Marketers Starting Later, But Better Armed in 2007
Lead generation and customer acquisition remain top
to new U.S. Department of Commerce research, the average American
worker was 1.4 percent more productive in 2006 than the year before.
That’s better than being 1.4 percent less productive,
but in our industry, would 1.4 percent improvement save your job,
much less your marketing budget? Doubtful.
The good news
is productivity among B2B marketers grew an impressive 10 percent
last year, according to new research from International Data Corporation
(IDC). This makes you about seven times more efficient than the
average U.S. worker. Congrats. Do you feel seven times more appreciated
by your CFO? Not likely.
This may explain
why many of you feel stretched pretty thin these days, and why nearly
one in four of you (22%) told us you’re setting your budgets
much “later than normal” according to last month’s
CPA Marketing Insider reader poll.
another factoid gleaned from the nearly 200 surveys your fellow
readers shared with us. Budget-setting seems to be morphing into
a year-round process instead of as a one-time annual event. That’s
right, not even half of you (45%) are nailing down your marketing
budgets in the traditional October-December quarter. Almost a third
of you (31%) now complete your marketing budgets in the January-March
quarter and 26 percent of you are waiting until the spring or summer
painful, but at least the pain is more evenly distributed.
As we touched
on last month, the choices for B2B marketers are more varied than
before and hopefully you’re taking extra time to think through
your decisions and add effective new weapons to your prospect-hunting
arsenal. The good news? Three-fourths of you (73%) have more dollars
to work with than last year and 40 percent of you told us your budgets
are 10 percent larger than they were the year before.
Budget on the Web
As you might
expect, the Web will continue to garner a larger share of the budget
pie. Overall, 96 percent of you are using Internet advertising and
marketing to some degree. Three in five of you (61%) will be increasing
your Internet marketing budgets and 35 percent of you will be investing
at least 10 percent more on the Web than you did last year. Only
five percent of you will be cutting your Web budgets, according
to CPA Marketing Insider survey respondents.
The number one
marketing goal for 2007 is clearly to get more customers and more
of the right kind of customers. About 40 percent of you
said acquiring customers is your top marketing priority, followed
by lead generation (19%). New market growth (15%) is the third highest
priority, followed by brand awareness (10%), product penetration
(8%), customer retention (4%) and thought leadership (4%).
marketing priorities for AICPA clients in 2007
Source: AICPA Custom Media Solutions and Bay
Street Group Research, 2007
READER NOTE: Click here
if you’d like to receive an executive summary of last month’s
reader survey on Top Marketing Priorities for 2007.
Many of you
“Amen’d” us for addressing the challenge of having
CFOs and other “bean counters” more actively involved
in the marketing process. However, not everyone agreed with us that
there’s been too much emphasis on number crunching lately
and not enough emphasis on marketing innovation or good story telling
Advertising Analysis Paralysis in our February issue.)
“Where I disagree with you is that we DO use
the data very effectively,” said Neil Costa, Monster.com’s
Director of Online Marketing Alliances, who manages a multi-million
dollar online marketing budget. “We measure our conversions
to whatever objective we have. That may be a purchase of our product
for hiring managers or a new account created by someone who has
started a new job search. These are very effective ways to get end
results or action that is directly tied to your business goals or
even financial results.”
(who wished to remain anonymous) quipped: “Who has time for
back-end analysis when we can barely handle the front end?”
analytics and effectiveness of online advertising campaigns for
most organizations is at its infancy,” said Neil Costa. “Having
a strong accounting and analytical background has made me a much
And that’s not easy. Not only do marketers
have more tools at their disposal, but your prospects have more
messages competing for their attention across more marketing platforms.
the Multi-Tasking Prospect
a product development manager at Citrix Online, made a pretty interesting
observation at an online marketing Webinar I attended a few weeks
the biggest mistakes online marketers make is believing that your
prospects are captive,” Walker said. “Let’s face
it. We’re in the age of multi-tasking. Can you really be sure
that even if you’re reaching the right prospect with the right
message at the right time, that they’re really paying 100
why it’s so important to measure the back-end results of your
marketing campaigns. It’s not how many clicks or impressions
you’re getting to your message. It’s how many of those
valued eyeballs are converting to paying (and hopefully repeat)
customers. But whatever you do, just get started. There will be
plenty of time for analysis.
Now, about this invitation one of you wiseguys sent
me to your 2006 company Christmas Party.