One of the fastest-growing large companies in the world is VMware, based in Palo Alto, CA. Its sales, for example, have tripled over the last four years, from $600 million in 2006 to $2 billion in 2009, and sales are expected to hit $3 billion in 2010.

That may be why VMware is a Wall Street darling—because compared with the competition the company is growing both profitably and predictably. Why is that? And what does this mean to B2B marketers?

While conducting research for my upcoming book, we analyzed B2B marketers' budgets and found that spending trends for most B2B companies show that marketing dollars are spent targeting the wrong level of audience.

Some 75% of marketing budgets is targeted at the user/purchasing levels. Only 15% is spent at the influencer level, and (sadly) only 10% is spent at the decision-maker level.

Let's examine this imbalance. The great companies that have separated themselves from their benchmark competitors have a marketing budget spread that more closely resembles the following: 35% to the users/purchasing, 35% to the influencers, and 30% to the decision-makers.

Note the approximately three-fold shift (compared with underperforming competitors) in spending aimed at decision-makers. So, clearly, rebalancing the marketing spend to hit decision-makers is important for success.

B2B marketers who know and understand the breakdown of their spending can better allocate their budgets and make a huge difference in a short period of time.

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Sean Geehan is CEO and founder of the Geehan Group (, which connects executives to their most important customers in order to maximize customer retention, sales, profit, and long-term market alignment. Sean is the author of the upcoming book The B2B Executive Playbook. Contact him via or 877-226-1621.