Earlier this year in its report ‘Bigger B2B Marketing Budgets Come With Great Expectations’, Forrester Research predicted American B2B marketers would increase their budgets 6.7% on average this year.

Based on an online survey of 563 B2B marketers, it found high-tech services planned to spend the most (with a 17% budget increase, followed by the finance and insurance sector (7.8%), high-tech products,business and professional services (4.3%) and manufacturing (4.3%).

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical and medical equipment brands were forecasting a 2.8% budget decrease.

Marketing magazine spoke with B2B doyen and regular print columnist Kimon Lycos about the future B2B landscape in Australia.

Do you think there is a similar trend in Australia to US, are marketing budgets opening up to B2B this year?

I personally do think that they are. I don't have any data on this, aside from our own agency, which is enjoying strong demand. Clients are really getting onboard with smarter ways to connect and engage with the market. I don't know if it is something in the water, but it's weird how suddenly different companies in different markets have identified the same need and solution at the same time.

But another interesting trend is that companies have woken up to the fact that the corporate/enterprise sector does represent good market value in terms of cheaper channel/media creation, more value based sales and better profitability. There’s also less bad debt, i.e. they can't run off somewhere.

Do the B2B marketing spend growth leaders in America, high tech & finance/insurance, also lead the growth in B2B marketing in Australia?

Yes, for two simple reasons. Government support for these sectors has increased, and introduced better stability, that has the nice flow on effect of supporting the supplier base/service industries. 2nd, advancements in technology has unleashed business ideas and solutions that otherwise would not have seen the light of day.

Do the growth leaders correspond with the industries that should be using B2B marketing the most, if not, what industries should be using it?

No. Our manufacturing industry needs to crank it up more. Also the cleantech sector is slow off the mark, now is a great time to cash in.