About this survey:
Survey question: "Where are you reallocating significant portions of your in-person event budget in 2021?"
Survey period: March 2021 - April 2021
Notes on data:
In Ironpaper’s survey of 180 B2B decision-makers, 152 indicated that they relied on in-person events to drive demand for their company before the pandemic. We asked these 152 respondents to select up to three channels to which they reallocated in-person event budgets in 2021.
Companies were forced to re-evaluate and redirect their budgets as opportunities for in-person events became increasingly scarce or canceled entirely due to the global health crisis. The pandemic accelerated an already rapidly changing digital environment, leading many organizations to prioritize increased investments in digital engagement strategies.
Ironpaper’s survey results can help inform which channels B2B companies are investing in as the digital landscape continues to evolve. These findings can help inform B2B decision-makers on where market players are prioritizing budget re-allocations in lieu of in-person opportunities and provide insight on which channels where they may find value.
Many B2B companies shifted their in-person event budgets to digital initiatives and technologies. This shift suggests that B2B companies are aware of and committed to the importance of building an online presence and engaging with customers and prospects digitally. This trend is only anticipated to accelerate as digital channels reduce company expenses, offer convenient (and often preferred) engagement opportunities, and save buyers and sellers time.
Our survey suggests that the top channels where in-person event budgets were reallocated to include: digital marketing, online advertising, marketing technology, and digital events. Other channels such as internal expenses, account-based marketing campaigns, and traditional advertising saw fewer budget increases.
B2B companies must keep up with the evolving digital landscape to help attract, engage, and retain existing customers and prospects.
The ability to reach anyone virtually suggests that companies with a robust digital presence will have competitive advantages over those that do not in terms of increasing brand visibility and driving demand for their organizations. Companies that fail to invest in or keep up with the evolving digital landscape will likely lose market visibility and business.
Our survey results are consistent with previous findings from a McKinsey study, B2B Pulse: How B2B decision makers are responding to the coronavirus crisis, that stated that the digital landscape accelerated during Covid-19 as companies were pushed digitally due to changing behavior and global circumstances. Despite this rapid behavioral shift, B2B buyers and sellers prefer this new digital reality, even as lockdowns have eased.
B2B decision-makers also indicated that online, remote selling and digital prospecting is just as effective, if not more so, in connecting with warm leads and existing customers.
Sarah is a Senior Market Analyst at Ironpaper with seven years of experience in market research and competitive analysis. In previous roles, she specialized in business development, capture management, and global sales & strategy. In her role at Ironpaper, Sarah helps identify areas of market opportunity and tracks industry trends for clients and internal teams. She leverages her academic background in international business, global logistics and transportation, and psychology to inform companies' business, marketing, and research strategies.
Please note that some of the numbers have been rounded for simplicity and quick comprehension.
The 180 respondents were individuals with business and/or marketing decision-making capabilities at a B2B company. Respondents consisted of 50% sole decision-makers, 29% those who share decision-making authority, 18% that have input into decision-making, and 3% that have insight into decision-making within the organization. Most respondents indicated Marketing (30%) or Sales/Business Development (28%) as their respective areas of expertise in their current jobs.
Ironpaper is a B2B growth and intelligence-gathering agency that uses a hybrid data-driven and creative process to produce measurable business results for clients. We partner with B2B companies to build growth engines for marketing and sales success. Through these partnerships, we’ve uncovered common trends in the marketing and sales process that can accelerate a business forward and pitfalls that cause stagnation.