Two-thirds of B2B marketers expect budgets to grow in the next 12 months
Despite the challenging economic environment, a new report from Linkedin shows many B2B marketers are set for increased budgets, backed by finance peers who have greater faith in their ability to drive revenue.
B2B marketers are more bullish about the outlook for the next 12 months with increased optimism fuelled by the prospect of larger budgets, and the backing of their finance peers, according to a new report by LinkedIn.
The professional network surveyed just under 2,000 marketing and finance leaders from across the world about their plans for the next year and found two-thirds of B2B marketing leaders expect their budgets to increase in the next year.
Across marketing, budgets have came under pressure this year because of spiralling costs as inflation threatened marketing budgets across B2B and B2C.
But the report appears to show the majority of B2B marketers have the backing of their CFOs. According to the report, 60% of the CFOs surveyed said that they were optimistic about their marketing team’s ability to drive revenue.
Tom Pepper, senior director of EMEA and LATAM at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, claims the endorsement offered by finance in the “B2B Marketing Benchmark” report shows the “financial fluency” of marketers is improving.
He adds: “In a period where conditions are harder and people are looking at the bottom line and looking for profitable growth, often marketing is a place that organisations will go to make savings. ”
“One of the biggest challenges for any marketer is to demonstrate the value of marketing to business outcomes.”
However, he believes that marketers have become better at sharing the facts and figures that back up the importance of branding and marketing. According to the report, 80% of B2B CMOs say that they have learned “the language of finance” to help them secure more marketing budget and 84% said that strengthening their skills in this area helped their CEO/CFO to understand the value of brand marketing.
There is indication that this is successfully translating into investment allocation with money split between long and short-term outcomes. Almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents state that brand-building has become more important.
Pepper believes the increasing importance of brand in B2B and a step away from campaigns focused solely on lead generation is cause for optimism.
“Brand is going to be critical for B2B,” he says. “In the last year or so, we’re starting to see marketers make the case for the importance of brand and how it drives value for an organisation.”
Pepper believes that there is a huge amount of “untapped opportunity” around brand building in the B2B sector, especially at such a challenging time for businesses. Marketers will have to think creatively about how to build a brand in this space. “Don’t forget that you are actually marketing to humans not businesses,” he adds.
Despite the general increase in confidence, the tech industry was highlighted as an outlier, according LinkedIn’s report, with 26% of respondents from the industry stating that their budgets have decreased. Respondents from the tech industry were also more likely to say that their budget was allocated to generating new leads, rather than brand-building.
The report also shows use of generative AI tools are on the rise. Three-quarters of those surveyed said that they planned to make use of AI to create “more content in less time” and 55% said they planned to use the tool to increase efficiency in their team.