In the last years, the business world has changed for marketers. Like any profession marketers are asked to deliver more for less. Do we need marketing in first place to generate sales, or do we need sales revenues to justify additional marketing? However it is necessary to understand how well your marketing budget is aligned with business goals and market realities.

Is B2B marketing - Revenue generator or Cost-center?
It is a fact that if you are not able to quantify the business impact of the budget dollars spent on advertising, trade shows and promotions your CFO looks at marketing as a cost center: one of the first places to cut when the business indicators dip, and one of the last to be renewed when things turn around.

A better way to justify your marketing budget is to think of it as an investment that incurs costs today, but delivers benefits for many years to come. In most organizations, any significant investment needs a bottoms-up business case that demonstrates how it will deliver a minimum rate of return. With digital demand generation, marketing spending is the easiest investment to tie to ROI.

Measuring Marketing ROI:

The newly developed approach to measuring marketing ROI is Revenue Performance Management (RPM), simply defined as the strategy to interact with buyers across revenue cycle to accelerate predictable revenue growth. So it boils down to the combination of strategy and marketing automation to optimize the sales funnel from top-funnel demand generation through lead capturing, lead nurturing and hand-off of sales qualified leads (SQLs) to the sales team. We call this process Enterprise Inbound Marketing.

Another new aspect of Revenue Performance Management is the emphasis on revenue-centric metrics, like cost-per-lead, cost to acquire a customer, percentage of target revenue achieved and percentage of pipeline sourced by marketing. With this kind of approach, CMOs can easily evaluate marketing performance and justify budgets.

How 2013 B2B marketing plan is shaping up?

An exclusive study by B2B Outlook Marketing Priorities and Plans conducted across 300 marketers reported exclusive trivia’s of 2013 marketing budget like:

• Amount Spent?

Around 48.7 percent of marketers say they will increase their budgets this year, up from 40.1 percent last year. About 41 percent will keep their budgets the same, down from 48.4 percent last year.

• Spent Where?

Categorically 67.2 percent of marketers say they will increase their spending on digital marketing this year. Of those, 70.1 percent will spend more on website development, 61.9 percent on email marketing, 56 percent on social media, 55.8 percent on online video and 52.5 percent on search.

• Achieving what?

As per B2B marketers report, the number-one marketing goal this year is demand generation/customer acquisition, cited by 69.3 percent. The second most important goal, increasing brand awareness, was way behind, cited by 17.6 percent. In third place: customer retention, cited by 13.1 percent.

Old and New!!

Yes, marketers have whole-heartedly accepted shares of digital and mobile in their budget plan, but B2B companies did not remove old marketing tactics like events and direct marketing completely. The 2013 budget shows a healthy combination of both old and new.


Author's Bio: 

Linda Mentzer is a published author and senior marketing manager for an information management company that has helped sell thousands of software products on a global scale. With over 11 years of experience in electronic marketing techniques, Linda has authored articles for several leading business journals, worldwide.