The Marketing Strategist:

B2B Marketing in 2019: More Influence, but What About Budgets?

March 7, 2019

  • Marketing Strategy & Operations

Once upon a time B2B marketing was considered the poor relation compared to sales. Acting mainly as support and lead generator, it certainly didn’t have the clout of its counterparts in consumer marketing. Fast-forward to today, and we see B2B marketing responsibilities expanding and influence growing.

Expanding influence

The latest ITSMA survey into the state of the marketing profession shows how emphatically marketing’s role is changing. An impressive 69% of our respondents said that the scope of their marketing organization’s responsibilities had expanded and were continuing to expand. They are now far more involved at a strategic level within the business. (Figure 1)

marketing scope

Marketing’s expanded responsibilities break down into three key areas:

  • 32% acknowledge greater strategic responsibilities in terms of contributing marketing and customer insight, shaping new offerings, and refining positioning
  • 39% have expanded execution, including investing in new skills and ways of working, building a digital marketing infrastructure, and using data and analytics
  • 29% say they are putting more focus on relationships, such as emphasizing customer experience, success, and advocacy, accelerating sales with executive engagement and optimizing investments in account-based marketing (ABM)

But what about resourcing?

Yes, marketers are being asked to do a lot more. But are they being given the budgets and resources to be as effective as they should be in their expanded roles? The results are mixed. Just under half, at 48%, expect an increase in their budgets, while 36% say it will stay the same. Twenty-seven percent (27%) will see a decrease.

Staffing predictions are even more indicative of marketers having to do more without added resources: 57% say that staff will stay the same, compared to the 36% who expect it to rise.

What does this mean? Marketing is indeed having more influence on the company’s strategic direction and taking on a range of responsibilities that are important in adding value to the business. But we have yet to meet a marketer who says they have the budget they need! So to meet these growing expectations by their organizations, marketers will have to keep finding smarter and more agile ways of working.

Learn more about the impact on marketing’s expanding influence and other key findings in ITSMA’s 2019 Services Marketing Budget Allocations and Trends study

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