03 March 2010 Category: Blog


B2B Barometer Survey Summary

B2B Barometer® reveals improving UK B2B market.

The second in a series of market surveys carried out by B2B specialist research agency Circle Research and supported by ABBA and the IDM, reveals some exciting, positive changes in the market over a six month period.  The B2B Barometer provides a factual marketing perspective on just how B2B companies are behaving in the market.

Key survey findings

  • 79% of agencies and 66% of client-side marketers forecast growth in the next twelve month period
  • 40% of client marketers forecast an increase in budgets in the next twelve months
  • 92% of client marketers and 95% B2B agencies agree that it would be unwise to ignore social media
  • 63% of client-side marketers do not have a social media strategy
  • 65% of client-side marketers said they did not measure return on marketing investment…
  • …whilst 86% of agencies believed their clients did measure ROMI.

The latest B2B Barometer survey of 197 B2B client-side marketers and agencies backs up the Q4 2009 GDP figures and shows definite signs of recovery in the B2B sector. The report has revealed new trends, budget allocations and identifies new ways in which marketing funds are being apportioned to best effect. It has provided a true measure of what is happening in current business markets and will certainly help both clients and agencies make future decisions based on real peer-to-peer information.

Keeping up with the trends

Debbie Williams, Chair of the IDM B2B Council, said, “The B2B market place is changing at such a fast pace, it is often difficult for companies and agencies to keep pace with the latest market trends. The B2B Barometer survey is a firm foundation based on fact gleaned from 197 key players in the business, and I am delighted to lend my support to such a comprehensive survey.”

2010 - It really is getting better!

79% of agencies polled in the survey revealed that they are expecting to see growth in their organisations in the next twelve months, whilst 66% of client-side marketers were also confident of growth. This shows a marked improvement from the benchmark wave of research, when just half of client-side marketers predicted any organisational growth and firmly backs the latest GDP figures, which indicate growth.

Budgets increased and switches in areas of spend

Additionally, 40% of client-side marketers reported a likely increase in marketing budgets over the next 12 months. Traditional media spend is still under pressure and many of the companies surveyed revealed that they would be spending less on print-based promotional media. Social media makes the biggest headlines with 92% of client-side marketers and 95% of agencies agreeing that it would be very unwise to ignore the latest new media developments, although 63% of clients do not have a Social Media strategy.

Measurement of results and return on investment

Measurement was highlighted as a critical area for attention, especially for expenditure in new areas such as social media. However, when it comes to actually measuring the return on marketing investment (ROMI) some disparity exists. 86% of agencies believe their clients measure this return, whilst only 65% of client-side marketers state that they actually do. An increase in accountability has occurred since the benchmark research, when only 51% of client-side marketers claimed to actually measure ROMI.  The most common metrics used to measure ROMI are lead generation, conversion rates and web analytics. As ever, B2B marketers face the challenge of attributing new clients or business leads to specific marketing spend.

An executive summary of the findings has been published at www.b2bbarometer.co.uk/. To find out more about B2B marketing budgets, key trends and insights into the social media phenomenon – including which channels are most commonly used and how online reputation is managed, please visit this site.  The new 30-page report can be obtained direct from ABBA by registering on the site, it is £99.

For further background information a complete copy of the original benchmark study is now available for FREE download on the website

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