What’s ahead for B2B in 2009?


The economy. What else is on the top of everyone’s mind heading into 2009? Well, at least some predictions show that not all is doomed for B2B marketers in 2009. A survey of business-to-business marketers by B2B Magazine said that six out of 10 businesses plan to launch new ad campaigns in 2009. But about a quarter plan to reduce budgets.

eMarketer posted some interesting study results.


Digital taking the lead

As might be expected, budgets for digital campaigns are expected to be better funded than budgets for traditional media, at least according to some studies, including one from Hearst Electronics. Newspapers, radio and magazines are likely to see the biggest budget cuts, while spending on direct sales, channel marketing and online channels may increase.

What might this mean for B2B marketers? Some considerations:

1. Get creative with sales channel support.
As advertising spending is cut short, marketers will be looking for ways to support their sales channels. Opportunities for new and creative ideas around this channel can help set B2B agencies apart.

2. Jump into digital – with both feet. Spending overall may be down, but digital will continue to get a larger share of the pie. For B2B marketers, that can mean an opportunity to jump into Search and email marketing full force. eMarketer http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?id=1006837 predicts a growth of nearly 15% for Search and 3.5% for email. Growth for online video will be even steeper, though it will slow from 81% in 2008 to 45% in 2009. For agencies wanting to focus more on Digital, now is the time.

3. Offer a silver lining. With all the nay-saying going on, advertisers are looking for some good news. Be the agency to offer a solid campaign idea with measurable results, and you’ll be the agency who wins the account.

4. Watch the budgets. Now is the time to go for the big bang, not the big bucks. Get your creative teams to come up with campaign ideas that transcend the budget. Look for new ways to reach the target audience and influence opinions without relying on a full-scale advertising campaign.

5. Remember the brand. When budgets are cut, and maybe more so, customers are looking for reliable brands. Sell the brand, not the image.

What’s changing?
Planning to make some changes in your approach in 2009? Tell us what is making your list and what isn’t.

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