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  • Writer's pictureBeckie Crum

Making your B2B marketing budget count

A jar tipped over on its side with coins spilling out

First it was the Coronation, then Eurovision, vast swathes of the UK have been celebrating recently. But 2023 remains tough. The dates of the cost-of-living crisis keep extending and we’re all feeling the pinch.

It’s not just the gasp-worthy prices in the supermarket, it’s financial pressures at work too. 60% of B2B marketers reported reduced or flatlined budgets for 2023. There’s plenty of arguments for NOT cutting the marketing budget of course, and you can read about some of them here. But not every CEO or CFO will be persuaded, as they gaze with horror at their escalating operating costs.

So, when every penny counts, where should B2B marketers be concentrating their efforts? Here are five key areas for consideration:

On your most valuable customers

Often the lion’s share of the B2B marketing budget goes towards scrambling after new customers. But if a large proportion of profits comes from core existing customers, that’s where your marketing budget should be focused. Current customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend between 31% and 67% more than new ones, depending on which report you read. Remember that a happy and satisfied current customer is a wonderful thing and they are deserving of your marketing love.

Upgrading your data capabilities

Data drives growth, but it’s meaningless if you can’t unlock its value. Only 50% of B2B marketers are confident about the quality of their data, so the industry is full of wasted efforts. The right data analytics will enable you to see patterns and react quickly to changes in customer behaviour, providing the personalised experiences that will enable you to stand out from your competitors. Effective campaign tracking and reporting will make it easier to defend your budget and report back on all the hard work your department is doing.

Implementing or improving automation

B2B marketing automation platforms free up your team from repetitive tasks so they can concentrate on the bigger, more meaningful stuff like strategy and carefully nurturing your most promising leads. They can also give you a far better understanding of customer behaviour, generating the kinds of insights that empower you to optimise your marketing and drive growth. In a year when everyone needs to be more productive, automation is the way forward.

Meeting customers in their favourite channels

This is not the time for a scattergun approach; this challenging year calls for focus and your hottest prospective customers are likely to be even more time-poor than usual. So go to their preferred channels and be there with consistent messaging and content that adds value. In a challenging year, no-one has time to waste.

Evaluating your MarTech stack and investing in training

When Covid happened a lot of businesses had to quickly add to their MarTech stack. Now might be a good time to re-assess it. Are there all sorts of exciting capabilities that aren’t being utilised because no-one knows how? If so, investing in staff training could be the best money you’ve spent all year. Refresher sessions and prioritising training for newbies will also keep it working hard rather than slowly falling into disuse. And anything that is no longer useful you can trim them from your stack and the budget.

Need to make smarter use of your B2B marketing budget in 2023 and beyond? Talk to us.

Featured image by Josh Appel on Unsplash

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