Determining A Marketing Budget Part 1: Budget Trends

We’re often asked how much money aerospace companies should spend on marketing to achieve their goals and just like there is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy, there is no one-size-fits-all marketing budget. For this three-part blog, we’ve put together budgeting and business guidelines that have a proven track record of success.


As a starting point, marketing executives often turn to industry standards as a benchmark. For part one of this series, Aerospace Marketing Lab has gathered trend data and various insights to help you determine the best budget for your aerospace and defense marketing needs.

How Much Do Aerospace Companies Spend in General?

According to The CMO Survey of marketing executives at 323 companies in 2019, businesses in manufacturing and industrial goods and services budgeted an average of 2.4 to 3% of overall revenue toward marketing.

While overall B2B marketing spending increased 5% over last year and is expected to increase an additional 9.4% in the next 12 months, it’s also reflected in B2B manufacturing and industrial goods and services companies as they plan to increase spending 23% during that time. Yes, you did read that right. It’s projected to be almost triple the amount of expected overall B2B marketing spending for 2020.

So Where is the Money Being Spent?

Several specific marketing channels continue to grow, especially as companies become savvier at tracking and reporting ROI on marketing strategy execution.

Email marketing and web content management is a priority. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 67% of B2B marketers report they’re very/extremely committed to content marketing activities and media, with more than half using marketing automation. This reflects more than a quarter of overall budgets (29%). Not all emails are created equally, however; discover our tips on email marketing.

Digital marketing is also taking a big piece of the pie. Forrester’s U.S. Digital Marketing Forecast, 2016-2021, reports that digital marketing will take up 42% of overall marketing budgets. B2B product and service companies, specifically, will see an average of 12.5-15.1% increases in digital spending.

Side Note: While social media has increased in critical strategic activities, spending was down last year as companies prioritized search engine optimization and other paid digital media over social media. Yet overall B2B social media spending is expected to increase 16.6-20.5% over five years. With the use of analytics reaching the highest point recorded in six years, spending on marketing analytics is expected to grow significantly over the next three years. Perceived contributions of analytics to company performance remaining weak, possibly tied to only 36% of marketers reporting they use quantitative tools for demonstrating the impact of marketing spending on company performance.

Market research is increasing. B2B companies are also investing in developing new marketing knowledge and capabilities (an 8.6% increase), marketing research and intelligence (a 4.5% increase), and marketing training (a 2.9% increase). For a more focused look at aerospace marketing research read our report on the Business Aviation and Marketers’ Research Means For 2020 here.

What Are Next Steps?

Stay tuned! Subscribe here to get Determining A Marketing Budget Part 2: Building Your Budget delivered straight to your inbox.

This blog reflects research that was conducted prior to COVID-19. Actually projections may vary as our industry adjusts to the changes in the market.