One of the trends that emerged from the 2014 and 2015 Target Marketing Media Usage Surveys is that marketers budgets overall have been expanding as companies recover from the recession. But what else can we tell about who's increasing budgets and what they're doing with it?
Charts 1 and 2 in the media player at right, from the 2015 Media Usage Survey, are actually pretty revealing. Clearly, across B-to-B, B-to-C and marketers who appeal to both, about 45 percent of our respondents said budgets remained the same, and roughly 31 roughly were increasing budgets across the board.
Only about 13 percent combined are decreasing budgets. And of course 12 percent had no idea (at least when the survey was conducted in January).
Those percentages are based on total respondents, which is slightly different than the chart data you see here because the responses were not evenly split between the categories:
Media Usage Survey Respondents
- B-to-B: 41%
- B-to-C: 27%
- Both: 33%
So 73 percent of our responses came form businesses that market, at least in part, to other businesses.
That gets interesting when we peel back the data behind Chart 2. Clearly Chart 2 shows acquisition budgets are expanding more than retention budgets, with nearly half of our respondents holding retention budgets steady.
But here's how customer acquisition budgets moved by category:
|B to B||B to C||Both|
|Stay the same||36%||45%||39%|
|Don't know/not sure||15%||11%||16%|
Here's how that plays out in the retention spending:
|B to B||B to C||Both|
|Stay the same||47%||50%||45%|
|Don't know/not sure||15%||13%||16%|
So nearly half of our respondents who market to B-to-B customers, either entirely or as part of their customer mix, are increasing budgets, especially acquisition budgets more aggressively than B-to-C marketers.
What could that mean? I would love to hear what you think in the comments. Here are some possible explanations:
- Perhaps it's an example of the recovery not reaching regular consumers, so consumer marketers are still under recession-level demand pressure?
- Or is it that consumer marketers first need to update their tools and technology to be able to put more marketing budget to work, and that's creating the acquisition opportunity for business marketers?
What's your take on these numbers?