Posted August 30, 2011 3:25 pm by with 1 comment

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Everyone knows you have to spend money to make money, but in the B2B world, that spend is only around 5% of the make.

According to numbers from eMarketer, the majority of B2B marketers say their spend is equal to 5% or less of their company’s revenue. But even though the numbers are tied together, 35% of marketers said they didn’t report their financial contributions to senior management. 33% said they don’t even track their return on investment.

If we talk strictly about smaller B2B companies, it’s easy to see why they aren’t tracking and reporting — because it takes too much time and time is an even tighter commodity than money. There are plenty of tools online to help you gather stats but connecting those stats to income is the tricky part.

The other reason financial return is hard to track, particular in B2B is that it usually means moving a client through a variety of departments. The marketer generates the lead but it’s the sales department that follows through. Along the way there may be other parties involved each getting the buyer closer to writing the check. On a big ticket item, the time lapse from the initial contact to the sale could be months. Unless the company has a follow up system in place, it’s likely the marketer will never know how much revenue was made, or he may hear about it only in passing. “Hey, George bought a software package. That was a good lead.”

Granted, some amount of marketing isn’t going to be quantifiable in terms of direct sales, but what if you could account for every dollar spent by a customer who saw some kind of branded message? That would take in sales from almost every new customer and that has to be equal to more than 5% of your company’s revenue.

Think about it. You could make the best product in the industry, but without marketing, how is anyone going to know to buy it. Time you got credit for all your hard work.

  • This is a shocking stat, but not one I’m particularly surprised about.

    As well as spending a fraction of their revenue on marketing, I also find that when times are tough, B2B’s feel the best budgets to cut are marketing. It always amazes me that they think marketing is so disposable – like it’s a nice luxury to have, but not really that important to their business. They cut their marketing budgets and then wonder why they’re still in the same (or worse) slump two years later.

    I think your final few lines sum it up perfectly – if you don’t market how will people know about you?