We are now publishing the results of our major annual Tech Marketing Benchmarks survey. Our tenth year of doing so!
My thoughts today:
1) Most importantly: The Marketing Transformation effort is accelerating. Many vendors have been at this for a few years but as we now do some accounting for results, we see as many false-starts as we do successes. And so there are renewed and bigger efforts underway to Transform. The best evidence of this is in recent, aggressive marketing budget overhauls and larger, more sweeping re-organizations of the marketing function.
The good news is that top marketing execs and C-Level execs DO understand that "future" Marketing can and should be the game-changer function, and so they are going to keep at the Transformation efforts until they see results.
Here are three major outcomes to watch for and benchmark, on your own Transformation journey: Shorter purchase cycles; reduced overall cost of (combined) Marketing + Sales; and vastly improved customer analytics as a result of integrated marketing plus sales automation efforts.
2) Budgets remain under pressure: we see the average large Tech Vendor getting a 1.7% budget increase this year. That is 1/2 the increase of last year...and we were even "closer" to the 2008-2009 recession at that point. The main culprit is the economy: management teams not willing to spend until better signs of demand pick up. The second factor is media shift: going-to-market with digital ve traditional media.
3) Tech vendors still spend 3-5 times as much on selling as they do on marketing. Heavy salesmanship has deep deep roots in IT vending. My belief is that the future holds a more even application of monies and activities between selling and marketing.