Results of a study amongst 132 B2B marketers jointly conducted by Booz & Co, American Business Media (ABA) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) was presented last week. Assuming the findings are (or will soon be) relevant for the European and Dutch marketplace as well, this survey made me wonder.

Key conclusions from the survey:
I) [Meanwhile], 67% of surveyed B2B marketers say they plan to decrease spending on print advertising in the next two to three years and 74% plan to decrease spending on TV and radio advertising.
II) ‘Marketing leaders’, however, are shifting to social and digital channels faster.
III) Partnering with marketing services and media firms over the next two to three years are being seen as more or much more important. That level is more than double the number of firms who plan to partner more with their traditional agency of record.

B2B marketing mix

Ad I) With marketing budgets still under scrutiny, one (at least I do) could question at what level current budgets are in terms of above-the-line B2B marketing. What ROI have print, radio and tv commercials brought sensible B2B marketeers sofar that justified these spending levels? For argument’s sake, let’s assume budgets have remained more or less the same in 2010 vs 2009. With only 3 out of 11 categories in decline, this makes one wonder what sizeable amount of money was being spent on traditional media. Sizeable enough to make up for all remaining categories that were reported to see budget spendings expected to strongly increase in the near future.

Ad II) A staggering 39% of respondents are classified as ‘marketing leaders’ by this survey – based on doing well across a variety of factors. Either there are simply more leaders amongst other marketers than in other disciplines. Alternatively, I’d support this survey’s next edition using a redefinition of the ‘marketing leaders’ segment. Perhaps that would lead to a more modest cohort of marketing chiefs and more indians. And just maybe it would also result in a more significant delta between between so-called leaders and non-leaders, now sometimes being as little as 4% or 6% (see chart for social media & online).

Ad III) This conclusion seems to be like adding 1+1. With the marketing & comms mix moving more digital and online, specialist e-agencies will benefit. Or will they? Perhaps this report and other similar insights will act as a wake-up call for traditional agencies. Who, in turn, might make a quantum leap in terms of their skills, expertise, solution and professionals.

By for instance luring highly specialist subject expert matters to join their camp. Leveraging the customer relationships built over time (on and off the golfcourse) in their transformation to becoming a full service, thru-the-line partner. Time will tell. Haven’t the traditional agencies been dormant for much too long already?

I’d place my bets on niche players to make the difference.We at dutchmarq are doing our very best to stand out from the crowd. And will continue do so.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJ Huisman and AJ Huisman, Paul Hassels Mönning. Paul Hassels Mönning said: Shifting the B2B mix | new blogpost http://ht.ly/2IeVH […]

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