The third in a series of market surveys carried out by B2B specialist research agency Circle Research and supported by ABBA and the Institute of Direct Marketing, has revealed exciting, positive changes in the market over a six month period. The B2B Barometer provides a factual marketing perspective on how B2B companies are reacting to changes in the market.
The latest B2B Barometer survey of around 120 B2B Marketers and Agencies (FREE to download at www.b2bbarometer.co.uk) shows that optimism is building in the B2B sector, with the majority of agencies and marketers revealing rising revenues and improved future growth prospects. In addition 41% of the client marketing professionals reported larger marketing budgets for the next year, but 59% of the agencies surveyed reported a decline in the quality of enquiries and 30% of the agency sample actually experienced declining revenue. It has provided a true measure of what is happening to business markets and will certainly help both clients and agencies make future decisions based on real peer-to-peer information.
Debbie Williams, Chair of the IDM B2B Council, said, “The B2B market place is a real barometer of what’s happening in business. it is often very difficult for companies and agencies to keep pace with the latest market trends and this series of surveys has proven to be a valuable measure for B2B agencies and marketers. Some very interesting facts about social media and its relevance have been unearthed. I am delighted to be associated with this unique and ongoing survey programme.
Social media is declining
Just 28% of B2B marketing respondents actually had a strategy in place for Social Media. Many of the remaining group are beginning to question its relevance to the B2B sector. However, 86% still insist that spending on social media will increase over the next twelve months. An interesting fact is that 70% of client side organisations still have no social media strategy in place, which is a 7% increase from the last B2B Barometer survey in December 2009. A key issue for client marketers would appear to be the measurement of results, with 79% of those polled indicating that no actual measurement of social media activities was taking place, though 64% of the group believed it was possible!
Key factors for B2B Marketers and agencies
Many of the professionals surveyed were anxious to increase two way communication with their clients, and build on customer relationships. It was believed that email marketing could be a more effective tool in relationship marketing. Data raised its head yet again as a critical factor and all those surveyed were in agreement that accuracy and quality in data were critical factors in B2B Marketing.
Measurement was again highlighted as a critical area for attention. Suggestions indicated that more integrated systems and better sales force alignment was required to make ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment) more effective. Only 43% of client side respondents actually measured ROMI and the metrics used were the ‘easiest’ to gather rather than those which would have the greatest benefit for the business.
An executive summary of findings has been published at www.b2bbarometer.co.uk. To find out more about B2B marketing budgets, key trends and insights into the social media phenomenon – including how project fees are calculated and how the impact on reputation is managed please visit http://www.b2bbarometer.co.uk/
The new report will be available shortly in PDF format for FREE download direct from the site. Copies of the original benchmark study and the second survey are also available for download.