead, a net 80% of agencies are confident in their trading outlook for next 12 months.

So, it seems most of us are set for a busy year.  The B2B Barometer also reveals where the ‘hot spots’ of activity are likely to be.

Marketing priorities and budget allocation

When asked to name their highest priorities for the coming twelve months, B2B marketers report that four objectives are likely to consume their attention.

Three of these concern demand generation – generating more leads (41% name as a priority), generating better quality leads (27%) and raising brand awareness (32%).

The fourth involves better harnessing the revenue potential in existing customers through up- and cross-selling (38%).

They also reveal that five marketing channels will take centre stage in their efforts to do so:

  • Trade shows (expected to consume 15% of total marketing budget)
  • Direct mail (12%)
  • Email (11%)
  • Website development (9%)
  • Print advertising (9%)

Fancy some more?

There are plenty more juicy stats in the full report which reveals the complete ‘state of the nation’ and this wave has a special focus on content marketing.  Take a look:

Find out more about Circle Research’s B2B research services here.

Hope you enjoy!

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About Andrew

Andrew has specialised in B2B research for over a decade and co-founded Circle Research in 2006. He is a columnist for B2B Marketing Magazine, a regular contributor to Research Live and frequent speaker at leading events such as the B2B Leaders Forum, Customer Experience Live and the Social Media World Forum. Andrew is a Chartered Member of the MRS, teaches the MRS B2B research course and holds an MA in Psychology from Aberdeen University alongside an MSc in Marketing from Strathclyde University.

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