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When budget cuts abound, marketing rarely escapes. Such was the case in 2020. In the wake of the pandemic, marketers saw, on average, an 8.4% decrease in marketing budgets. More than half the marketing organizations in ITSMA’s 2021 Marketing Trends Survey reported budget cuts.
Despite the drop in available resources, marketers accomplished the impossible, completely revamping their marketing messages, strategies, and campaigns in record time. Out of necessity, B2B marketing is more agile than it has ever been and marketing, at most companies, achieved its adjusted objectives in 2020.
The good news in 2021 is that marketing budgets and staff are bouncing back. Although not quite up to the pre-pandemic levels, many marketers (41%) are seeing budget increases in 2021. Another 44% will see budgets remain the same and only 15% expect decreases. The net result is a 6.1% growth in marketing budgets. The change in staffing is similar with an overall growth rate of 5% for marketing staff.
As the saying goes, all ships rise with the tide. Thus, we see marketing spending increases across all budget categories, but especially:
- Content & Communications
- Demand Generation & Lead Management
- Engagement & Advocacy
To provide some perspective, we see that the number of marketing organizations increasing spending in these categories is two to three times the number we saw in previous years.
Without doubt, marketers made substantial contributions to help their companies and customers see their way through the disruption caused by the pandemic. As a result of these actions, the perceived value of marketing is now at an all-time high.
Perhaps the credo marketing has built will help the function avoid the hatchet when the next crisis hits? Let’s do more than hope. Here’s to a successful 2021!
In the wake of the pandemic, marketers saw an 8.4% decrease in marketing budgets. In 2021 marketing budgets and staff are bouncing back.