Planning 2013 Marketing Budget? Forrester Consulting Study Suggests Investment, Not Cuts

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 width=The Forrester Consulting study just commissioned by Act-On, “Driving SMB Revenue in a Tough Economy,” offers food for thought as you’re planning your 2013 budgets.

It’s been a rough year for most organizations. Business closings beat new business openings by 37%. Consumer spending dropped by nearly 8%. Business budgets froze, and then shrank.

Yet – 56% of the survey population (208 SMBs) beat their goals and grew revenue faster than their plan. Call these organizations the “top performers.” What are they doing differently than the 44% of “bottom performers” who just met, or failed to meet, their goals?

Turns out there were significant differences, which you might want to keep at hand (get the study) when you’re presenting your 2013 budget to the CXO team:

  • Top performers did not cut marketing spend as aggressively as the bottom performers
    • Far fewer reported cutting their budgets (33% versus 56% bottom performers)
    • Nearly twice as many increased budgets (27% versus 15%)
  • Top performers are investing more in both program spend and staff
    • 65% of top performers report spending levels above 2% of revenue (which is the large enterprise average on marketing spend)
    • 40% of top performer are spending over 5% of revenue on marketing
    • Top performers have one marketing staff member for every $65,000 in marketing spend, compared to the average in the group of one marketing staff member (including full-time contractors) for every $79,000 in marketing spend.


There’s plenty more where this came from. Get the complete Forrester Consulting report, “Driving SMB Revenue in a Tough Economy,” and get inspired for upward changes in 2013.

Forrester Analyst Lori Wizdo will share how Top Performers succeed in a webinar discussing the report  November 29 at 11:00 am Pacific: “How SMB Marketers Can Thrive in Tough Times.” Register for this free webinar now.