Nearly half of B2B companies will up their marketing budgets in 2013, with more than half of those saying they’ll increase their investment in email marketing, social media, online video and search.
But one marketing asset will be receiving the biggest investment by far: the company website.
According to a survey conducted by BtoB Magazine, slightly more than 70% of B2B companies will boost their spending on website development this year.
Where the action is
That websites will be the greatest beneficiaries of increased B2B marketing investment in 2013 isn’t all that surprising given that 93% of those BtoB Magazine polled indicated that they use websites as a marketing channel.
The second most popular channel, social media, is still employed by substantially fewer — 65% — of B2B marketers.
And for good reason: B2B marketing, which typically features a laser-like focus on driving sales, almost always requires the involvement of a corporate website at some point in the funnel.
Developing a quality corporate website experience and maximizing conversions therefore trumps exploration of sexier channels like social and mobile, both of which are seen as important to varying degrees, but apparently less deserving of immediate investment.
A lesson for B2C marketers?
Obviously, there are key differences between the B2B and B2C markets. Mobile, which will see increased marketing spend at just 35% of B2B companies, is arguably very important to a significant number of B2C companies given the skyrocketing adoption of mobile amongst consumers. But that doesn’t mean that B2C marketers can’t learn from their B2B counterparts.
Thanks in large part to the rise of social, the past several years have seen more and more B2C marketers focus their attention on properties they don’t own, like Facebook and Twitter. Some brands, for instance, have gone so far as to use their Facebook Page URLs in television and print ads.
On one hand, this makes some sense, as consumers are already on Facebook and therefore may be more likely to take action. On the other hand, driving traffic to Facebook doesn’t make a lot of sense if the experience on Facebook doesn’t drive meaningful action, which is often the case.
To boot, the nature of these channels can change dramatically as the companies that control them alter their business models.
By pouring more money into their own websites, B2B marketers signal that they understand there’s arguably a higher ROI from investing in experiences you own and control, something that B2C marketers that have been under-investing in their own properties would be wise to observe.