[Research Round-Up] Insights on B2B Marketers, B2B Buyers, and Marketing “Superpowers”

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(This month’s Research Round-Up features three studies that look at the state of B2B marketing budgets and marketer attitudes, the state of online B2B buying, and what influences B2B buying decisions.)

The State of B2B Marketing Budgets (2023 Edition) by Integrate and Demand Metric

Source:  Integrate and Demand Metric
  • An online survey of B2B marketers with 547 qualified responses
  • 53% of the respondents were affiliated with “Mostly B2B” companies – 47% with “Both B2C and B2B” companies
  • 56% of the respondents were located in the United States – 44% in the United Kingdom
  • 71% of the respondents were with companies having $100 million or less in annual revenue
  • Survey conducted March 16-23, 2023

This survey addressed a wide range of issues relating to B2B marketing including the state of budgets and staffing, how marketers are adapting to economic uncertainty, and the level of marketer optimism.

Here are some of the major findings from the survey.

  • 23% of the surveyed marketers said their 2023 budget was unchanged compared to 2022, while 29% reported a slight (14% or less) increase, and 23% reported a slight decrease.
  • The picture on staffing was similar. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of the survey respondents reported no change in staffing this year, while 24% reported a slight increase, and 24% reported a slight decrease.
  • Over two-thirds (69%) of the surveyed marketers said they had met or exceeded their growth targets over the preceding six months. Most survey respondents were also optimistic about marketing’s performance in 2023. More than seven in ten (72%) believe it is likely or very likely their marketing team will meet or exceed its goals this year.
  • When survey participants were asked what marketing areas or tactics they are optimizing for growth in 2023, the top-ranked selection (chosen by 57% of respondents) was customer marketing/upselling/cross-selling. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of the survey respondents ranked customer marketing as their top area of investment in 2023.

The B2B Future Shopper Report 2023 by Wunderman Thompson Commerce & Technology

Source:  Wunderman Thompson
  • A survey of 2,261 purchase managers, procurement managers, purchasing clerks, agents, purchasers, and C-level executives
  • All respondents had a purchasing budget of more than $24,000 and were with companies having annual revenue of more than $595,000
  • Respondents were drawn from eleven countries around the world
  • Survey was conducted November 21, 2022 – December 5, 2022

This is the third edition of Wunderman Thompson’s B2B Future Shopper research. The new edition of the report contains 77 pages, and it’s filled with valuable insights regarding the attitudes and behaviors of global B2B buyers.

It’s impossible to do this research justice in a brief summary, but here are a few of the major findings.

  • 49% of global B2B buying/spending is now online, and survey respondents predicted the level will rise to 57% in five years.
  • 46% of the respondents said they are frustrated with buying B2B products online.
  • 67% of the surveyed buyers said they start their purchase journey online, with the supplier’s website/mobile site being the top channel for both search and purchases.
  • 43% of the respondents said they changed some of their suppliers in the previous 12 months, with pricing issues being the primary reason for switching suppliers.

The 2023 Superpowers Index by Merkle B2B

Source:  Merkle B2B
  • Based on a survey of 3,622 buyers and users of B2B products and services
  • Captured insights into 6,767 B2B brand experiences
  • Survey respondents were recent B2B buyers across technology, financial services, manufacturing, and professional services, and respondents were drawn from markets in North America, Europe, and APAC.

This research aimed to describe important attributes of B2B buying and identify the factors (the “decision drivers”) that influence purchase decisions.

Merkle’s research found that competition between B2B brands has become more intense. For example:

  • The average number of brands considered by B2B buyers increased from 3.1 in 2022 to 3.2 in 2023.
  • On average, B2B buyers are taking longer to make purchase decisions – 350 days in 2023 compared to 344 days in 2022.
  • The incumbent brand’s position is less secure. In 2023, incumbents lost out in 34% of buying journeys, up from 29% in 2022.

The report discusses seven decision drivers that showed a new and elevated level of importance in the 2023 research and 13 decision drivers that remained as important in the 2023 study as they were in the 2022 edition of the research.

In the 2023 research, the decision driver that was the most important factor for buyers when making a purchase decision was, “I feel safe signing a contract with them.”

This research provides several valuable insights, and I recommend that you read the full report.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

David Dodd
David Dodd is a B2B business and marketing strategist, author, and marketing content developer. He works with companies to develop and implement marketing strategies and programs that use compelling content to convert prospects into buyers.

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