How Are 2009 Marketing Budgets Shaping Up?

Lauraramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Happy New Year, Everyone! Looking over my holiday and Christmas greetings this year, I was struck by the change in tone from 2007 and how everyone's wishes for a "happy" new year seemed more sincere and profound in light of the current economy.

In our Predictions 2009 research, published December 23, Forrester analysts who cover B2B and technology marketing predict that marketing budgets will take big hits early in 2009, with typical decreases in the 15% to 25% range. To investigate whether this prediction is tracking current experience and to look at the impact of the economy on this year's B2B marketing spending, Forrester teamed up with MarketingProfs to field a survey that explores 2009 budget plans and looks back at 2008 effectiveness.  Interactive marketers who work at firms who sell primarily (but not necessarily exclusively) to businesses will find participating in this research relevant because we explore a number of online and social tactics along with the conventional.

The survey is currently in the field.  If you would like to participate, please click on this link. We have over 400 responses thus far, so please feel free to add your input and opinions. Reply to this post with thoughts and feedback about the survey and I'll address anything that comes up. All participants (who supply their email addresses) will receive a copy of the results.

Here's wishing you a more prosperous new year.

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re: How Are 2009 Marketing Budgets Shaping Up?

Hi Laura!Happy new year. I'm interested and will definitely participate. Not to probe in unexpected areas, but another question I have is how survey response rates and respondents will shift, especially in b2b, during this economic downturn. This is of interest not only to me for your study, but for survey research in general. For "general consumers," will there be more of them with more time to participate -- and with greater likelihood to accept incentives? For "business or executive participants," will there be a smaller pool of them, and perhaps less willing to take precious time out of the day to focus on non-core tasks? I don't have a strong thesis, and perhaps there will be little shift. Disclosure: my experience includes working at some major market research and measurement companies, some since inception...hence some behind-the-scenes experience and curiosity. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated and helpful for other companies' attempts to measure their customer and broader b2b stakeholders. Regards.

re: How Are 2009 Marketing Budgets Shaping Up?

Hi Laura,I just took your survey, and I look forward to the overall results and interpretation.A few comments, hopefully for your benefit: Some good questions, but a few were a bit unclear (at least for me, perhaps not others), and some of the subsequent pages with dozens and dozens of rows of questions started to get a little much (I'm fitting this in before going to sleep). If you like, I'm happy to go through specifics where I was lost.Also, your near-final page asking for my email address for further correspondence actually had the field labeled "essay question" -- not sure if that was intentional, probably not. I would've left all this feedback in an email feedback form, but one was not provided. You should add one of those.Regards.Max

re: How Are 2009 Marketing Budgets Shaping Up?

Hi Laura, I'm curious to see the results of the marketing survey. As much as some marketing budgets seem to be shrinking, still others are being re-allocated towards tactics which are more likely to generate quantifiable, measurable revenue. In our business (Cost-Per-Action Online Affiliate Advertising) we're actually seeing a significant uptick in new business from advertisers who see the merit in using brand-building direct response tactics online to reliably generate -- not only leads -- but paying customers. I think you'll see pay-for-performance models more and more frequently in these times. It makes perfect sense to put limited marketing dollars to hard work (and results!)

re: How Are 2009 Marketing Budgets Shaping Up?

Max, thanks for the comments. Excellent suggestion about the feedback form; we will work with our survey vendor to see if we can incorporate this.Regarding the survey content, I agree that the format can result in a long list of items to check off on 3 or 4 of the questions. Marketers today have a long list of tactics to consider in the marketing mix and the survey reflects this.We ran a similar survey with MarketingProfs in Oct 2007, and we wanted to compare the two. Hence these questions are similar to the previous survey, and this did not give us a lot of flexibility to format or ask them differently.I have found using this particular tool a bit tedious. As we make a last push out asking for participation, I'm noticing that participants seem to be droppin out at a higher than usual.PLEASE, PLEASE have a little patience with the tool. It is not as responsive as some fast mouse-clickers would like. If you click on a response button, notice that the checkmark doesn't appear immediately. Don't worry, checks will show up eventually. A slightly slower click rate also helps.Again, thank you everyone for participating. I'm looking forward to sharing the responses with you.