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More than half of U.K. marketers surveyed report their B2B spend is up for the past 12 months.
Economic clouds might be lifting in the United Kingdom. A July report that surveyed B2B marketing executives shows 87% expect sales growth to increase in the next year, with only 3% predicting a decline. And 56% say their marketing budgets increased in the past 12 months. Subtracting those whose budgets declined still leaves 40% of respondents indicating budget growth, according to results of the B2B Barometer Report 2014.
The rise in B2B marketing budgets has been substantial, the report says, having increased by an average of 19%. More than one in 10 report an increase topping 50%. The report was sponsored by the London-based Business Marketing Collective, which is composed of several U.K. B2B business groups: Circle Research Ltd., a B2B market research firm; the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, an educational and training certification organization; and B2B Marketing magazine’s publisher Silver Bullet Publishing.
The survey was based on responses from 116 B2B marketers in the U.K. who collectively control or influence marketing budgets in excess of $157 million.
Survey respondents were asked to rate the key trends in B2B marketing, and the top three were web content development, social media and online personalization. A common thread could be that they are “driven by a cultural shift among buyers of B2B goods and services. B2B markets have always had a sense of ‘community’–they’re often close-knit and relationships matter,” the report notes. To that end, customers increasingly expect a supplier “to be a good citizen in the community and possibly even a leader; someone who engages well with others, that contributes to the greater good and can be trusted,” the report says.
Key challenges for U.K. marketers are probably universal. 30% name a lack of time and budget as their most significant challenges and nearly one in five (17%) cite “demonstrating importance” as a key challenge. In other words, to secure the budget and resources needed, proving the potential for return on investment “is, and always has been, of paramount importance,” the report notes.
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