According to a B2B report entitled “2023 State of B2B Marketing Budgets” by the marketing metrics firm Integrate, marketing budgets remain tight. In 2022 they had largely been cut or left unchanged compared with 2021; as of the middle of 2023, in spite of having met or exceeded growth targets during the past six months, and in spite of expectations that growth will be favorable for the remainder of the year, budgets are still being squeezed.
Adapting to the Cutbacks
Among specific sectors, spending is being cut most prominently in content creation/strategy, customer marketing, field or event marketing, marketing ops/technology, product marketing, communications, demand generation, digital, ABM, new verticals, and sales enablement. A deeper analysis uncovers that the majority of this pinch is due to cutbacks in travel (46% – which also includes convention and hotel fees). This makes sense, as conducting business via Zoom conference became common during the Pandemic, and it follows that it helped make a lot of business travel seem less necessary. Business travel is perhaps trending toward a special expenditure within the marketing budget, as tickets and hotel stays remain expensive.
An intriguing disconnect is reported within the survey: on the one hand, strong optimism for the remainder of the year; on the other, extensive burnout (68%). Since the survey also indicates that adapting to lower budgets apparently means piling more work on fewer team members, increasing reliance on contractors, and closing offices, the sense of burnout among those staying on is understandable.
Leveraging Budgets Wisely
Within the Marketing Technology (MarTech) stack, there are some positives that indicate that funds that have been freed up from some of the efficiencies mentioned above can be put to better use. A majority of respondents claim that they are satisfied with their martech stack, however, at the same time they report redundancies within it, there is definitely room to redirect existing funds to achieve more powerful results and better return on investment (ROI).
In fact, at a recent 6-month campaign performance meeting with one of our clients, we were able to report that total users on their website had grown 120% and pages per session had grown almost 50% due to the digital campaign strategy they ran with AMG Defense Tech. Most importantly, the specific segments of expertise that they needed to promote to grow their business/revenue plan grew over 1,200% YOY on their website. When digging into the profiles of the users that saw their campaign, they were directly tied to the geographic markets they needed to be in, the interests/skills, job titles, and the companies they needed to be in front of.
For another client, and through efficiencies and leveraging their own data, AMG Defense Tech was able, with the same budget as the prior year/period, to increase traffic 129% YOY, increase traffic from their Top 10 geographies by 150.2%. The campaign actually drove 64% of all their traffic to their key website pages.
Continuing with the report, one of the largest marketing challenges reported (90%) by the respondents to the Integrate survey is that marketing data itself is difficult to interpret, and 46% report difficulty using the data. AMG Defense Tech understands that selling to the big players in the defense contracting space requires a partner, one who understands how to get and keep your brand in the minds of those seeking proposals and specific expertise. Organizing and understanding the data about your markets is key to solidifying your brand as the go-to partner for the buyers you wish to target.
You Need a Partner
AMG Defense Tech knows how to tell your story to the ones making the contract decisions. We have the tools and the proven track record to develop an efficient campaign, helping you understand and nimbly respond to the data we get back. Whether designing a new corporate identity or running a suite of targeted campaigns tied to multiple verticals, we can shepherd you through this trying process, letting you focus on what you do best. By understanding the data, and the gaps or redundancies in your MarTech, we can bring new potency to a potentially underperforming segment of your marketing budget.