It’s that time of year again: Marketers’ thoughts are turning to next year’s budget (or at least they should!). And so the Q4 stress begins.
Though B2B companies typically allocate a smaller percentage of revenue to marketing than their B2C counterparts, expectations are just as high. In fact, according to a June 2023 LinkedIn study, 47% of B2B CMOs say they now have a more direct role in driving revenue and growth—and 40% report more pressure to prove ROI in less time.
That’s particularly stressful in the current landscape. A 2022 Gartner report found marketing budgets across the board have continued to fall short of pre-pandemic levels. And many B2B businesses are dealing with ongoing staff cuts and flat or shrinking budgets.
Faced with these challenges, the instinct for many B2B marketers is to pull back on spending. But pumping the brakes now could actually lead to a crash down the road. History offers a cautionary tale: During the last recession, brands that cut ad spending risked losing 15% of their revenue, while 60% of brands that increased their marketing spend saw a 17% increase in sales.
The simple truth is that marketing can’t be flipped on and off like a switch. It’s more like pedaling a bike. Even when you’ve gained momentum, you can’t afford to coast—or you risk slowing down or even sliding backward when you try to make it up the next hill.