B2B marketers across the UK are set to place greater emphasis on content, social media and personalisation efforts after seeing a rise in their budgets.

A survey of 116 marketing professionals who either control or influence a kitty in excess of £95 million reveals that 56% have seen an increase in their department’s finances over the last year.

Britain’s B2B sector is being engulfed in a tidal wave of positivity, and 87% of marketers responding to the latest B2B Barometer Report expected to see growth in their company’s revenue in the year ahead.

Having a more positive-looking balance sheet means that marketers can now invest in areas they believe will pay off in the long term. And according to the survey – a product of collaboration between the Business Marketing Collective, the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing and Silver Bullet Publishing – content, social media and personalisation are topping the list of priorities.    

Production is priority   

Of the marketers surveyed, 34% agreed that content represented the most significant trend in their line of work. A total of 23% voted for social media, with personalisation finishing closely behind on 20%.

Further evidence of content becoming an important factor in the B2B marketing mix was evident when the professionals were asked about their planned change in spend by channel. Content creation topped the list with an expected 50% rise, followed by social media (45%), SEO and PPC (40%) and website development (37%).

Somewhat surprisingly, data only placed fourth on the B2B marketing agenda, listed by just 14% as a top priority. However, notes from the study said this was reflective of its ‘big trends of tomorrow’ status and that marketers would soon take note.

Data still in the frame

Indeed, Sylvia Jensen, director of EMEA marketing at Oracle Marketing Cloud, stated that having a data-driven approach will help her fellow professionals analyse their performance in the coming years.

“Data is a basic need for B2B marketers and is an area of never-ending iterative improvement. New digital marketing techniques allow us to target the known and the unknown universe of buyers so interactions feel truly personalised.

“Better data means better targeting and better responses. We then need data to analyse our performance and most importantly, gather insight for the next campaign.”

Overall, Jensen insisted that B2B marketing was bracing itself for an “exciting time” ahead.