The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many B2B organizations to pivot strategies and cancel in-person events. But on a positive note, new research from publisher Aggregage shows a majority of marketing budgets won’t be too drastically impacted. Specifically, 72% of marketers project overall 2020 B2B marketing budgets will increase, stay the same or only be cut moderately (by less than 20%).
The company surveyed more than 450 B2B marketing professionals to gauge how the COVID-19 will impact their marketing strategy for the remainder of the year.
Key findings of the research include the following insights:
70% will cancel all or some live events for the next 60 days, and nearly 25% plan to cancel some or all live events for the next six months;
65% plan to reallocate some or most of their live event budgets to online events, such as webinars;
Top spending categories — for those planning to reallocate live event budgets — are content creation, hosted and sponsored webinars, social media marketing, search engine optimization and industry vertical lead generation programs; and
Software and healthcare marketers appear best positioned to maintain marketing spending and activity, while those in manufacturing and business services are feeling the largest impact.
“The impact of COVID-19 on the world and on B2B marketing will be felt throughout 2020,” said Robert Flynn, CEO of Aggregage, in a statement. “Many B2B marketers expect online events and other digital programs to replace the lead generation they were counting on from live events.”
I have been covering the B2B marketing and sales space for four years. When I started in January 2016, I was instantly sent to cover my first industry event about a month and a half into my role. “Book your flight, ASAP,” they said. “We’re sending you to Arizona!” Full disclosure: prior to that, I was a beauty editor who covered Fashion Week, not large industry trade shows. To be honest, the only ones I did attend were because my husband dragged me to Auto and Motorcycle shows in NYC every year.
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