We know that this year does not cease to surprise us, but in reality, we surprise ourselves even more. In this article we have tried to summarise in a structured way all the changes that the marketing market has experienced in just 9 months of 2020.
Marketing investment will decrease by 17,3% in 2020, in the best case scenario, according to the AMES study, carried out by the Spanish Marketing Association (MKT) and presented in Madrid last week. This is the most pessimistic forecast based on real numbers.
Speaking in total numbers, investment in all marketing activities in Spain in 2019 was 33.627 million euros (0,97% more than the previous year). Looking ahead to 2020, the experts anticipate a drop, as a consequence of COVID-19, which will bring us back to the levels of the first years (2014-2015) of recovery from the previous crisis, that is, 27.800 million euros. This will be a decrease of 17,3%. They warn: “this could be an optimistic scenario” and would be “in the best of cases”.
This recession is different from the financial crisis in 2018. Alongside the economic impact, we are witnessing a dizzying race to adapt the workplace and business models. McKinsey, with a wonderful sense of drama, has called this sudden acceleration “The Quickening”.
B2B marketing specialists have changed the way they do business. And this may seem like a very smart move: other studies confirm that B2B buyers are delaying the potential purchases due to COVID-19.
DemandGen recently published the “B2B buyer behaviour study”, and the statistics suggest that the majority of the B2B buyers (47%) have had to delay the potential purchases due to budget freezes. Approximately 30% of them have scaled up some purchases due to changing business needs, while 7% say they are looking for attention/practical engagement from solution providers.
As B2B marketing specialists seek to develop strategies in the middle of the pandemic, new research suggests that they will allocate a greater share of their budget to digital advertising and email marketing to get ahead.
Gartner launched Part 2 of “The Annual CMO Spending Survey” and statistics showed that 69% of B2B marketing specialists intend to increase their digital advertising budget, while 18% expect to spend at least as much as before. In addition, 67% of B2B marketers said they will increase the amount they spend in email marketing, and 20% will spend at least as much as before on this tactic.
The pandemic has brought a significant change and the constant search for solutions, and research already shows which methodologies are here to stay.
Merkle published a special COVID-19 edition of its “Customer engagement report” and statistics suggestive that 74% of B2B marketers have finally changed their approach to customer content.
Approximately 50% of B2B marketing specialists have tried new tactics or functions of martech during the pandemic, while 45% have focused more on customer messages. Simultaneously, 42% have developed a new transaction compliance capability, and 39% have added a new marketing channel.
Overall, 54% of marketing specialists say that the importance of communicating with customers has become “significantly more important” as a result of COVID-19.
This is already begging to bear fruit. PathFactory recently published the “COVID-19 content participation report” , and the statistics showed that the B2B “leads” (customers and prospects who are frequently involved with marketing content) now spend an average of 19:43 minutes interacting with assets. This is a seven-fold increase over the previous average.
On the other hand, Ascend2’s study shows that lead generation remains a major challenge for marketing specialists that focus on building relationships. Complications are reported by 50% of all respondents. Other obstacles include the lack of budget/resources (42%), lead targeting (38%) and lack of lead data (29%).
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