By this point, most B2B marketers are well into their planning for 2017, and it appears that many marketers will have healthy marketing budgets in the coming year. Several research studies have found that a majority of marketers are expecting their budgets to increase in 2017.
For example, in the August 2016 edition of The CMO Survey (sponsored by Deloitte, the American Marketing Association, and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business), respondents, on average, expected their marketing budgets to increase by 7.2% over the ensuing 12 months. While these results do not cover all of 2017, they still indicate that marketing budgets are likely to rise in the first several months of the coming year.
In the CMO Spend Survey 2016-2017 by Gartner, 57% of survey respondents said they expect their marketing budget to increase in 2017, while only 14% expect their marketing budget to decrease next year.
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Where Will Spending Grow in 2017?
So, where will marketers be increasing their spending in 2017?
Marketing Technology – Given the growing dependence of marketing on technology, it shouldn’t be surprising that marketers expect to be spending more on martech in 2017. In the State of Marketing Technology 2017 study by Walker Sands Communications and chiefmartec.com, 70% of survey respondents said they expect their marketing technology budget to increase slightly (50%) or greatly (20%) in 2017, and only 2% expect a decrease.
Content Marketing – Recent research also indicates that marketers will be spending more in 2017 on content development and content marketing. In the 2017 edition of the content marketing survey by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 70% of B2B respondents, and 73% of B2C respondents said they expect to create more content in 2017 than they did in 2016. On the specific issue of content marketing spending, 39% of B2B respondents, and 42% of B2C respondents said they expect their content marketing budget to increase over the next 12 months.
Account-Based Marketing – It also seems clear that marketers will be spending more in 2017 on account-based marketing activities and programs. The growing popularity of ABM is now well established, and research shows that B2B companies are investing more in their ABM efforts. In the 2016 State of Account Based Marketing (ABM) Study by SiriusDecisions, 27% of survey respondents said they were devoting between 11% and 30% of their total marketing budget to ABM. That was up from 19% in the 2015 edition of the study.
And fully 73% of the survey respondents in the SiriusDecisions study said they were spending more or significantly more on ABM in 2016, compared to 2015. It’s likely that these spending patterns will continue in 2017, although the rate of spending growth may slow.
Predictive Analytics – In the B2B marketing world, the use of predictive analytics is closely tied to the use of ABM. Therefore, as more and more companies implement ABM, the use of predictive analytics is also likely to increase. In the 2016 Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising, Gartner puts “Predictive B2B Marketing Analytics” at the peak of inflated expectations. Gartner has observed that the market for B2B predictive analytics remains immature, but the firm also says that “the return on investment is often so compelling that many B2B companies are likely to consider adoption over the next two or three years.”
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