About half (53.0%) of B2B marketers expect their budgets to increase in 2010, according to a recent study by BtoB magazine.  The study was based on an online survey of 495 business-to-business marketers conducted between May 14 and June 2.  About 37 percent of survey respondents expect their 2010 budgets to be flat (compared to 2009), while only 10 percent expect to see marketing spend decline in 2010.

The BtoB  survey also asked marketers how they expected their spending on various marketing channels to change in 2010 compared to 2009.  The chart below shows that, for the most part, B2B marketers do not expect to make major changes in their media mix in 2010.  The one exception is online spending, where almost 69 percent of survey respondents expect spending to increase.


Even more encouraging, the BtoB survey indicates that about one-third (32.3%) of marketers say that their budgets will be up in the second half of 2009, compared to the first half of the year.  Forty-six percent of survey respondents expect their spending in the second half of 2009 to be flat, while 21 percent expect a decline in the second half spending.

In general, the BtoB survey results are good news for marketing services firms that work with B2B enterprises.  They suggest that many B2B companies believe that the worst of the recession is (or soon will be) over and that the recovery will begin sometime in the second half of this year.  But these results must also be viewed cautiously.  First, they reflect expectations, and expectations don't always turn into realities.  Second, even if marketing budgets do increase in 2010, those increases may not take budgets back to pre-recession levels.  And finally, marketing budgets are likely to remain under close scrutiny even if they are increased.  In these circumstances, marketing services firms must remain prepared to demonstrate the value of the marketing programs they advocate.