Key CMO Priorities and Investment Strategies for 2010
2009 will be a year that all marketers would probably like to forget. As a community, tech marketers have had to withstand significant recession-led budget cuts, staff reductions, and organizational disruption. For the full year 2009, the average large ($1b+) IT vendor will have reduced overall marketing budgets by 8.3%. The average vendor has reduced the number of marketing staff by about 10% in 2009. In total, IDC estimates that over 6,000 marketing jobs will be lost in the IT vendor community (worldwide) during 2009.
It may seem simplistic to say that "times of great change bring times of great opportunity". But IDC's surveys, interviews, and personal interactions with the best and brightest of tech marketers, validate that many CMO's and marketing leaders are indeed creating opportunity out of the 2009 chaos in preparation for 2010. So how are the best-in-class marketing organizations reacting? First of all, they have spent the past couple of years improving their organizational structure, working on key marketing processes (e.g., strategy planning, performance measurement) and streamlining their demand generation activities in collaboration with sales - putting them in a better position than other companies. This year, they are finding new budget monies via re-direction and re-deployment of existing budgets. They are moving monies from product-line marketing to streamlined thematic campaigns. They are creating more shared services that remove redundancy in complex marketing organizations. And they are leading an evolution of sales enablement to reduce expenses while boosting marketing and sales productivity.
CMOs should follow these steps as essential guidance during 2009-2010 planning and budgeting:
- CMO's and senior marketers need to withstand potential organization changes by making sure that they maintain reporting control and/or budget control over the entire marketing organization: the full scope of corporate marketing, product marketing, and field marketing.
- Even as the recovery "emerges"...be prepared for further organizational changes in the marketing department. The most prevalent trend is change that will help in the unification of marketing and sales. There is opportunity in this change: marketer's can introduce and lead significant Sales Enablement practices, for example. have in place for the up-turn to come? Are you prepared to answer this question when your boss asks you?
- Be prepared for an economic recovery. What marketing plans and initiatives do you have in place for the up-turn to come? Are you prepared to answer this question when the CEO or CFO asks you?
- For marketing staff positions that need to be filled or that may be the first candidates to fill when hiring freezes are lifted: there is some great marketing talent "on the street" right now and the best ones will not be there forever.
- Every new marketing initiative that you propose should be "bundled" within a cost-savings idea. Think about re-deploying and re-directing existing budgets, versus asking for new-new monies. The IDC CMO Advisory area has many case studies for budget re-directs and re-deploys. Clients should refer to IDC Best Practice Studies on Sales Enablement, Shared Services, and Campaign Management.
- Expand your operational proficiency for Digital Marketing. This would include a look at the sophistication of processes, infrastructure, and people. (e.g., refer to IDC's recent telebriefing on key success factors for BtoB social media strategies)
IDC will be publishing the full results of its 7th annual Tech Marketing Benchmarks study in the next couple of weeks for clients of IDC's CMO Advisory Service (i.e., Marketing Investment Planner 2010: Benchmarks, Key Performance Indicators and CMO Priorities)