LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network and leading B2B advertising platform, launched a new B2B marketer sentiment survey to understand the confidence levels of B2B marketers at this time. Findings reveal that despite nearly two-thirds of B2B marketing leaders in India experiencing budget cuts, the majority (94 per cent) remain optimistic about their marketing strategy for the next 6 months.
Within this challenging environment, B2B marketers in India are keen to focus on brand building with more than two-thirds (69 per cent) saying they will maintain or increase spend in this area in the next six months. The most commonly cited reasons are because B2B marketers believe a strong brand supports long-term sales (67 per cent), and it helps brands stay top of mind for buyers (63 per cent). Over two-fifths (44 per cent) also say it helps them attract talent.
Sachin Sharma, Director, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions said: “It is encouraging to see B2B marketers in India lead with optimism amidst global uncertainty. Curbing ad spends may seem cost effective, but perceptive marketers know that the road to recovery can be tough for brands without continued marketing efforts. B2B marketers will need creative, purpose-driven solutions that can bring value to customers, and build greater recall and memorability for their brands. It is clear that the biggest challenge facing marketers right now is proving marketing ROI to the business, which is crucial to strengthening future budgets. There is a strong need for more education around marketing effectiveness so the true value that B2B marketers deliver is clearly understood by key stakeholders in the organisation.”
LinkedIn commissioned YouGov to survey 1,703 senior B2B marketing decision makers in the US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, UAE, KSA, Brazil, Australia, India and Singapore during September 13 to 30, 2022. The research was conducted online.
Improving stakeholder understanding of marketing ROI key to strengthening future budgets. Of the companies that have seen budgets impacted, 44 per cent say the business does not understand B2B marketing ROI, while 65 per cent don’t perceive it as an important investment area during periods of uncertainty. With this, the research necessitates that proving marketing effectiveness to influential stakeholders in the organization is key to improving B2B marketing budgets.
When asked about current challenges, B2B marketers in India say that measuring campaign effectiveness and proving ROI of marketing investments (21 per cent) is one their 3 biggest challenges – tied with attracting and retaining top talent (21 per cent), and second only to unlocking the potential of new technologies (25 per cent) such as metaverse, NFT, and AI. In these circumstances, B2B marketers in India are stepping up to do more with less to continue staying top of mind.
Creativity, trust, and purpose will help B2B marketers navigate uncertainty. Given the looming uncertainty, B2B marketers in India believe creativity (63 per cent) will be the most important skill for marketers to navigate the ongoing challenges, followed by efficiency (60 per cent), problem solving (53 per cent) and innovation (53 per cent).
B2B marketers see this time as an opportunity to invest in building relationships and trust with customers (33 per cent), and a chance to stay relevant and rethink their brand story (27 per cent). Over the next 6 months, B2B marketing campaign objectives will focus on demonstrating commitment to sustainability (58 per cent), helping customers (57 per cent), and being purpose-driven (51 per cent) to drive effective business results.
In times of uncertainty, B2B brands can optimize on recency, not frequency – by building a strategy that steadily maintains brand presence. Advertising consistently helps to avoid memory corrosion and keeps your brand front of mind when buyers are back in market and the need for your product or service eventually arises.
With B2B brands looking to do more with less, creativity is the #1 most sought-after skill currently which can help marketers unlock new opportunities. LinkedIn’s Creativity Playbook offers best practices, expert advice, and top tips to empower brands and agencies to do their best work.
With proving marketing effectiveness a top priority for B2B marketers, mastering the language of return on investment (ROI) and translating it to business stakeholders is key. Marketers need to hone the ability to express the long-term value of their activity in financial terms and demonstrate the impact it is having on the business.