Three issues plaguing B2B marketers. Confidence among B2B marketing leaders in achieving their brand goals is high. Over 50% of respondents say they are “reasonably confident” that they will meet their brand building objectives, with 46% “very confident”, found a recent study done by B2B firm Transmission.
With brand building now considered a strategic business priority in the boardroom, many marketing leaders in the B2B space are starting to feel fully supported in their brand marketing efforts. However, there are still gaps persisting in expectations and realities. Here are three areas B2B marketers need to remain realisitic about.
Insight one: Brand building budgets are not high
Despite confidence being at an all-time high, brand building budgets are still relatively low. Even though the brand is being placed firmly on the boardroom agenda and brand marketing cited as “critical” to revenue growth (by 39% of respondents), the study found that budget investment in brand building programmes is still worryingly low.
Approximately 40% of respondents said that only “between 5-10%” and “10-20%” of their annual marketing budget was allocated to brand building programmes.
With the average annual marketing budget for B2B organisations in 2022 standing at 9.5% of total sales revenue, the study assumes that brand building budgets sit somewhere between 0.95% and 1.9% of total sales revenue.
Reassuringly, when respondents were asked if they anticipated their brand marketing budgets would increase in the next fiscal year, 57% believe they “will increase”. A further 38% think they “will stay the same as the current year” and only 2% say they “will decrease” and another 2% didn’t know.
While this is another positive indicator of brand building growth, it also puts increased pressure on B2B marketing leaders to demonstrate brand ROI. Of those surveyed, 49% said pressure to prove brand value had “increased in the last 12 months”.
Insight two: A lack of creativity
Brand differentiation remains an issue in the B2B world. Only 22% of B2B marketers interviewed said they performed this “brilliantly”, with the majority admitting brand differentiation was currently performing “quite well”.
This as a key concern – especially as 77% of B2B organisations claim that brand building plays a “critically important” or “very important” role in their company’s competitive advantage.
The concern is exacerbated further when we assess how B2B brands deliver against their Brand Platform components’ – the fundamental components that make up your brand, i.e., brand purpose or brand values.
Insight three: Concerns over in-house brand skills and talent
Of the B2B brands surveyed, 54% say they have over 15 strong marketing team employees dedicated to brand strategy or brand marketing programmes. Despite this, a shortage of brand skills and talent in the marketing team was flagged as the third greatest potential challenge in achieving their brand objectives or priorities over the next 12 months – voted for by 30% of respondents.
Gartner’s annual 2022 CMO Spend and Strategy Survey was also conducted during a similar timeframe to this research. Interestingly, and in contrast to these results, their survey suggests that CMOs are confident in their ability to manage brands.
In fact, brand was one of the lowest-ranked capability gaps in their survey, whereas marketing data and analytics, customer understanding, and experience management were ranked top. According to Transmission, this could mean that B2B marketing leaders in its survey are referring to their inability to manage brand experiences as well, through either a lack of skills or talent.
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