Social media spending in B2B: New research

This week I wanted to share some research from the CMO survey (by the American Marketing Association and Duke University Fuqua School of Business.)
MarketingProfs posted a nice summary of the research and relevant charts.

These are, for me, the highlights looking at this through a B2B marketing filter:

• Today, social media spending accounts for only about 4% of marketing budgets in B2B product marketing – the number is slightly higher for B2B services.

• Social media spending is expected to grow to 13.4% of B2B product marketing budgets in the next five years.

• That’s smaller than the social media spend in the other categories (B2B services, B2C products and B2C services).

Does this mean that social media is unimportant to B2B marketing? I don’t think so. And certainly these percentages vary between companies – some of my clients are very active on social media channels, while others are making initial forays. It would be interesting to know the standard deviations behind these numbers.

I think the reason the number is lower in B2B marketing is that there are more demands on the marketing budget. For example, creating useful and relevant content for the entire sales cycle (i.e., content marketing) is essential in B2B, where you are supporting a technical sale and addressing multiple stakeholders. While this marketing content may be served via social media channels, it’s not social media spending per se.

The most important thing for B2B marketing is to figure out how to use social media to magnify the effect of your existing, budgeted marketing projects – not to replace activities you’re already doing. See my blog post “Old Marketing Channels Never Die.” In that sense, the relatively low percentage number makes sense.

One Comment on “Social media spending in B2B: New research

  1. Pingback: Budgeting your social media time « Content Marketing for Technology

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