B2B CMO’s Decrease Community Management Investment in 2012

Are we reaching the point where B2B marketer’s are understanding that they need to invest in social media and community management so well that they can actually DECREASE areas of investment? If so, that was quick.

If the findings from a new Forrester report titled “B2B Marketers Must Focus On Partnership and Experimentation As 2012 Budgets Rise” are to be believed it’s marketing operations, including analytics that measure marketing success, that are where CMO’s are putting their money. This chart from the report shows where these B2B marketers are aiming their budgets.

The report is fascinating in that it looks at the dangers of taking this kind of data and taking it as the word across all industries. For instance take a look at how pharmaceuticals are looking to invest in their marketing efforts

Pharma, medical device and biotech firms are making significant investment increases in customer community management and product marketing while decreasing those in field enablement, as they use social media to engage end users with their drugs and devices.

Needless to say we always advise serious caution when you look at market research relating to Internet and social media marketing. Blanket statements in a rapidly changing and diverse space like this are dangerous to say the least.

Some other findings from the report include

Partner more closely with sales. Too many marketing organizations are still playing a reactive role to sales. But by focusing the marketing team on deep customer and market expertise, senior marketers can increase their clout with sales management and become equal partners in defining the go-to market strategy, determining together what the sales team really needs, which is usually different from what it asks for.

Embrace a culture of experimentation. Firms such as Kaspersky Lab set aside funds for marketing experimentation and encourage their teams to challenge the status quo. Marketers cannot do the same things over and over and expect different results. Instead, they must experiment with emerging technologies and test new program ideas.

Findings like these are not earth shattering but they serve as real reminders to do some of the basics in marketing and do them well. Work fast but work unafraid. Do it wrong quickly is how one friend puts it.

If you would like to get this full report you will need to become a Forrester customer.

What do you think about this information? Is this what you are seeing in the market place?