Marketers may be eager to spend their bigger 2014 budgets on flashy new campaigns, but dollars may be better spent on content analytics.

Marketers know they need budgets to create brand content that’s competitive, and B2B companies are giving their teams a little more leeway in 2014. Forrester recently reported business-facing brands are increasing marketing budgets 6 percent on average, and suggested many companies are wise to target their allowances toward stronger content analytics capabilities. Funneling marketing dollars toward data rather than strategic experiments may not be the high-risk, high-reward investment, but it will pay dividends down the road.

Most B2B marketers are expected to be prudent with their extra budgets, putting just 3 percent toward experimentation. Meanwhile, around 25 percent of surveyed marketers anticipate spending more on data analytics, a linchpin for successful online marketing that currently only receives 1 percent of total annual budgets.

Minimal analytics spending in the past might have left companies vulnerable to campaign weaknesses. As of the start of 2014, 52 percent of marketers admit they have a hard time connecting their initiatives to bigger business goals and 50 percent struggle to tie strategies to hard ROI data. More, 37 percent list content analytics as a weak spot in their skill sets, Brafton previously reported.

50 percent of marketers struggle to tie strategies to hard ROI data. 

Without a strong understanding of metrics and where to find the data that indicates if strategies are successful, brands will be relying on intuition at best. And the companies that refuse to leave the Mad Men era will lose opportunities to contemporary businesses that know success in the digital landscape requires smart reporting and agile responses.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.