The Marketing Strategist:

Services Marketing Budgets on the Rise; Priorities Differ for Growth Companies

January 26, 2017

  • Marketing Strategy & Operations

Budgets are on the rise for B2B services marketing in 2017 with companies reporting an average increase of 4.4% this year, according to ITSMA’s latest Services Marketing Budget and Trends study.

With the increase, however, comes additional pressure to perform. Some 80% of study respondents indicate that marketing’s scope of responsibilities has expanded, often substantially, while marketing staff is only growing at a rate of 5.8%.

Meanwhile, the average increases mask important differences across organizations. More than 40% of organizations expect to increase spending this year while only 20% expect cutbacks. The remaining 39% will remain flat compared to last year.

Figure 1. Services Marketing Budgets in 2017 Compared to 2016

2017 Services Marketing Budget Allocations and Trends

We also continue to see significant differences in the role, focus, and impact of services marketing, both at high-growth and other companies.

High-growth companies are investing more in people, with 67% increasing spending on people compared to 25% at other companies.

In addition to the increased spending on people overall, we also see important differences in the types of roles that high-growth companies are adding in the next 1-2 years, especially in newer areas for marketing such as data analytics and customer success.

Figure 2. Marketing Leadership Roles in High-Growth vs. Other Companies

2017 Services Marketing Budget Allocations and Trends

As B2B firms continue to shift toward subscription and as-a-service models, the investments of higher growth companies in these newer areas for marketing are likely to strengthen marketing’s leadership and impact across the organization.

These are just a few of the highlights from our new 2017 Marketing Budget and Trends study. To learn more, tune in to the replay of ITSMA’s State of the Profession Address webcast, and listen to ITSMA’s Dave Munn and Julie Schwartz discuss the most important findings from the study and highlight top priorities for services and solutions marketing in 2017 and beyond.

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