2018 Services Marketing Budget Allocations and Trends Study

  • Author(s) Julie Schwartz
  • Published February 21, 2018
  • 233 Pages
  • Category Content & Communications, Engagement & Advocacy, Hot Topics, Marketing Operations, Sales & Field Enablement, Strategy & Planning
  • Type Benchmarking
  • 233 Pages
  • .PDF Format

B2B marketers have long known that buyers strongly prefer to work with providers that know them and their business, and provide personalized content, guidance, and offerings. For the first time, though, a strong majority of services marketers are acting on this knowledge with their budget priorities. Almost two-thirds of marketing organizations in ITSMA’s 2018 services marketing budget study are increasing investments in engagement and advocacy programs this year, twice as many as in previous years.

Growing investments in building and sustaining relationships is not the only priority for marketing leaders in 2018, but strengthening personal and account-based engagement is certainly a common theme across the full list:

  • Transforming marketing to play a more strategic role
  • Enhancing the total customer experience and ensuring customer success
  • Developing world-class marketing operations
  • Building highly-targeted, personalized, content-driven lead management and nurturing programs
  • Cultivating long-term relationships with account-based marketing

Additional highlights from the study include:

  • Services marketers, on average, are increasing budgets by 11.3% in 2018, although the average is driven by substantial increases from less than half of all organizations. Some 40% of organizations are spending no more than last year, and 16% are actually cutting back.
  • Services marketers continue to shift the people-programs balance a bit more in favor of program spend. Estimates for 2018 include 54% for program spend vs. 46% for people, compared 53-47 last year and a straight 50-50 split in 2016.
  • The shift to digital also continues, with marketers now spending just as much online as they do offline. From a tactical perspective, the areas seeing the greatest increase include online advertising and promotions, corporate websites, and social media.
  • Account-based marketing continues to ramp up, with 40% of marketers already implementing ABM and another 33% planning to implement in the next 1-2 years. 
  • Demand generation tops the list of skills to strengthen, with ABM and marketing metrics following close behind.
  • Marketing organizations lack leadership in a number of crucial areas, including marketing operations and campaigns, social media engagement, and content marketing.


2018 Services Marketing Budget Allocations and Trends, a PowerPoint-style report, delivers a detailed look at the state of the services marketing profession as it exists in early 2018. It provides data on services marketing budgets, budget allocations, and marketing priorities from a range of companies across the technology and professional services industries.

Topics covered in the report include:

  • Size of the marketing budget
  • Marketing staffing
  • Services marketing budget allocation
  • Content & communications budget allocation
  • Thought leadership marketing budget allocation
  • Digital & offline marketing budget allocation
  • Marketing tactics
  • Engagement & advocacy budget allocation
  • Marketing operations budget allocation
  • Account-based marketing budget & spending plans
  • Marketing priorities & challenges
  • Marketing organization perception & scope

Study Methodology

ITSMA gathered detailed data on services marketing budgets, trends, and priorities from a cross-section of large B2B technology and IT services firms with an invitation-only, web-based survey during December 2017 and January 2018. Survey respondents were 43 senior marketing and services marketing leaders at 43 global firms, roughly half product-based and half professional service firms, with 40% of the respondents from $1 billion+ companies.

The report includes data analyzed four ways:

  • The data set as a whole
  • By company performance (high performers and laggards)
  • By company size (less than $1B and $1B or more annual revenue)
  • By company type (product & services, and primarily sell services)


B028 Methodology and Demographics


Participating Companies

The full report is available at no additional fee to ITSMA member companies that participated in the study. Non-member companies that participated in the study are eligible to receive an Executive Summary.

  • AIM Consulting
  • Birlasoft
  • BT
  • Capgemini
  • Ciena
  • Cincom
  • Cisco
  • Cognizant
  • Commvault
  • Concentrix
  • Conduent
  • Datamatics
  • Dell EMC
  • Demandbase
  • EXL Services
  • Happiest Minds
  • Invetech
  • KPIT
  • KPMG
  • Netmagic Solutions
  • NetApp
  • Neudesic
  • Nexient
  • NIIT Technologies
  • O2 Telefónica
  • Optum
  • Persistent Systems
  • PTC
  • PwC
  • Red Hat
  • Rimini Street
  • SBS Group
  • Subex
  • Sungard Availability Services
  • Syntel
  • Tata Communications
  • Thirdware
  • ThoughtWorks
  • United Rentals
  • VMware
  • Vodafone
  • Wipro


If your company is on the above list, please send us an email (using your company email) and request your copy of the report. Orders will be processed the next business day.

The full report is available at no additional fee to ITSMA member companies that participated in the study. Non-member companies that participated in the study are eligible to receive an Executive Summary.

For non-participating companies, this report is available for sale at member and non-member prices.

This document is available at a reduced rate to employees of an ITSMA member company. It’s also available for sale to non-members.
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