Disruptive times can cause many companies to review spending across all operational departments which includes marketing. But, as we’ve seen in previous global uncertain times, businesses that can effectively focus their B2B marketing budget and intelligently invest in areas that will deliver ROI are the most successful when it comes to protecting and gaining market share or share of voice when competitors go quiet. It feels like this is ever more relevant in a planet getting used to new working behaviours since Covid arrived.
When business leaders assess where they want to spend their resources, an intelligent focus can help them get the jump over the competition during disruptive times. Prioritising the most important activities – those that have the greatest potential for driving tangible results – can not only help businesses weather the storm but come out stronger on the other side. In this article, we’ll look at B2B marketing budget allocation and share some tips on where you might target your resources to maximise ROI and outperform the competition.
How should you spend your B2B marketing budget?
Optimising your B2B marketing budget to maximise ROI and accelerate future growth requires an understanding of business goals. Defining what you want to achieve with your budget will help to determine which areas to invest in and which to scale back from. Is your goal to increase brand awareness? Drive more website traffic? Generate more leads? Convert more sales? Having a clear objective can help businesses better allocate their budget to support those goals.
A great place to start is to conduct a thorough analysis of your marketing spend and performance to date to eliminate areas of waste and inefficiency and boost areas of good performance. Read on for some more tips on how to make the most out of your B2B marketing budget.
Review marketing channel performance
When it comes to the B2B marketing mix, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It is important to understand which channels are performing well for your company and generating the most customer engagement. This can be done by analysing data such as traffic data, social media metrics, and other performance indicators like customer reviews.
This information will help you understand the effectiveness of your digital marketing channels and campaigns and the conversions they have delivered. It can then guide your B2B marketing budget allocation to the channels that deliver the highest ROIs. Common budget-friendly marketing channels include content marketing, social media and email marketing. Remember that Covid has changed where your target audience is located and how they engage with their suppliers and partners, and your marketing strategy must meet their needs.
Audit your tools and subscriptions
Reviewing your current tools and subscriptions can help you identify which are working best for your business and which can be upgraded or downgraded/cancelled. This simple process can help you identify where savings or investments can be made and whether there are alternative tools available on the market.
Ensure you are investing only in the tools and subscriptions that are helping you track your overall goals and KPIs. Too many tools and you risk wasting your B2B marketing budget, too few and you could be missing out on important insights and opportunities. Your team must also be confident in utilising these tools and can understand how to extract all the necessary data to help with marketing budget planning.
Focus on inbound marketing
Inbound marketing is a great way to improve ROI because it is a very targeted form of marketing. When you use inbound marketing, you are able to target your ideal customer by providing them with the information they are looking for. This type of marketing is effective because it is focused on attracting customers who are already interested in what you have to offer. It often requires little upfront advertising investment unlike outbound marketing and delivers a lead conversion rate that is 10 times higher. It should be noted again that Covid has influenced — it has accelerated the strength of inbound marketing because more than ever people want to educate themselves before fully engaging to find out the finer details.
The leads generated from inbound marketing cost 61% less than outbound marketing initiatives. Because of this, inbound marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target market and turn leads into sales. But these results can only come from having built up the foundations for successful inbound marketing. You can develop a good foundation for inbound marketing by focusing on activities like content creation, blogging, social media posts and SEO. When done right, inbound marketing has the potential to increase web traffic, leads, conversion rates and therefore profits. It can also improve brand awareness and customer relationships, which can lead to larger profits in the long term. An important message is that every piece of content your company creates should have a real purpose for your customer but also for SEO and lead generation. Strategise your content creation for the best efficiency.
Maintain communication with your audience
Building a strong relationship with your clients is key to marketing success. Maintaining a loyal client base is often crucial to helping businesses ride through periods of economic uncertainty. Staying in touch with leads by communicating regularly can often help them with their purchasing decision, make them feel more connected with your business and encourage brand affinity. Responding quickly to questions or concerns can also build trust and confidence and encourage repeat business from existing customers. By building a strong, positive relationship with your clients you can improve customer satisfaction, increase sales and maximise ROI from your marketing campaigns.
Can an agency help you with your B2B marketing budget?
When it comes to B2B marketing budget allocation, it is important to make the most of every penny. And during uncertain times, businesses may be tempted to take on marketing activities themselves in an attempt to save costs. However, this approach can work out more costly in the long run if you don’t have the skills, experience and time set aside internally to make the most of your B2B marketing budget.
Reputable agencies that have proven experience and success in your sector can deliver consistent and high-quality marketing materials to support your marketing efforts. Businesses that partner with external agencies can take advantage of specialist marketing skills and experience at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time marketing employee or team. By outsourcing some or all of your marketing activities to an experienced B2B marketing agency, like Motion, you can expand your team’s marketing skillset and accelerate the growth of your business whilst still maintaining tight controls over budget and deadlines.
A marketing agency with extensive experience in the relevant sector can deliver effective marketing solutions for their clients efficiently. In addition, their experience can take the guesswork out of B2B marketing budget allocation. It can also foresee any barriers to success like a poor digital brand or a lack of quality call to actions, or poor website page user journeys.
Here at Motion, we have experience in working across a breadth of engineering, manufacturing and IT industries and understand the marketing nuances of different technical sectors, which can include recognising brand, messaging and other technical marketing elements. Because of this, we can use our experience to help clients understand where the intelligent focus areas are and create a marketing strategy that concentrates on value-added activities and guide clients to allocate their B2B marketing budget in the most effective way.
Read our white paper for more reasons why marketing investment is important to maintain, even during uncertain times. And if you are ready to make the investment but are unsure about how much to invest in your B2B marketing budget, we have a handy online calculator to determine how much you should set aside.
Being active whilst competitors are quiet in times of economic uncertainty can be a great opportunity for businesses to become more visible online. But at the same time, it is important to spend your B2B marketing budget intelligently to get the most return. As an integrated marketing agency here at Motion, we can help you create a customer-centric strategy to help you build a strong brand, stay ahead of the competition and maximise ROI. Reach out to find out how you can make the most out of your B2B marketing budget.