Business-to-business trails in R&E spending

Business-to-business clients spend an average of just 4.5 per cent of budget on research and evaluation (R&E), according to PR Week’s latest straw poll of clients and agencies.

Business-to-business clients spend an average of just 4.5 per cent

of budget on research and evaluation (R&E), according to PR Week’s

latest straw poll of clients and agencies.



The poll of five agencies and five clients with business-to-business

accounts showed standards of planning and R&E are improving, but still

have a long way to go. Agencies say that over 40 per cent of

business-to-business clients still do not allocate any PR spend to R&E

at all.



The respondents all felt that standards of research and evaluation are

improving in business-to-business PR. All the agencies questioned said

that allocation for research and evaluation is on the increase and all

include a research and evaluation element in the pitch process.



The main problem in the sector seems to be a lack of willingness on the

part of business-to-business clients to spend significantly on

evaluation.



All of those asked said that research and evaluation spend would ’stay

the same’ for the foreseeable future and one agency head commented that

its evaluation recommendations were usually accepted ’but no money is

made available’.



Clients felt standards of PR research and evaluation to be somewhere

between good and acceptable. All showed a willingness to increase

planning and evaluation spend if this could help PR activity become more

effective.



However, even if PR could be proved to be effective for clients, 40 per

cent said that they would not increase PR budget.



Evaluation techniques employed include media analysis, focus groups,

opinion polls and AVEs.



POLL FINDINGS

- Percentage of business-to-business clients allocating PR

spend to R&E                                                         58%

- Average percentage of business to business budget allocated

to R&E                                                              4.5%

- Percentage of clients allocating spend to pre-campaign

planning and research                                                32%

- Percentage of clients allocating spend to results evaluation       26%



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