Survey Shows Business Marketers Now Spend Nearly Half Their Budgets
CLEVELAND, OH – December 2, 2008 – A survey of business-to-business
marketers indicated that the migration of communications budgets from
traditional media to online has accelerated to the point where nearly
half of all spending, 47 percent, is spent on online marketing techniques
The survey, conducted jointly by Hearst Electronics Group
and Goldstein Group Communications (GGC), was conducted via email during
August and September, 2008 with b-to-b marketing executives throughout
“This type of data reveals best practices among
business marketers at a time of tremendous flux,” said GGC President
“The sense of urgency to move to online marketing
has been felt by leading marketing organizations for some time now,
but the extent to which budgets have been re-defined is dramatic.
While traditional media still play a role in building a balanced
program, clearly online spending for webcasts, search engine marketing
and generating online content are now seen as the primary drivers of
branding and lead generation for most companies.”
that it’s likely the increased pressure for program measurability and
accountability in 2009 budgets is also a factor in pushing programs
to more online spending.
“The survey’s goal was both simple and
straightforward,” said Hearst VP Publishing Director William Barron.
“Identify how companies are allocating dollars, what’s working and,
most importantly, why.
The most advanced marketers today build
balanced programs that incorporate multiple points of contact with their
targets, from print to online to shows to direct.
reinforced that budgeting shouldn’t be a search for the ‘magic bullet’
but instead must follow a disciplined and proactive strategy.”
While the survey queried marketing executives on sales channels
strategies, barriers to growth, and other 2009 plans, the survey’s main
conclusions centered around budget patterns for marketing communications
“When web development, search engine marketing and
webcasts are combined, marketers today are spending 47 percent of total
budgets on online tactics,” said Goldstein.
“This includes online
video and social media, which are very small portions of the budget
today but are expected to grow rapidly during the next few years.”
“Traditional media spending on print advertising is the single largest
program in the budget for an important reason,” notes Barron.
“Research from all the main trade publishing companies, including
Hearst, Reed and the online firm Techinsights, shows that prospects
spend a majority of their time in print when researching products and
The key point for marketing today is that it is an
‘AND’ not ‘OR’ world, meaning that customers use both print and online
Part of the reason marketers are so willing to devote
such a large portion of their budgets to online may be tied to lead
The single best source of leads, they report, is their
web site, at 24 percent, followed closely by search engines at 19 percent.
While one might expect that high spending for online tactics would
lead to strong lead quantity, this question dealt instead with a marketer’s
source of their BEST leads.
Online and trade shows, at 15 percent,
appear to be the most important sources of quality leads.
this environment, many budget choices in 2009 will be based on what’s
‘nice to have’ versus what we ‘have to have.’
Programs that are
proven to generate the highest quality leads, and that are easiest to
track to a lead or sales conversion, will end up as the winners,” said
Search engine marketing currently consumes 11 percent
of budgets, when including organic as well as pay-per-click programs.
Barron notes the importance of building strong brands carries through
to Google and Yahoo! initiatives as well.
“The value of strong
brand recognition can be found typically in your company’s own server
logs, the database that identifies what words or phrases people have
typed in to Google or Yahoo! in order to find your site,” he explains.
“The dominant phrase is likely to be your company’s own name or
While ideally you’re building search engine visibility
to reach new people who don’t know you, the approach still must be centered
around balanced brand-building so the market knows your name and you
carry some level of visibility in your space.”
is still a player in b-to-b spending, at 12 percent total, evenly split
between email and direct mail marketing.
Trade shows continue
to represent a large portion of marcom budgets at 17 percent, Goldstein
“While trade shows are certainly among the most expensive
tactics employed, and while shows have enjoyed a modest growth spurt
from 2002 to 2007 in traffic and revenues, we had expected to see more
trimming in that portion of the budget, as senior level executives and
buying decision-makers continue to curtail their trade show attendance
for many industries,” he said.
Also in traditional marketing,
a still robust 11 percent of budget is spent on print materials, meaning
that most marketers have concluded they can’t live by online PDFs of
brochures and data sheets alone.
Printers can take heart that
marketers still see a role in printed literature and catalogs for the
b-to-b sales process.
“One of the other areas of inquiry is managing
marketing on a global scale,” said Goldstein.
are so tied to overseas markets, which presents a challenge to marketing
executives who must coordinate a unified message worldwide.
wanted to measure whether decisions on messaging and budgeting remain
with U. S. headquarters, or have dispersed to other areas of the world.”
In this survey, two thirds of revenues come from outside North America
for these companies, with 20 percent coming from Europe, and 19 percent
North America remains the center, though, for generating
marketing materials and messaging:
42 percent report all creative
originates at U. S. headquarters, while another 30 percent report these
decisions are made “mostly” at U. S. headquarters.
holds for budget and spending decisions as well, though slightly less
Some 43 percent say budgeting decisions are made completely
at U. S. headquarters, with another 20 percent saying “mostly” in the
For demographic purposes, 79 percent of survey respondents
carried a marketing or sales title, with another 15 percent as CEO/President.
One-quarter of survey respondents were from large corporations with
revenues of $151 million or greater;
nearly a third, or 31 percent,
were from smaller marketers with annual revenues at $10 million or less.
The email survey was distributed to marketing executives and top
management among North America electronic manufacturers and b-to-b executives
during August and September, 2008.
Survey data are based on 99
For a white paper on 2009 Marketing
Budget Best Practices, with results of the complete survey, contact
Joel Goldstein, Goldstein Group Communications, at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 216-509-3119.
Hearst Electronics Group
Hearst Electronics Group is
the largest publisher of product information to the electronics industry.
Its directories, e-newsletters, web sites, magazines, webcasts,
inventory access tools, and databases are invaluable resources for engineers
involved in product design. Hearst Electronics Group is part of Hearst
Business Media (HBM), an operating group of the Hearst Corporation.
About Goldstein Group Communications
Group Communications, a technology b-to-b agency, brings an unusual
combination of corporate communications management and engineer-level
writing capability to its national client roster. With deep experience
in electronics and industrial markets, the agency is able to draw on
its skills to articulate with impact and clarity the technical advantages
its clients bring to their customers. Unlike other agencies, staff members
for the most part have built their careers on the corporate side of
the desk, rather than as agency executives, a perspective that results
in a higher level of accountability and measurability in the agency's
Hearst Electronics Group 50 Charles Lindbergh Blvd.
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CONTACTS: William Barron
VP Publishing Director, Hearst Electronics Group 516-227-1322
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