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B2B Marketing Trends: Why Brand to Demand is the Future

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Author: Zareen Fidlon, Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing at PAN Communications, headshot
Zareen FidlonSenior Vice President, Integrated Marketing
B2B Marketing Trends: Why Brand to Demand is the Future

Brand-to-Demand B2B Marketing: More than a Trend 

If you work in marketing, you may have a mild case of whiplash. One minute, you’re building reputation with big brand investments and the next, you’re digging deep to drive pipeline and meet sales goals. 

And with only 5% of buyers in the average B2B category ready to buy at any given time, it’s not surprising that more marketers are purposefully fusing brand building and demand creation efforts to balance the scales and ensure better control throughout major market shifts. 

While the approach may be a new one for some teams, the problems addressed by a brand-to-demand strategy are not new, nor are they going away. Demand gen tactics are always more impactful with a cohesive brand story behind them, and when the two are combined effectively, they serve as a solid foundation for teams to capitalize on emerging marketing trends. 

The Power of Brand to Demand for B2B Companies 

It’s the job of marketers to study the business and brand landscape and to build the most effective strategy for the moment. And while there’s always value in standing out from the crowd, there’s also something to be said for conventional wisdom. Brand to demand is a winning approach to age-old marketing challenges, and that’s not going unnoticed. 

B2B marketing trendsSimply put, brand to demand is a solution. Running brand and acquisition marketing together is six times more effective than running acquisition campaigns alone. By integrating awareness with tactics, marketers can cohesively address the entire buyer journey. In a recent LinkedIn survey, more than half of marketers reported wanting to run brand and demand campaigns simultaneously. 

Still, it wouldn’t be business without a problem. Leadership is recognizing the need to invest in these approaches — today, around 72% of marketing budgets are allocated to lead generation, up from 47% in 2007. As ever, the challenge is in resources. 61% of CMOs report their teams lack the in-house capabilities required to deliver on brand strategy. 

There’s a lot to consider, but when marketing teams can optimize their brand to demand approach while keeping their budget in mind, the results are worth the investment. 

View the Full Infographic: The Brand to Demand Disconnect  

The Optimal B2B Marketing Mix for Brand and Demand 

The decision between brand and demand marketing has always come down to timelines — look to short-term performance marketing to show immediate ROI and sales or invest in upper-funnel brand marketing to build awareness for long-term market prominence. As it turns out, brands can — and should — do both. 

Just 5% of B2B buyers at any given moment are in the market for a purchase, but that doesn’t necessarily mean demand efforts are useless with the other 95% of prospects. Effectively integrating brand demand approaches starts with understanding that audiences are a bit more flexible than marketers tend to give them credit for. A prospect who is ready to buy can still appreciate brand story, while one in the earliest stages of the buyer journey won’t be ostracized by a demand tactic. 

The goal, then, is to strike a balance between the two approaches, creating a customer experience that allows for seamless transition from brand to demand and back again. Some calculations suggest that for most B2B brands, an optimal breakdown allocates 54% of budget to demand and 46% to brand. But undoubtedly there will be some flexibility with the exact numbers. Organizations that invest at least 50% of their budget in brand report seeing better overall financial performance.  

B2B marketing trends


As ever, the exact breakdown will be specific to the brand that executes it. The anecdotal recommendations of others will only take you so far, and ultimately marketers will do what they do best: strategize, execute, adjust, repeat.

Learn more about PAN’s Activate approach to create your optimal brand to demand strategy.

B2B Marketing Budgets and Trends 

Of course, the breakdown of the budget itself is only half the challenge. Marketers still have to decide what to do with it. For veteran teams, those budgets are a bit tighter than in years past — while marketing budgets reached about 9.5% of company revenue in 2022, up from 6.4% in 2021, they have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. That means finding ways — or finding an agency — that can do more with less, and that can move with agility between your pain points.  

B2B marketing trendsBy the end of Q3 in 2022, LinkedIn reported that close to 80% of B2B marketing budgets were allocated to performance marketing or lead generation. If you’re keeping score, that’s more than a little over the 56% suggestion. While perhaps not recommended, the skew makes sense. These tactics are useful for differentiating complicated products and offerings from equally complicated competitors. In an uncertain economy over the past couple years, B2B brands have leaned on those tactics to maintain the sales pipeline. As the dust continues to settle, brands need to shift some focus to their longer-term brand awareness efforts — and need a partner who can effectively tell their story.  

As the dust continues to settle, brands need to shift some focus to their longer-term brand awareness efforts — and need a partner who can effectively tell their story. 

Channel strategies are in flux, too. With the massive movement to remote work in 2020, many brands reasonably adjusted to digital-first strategies. As COVID restrictions have been relaxed over the past year, marketers are transitioning to hybrid multichannel strategies. Digital accounts for 56% of marketing spend, with 44% dedicated to offline channels. Marketers are also leaning on paid channels — on average, 61.4% of marketing budget is spent on paid channels while 38.6% is spent on unpaid channels. To optimize a brand to demand approach, marketers need to consider both the balance between channels and the content that populates them. Organic channels are effective tools for telling an authentic story and building brand awareness, but they take time to build. The targeted nature of paid channels can make them an easy fit and quick fix for lead generation.  

Is Brand to Demand in Your Future? 

At PAN, we believe brand-to-demand is key to long-term B2B marketing success. Chances are, it’s what is missing from your mix. By merging brand and demand activities with PAN, you can conserve costs while reducing friction across your marketing mix.   

Wondering if brand to demand is a good fit for your B2B marketing mix? Let’s talk.


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In our annual Brand Experience Report, we asked marketers and customers how they are using and experiencing AI to better understand how the technology is changing that relationship.