Monday, January 20, 2014

Tech Marketer's Top Priorities for 2014 - Call for Participation IDC's Tech Marketing Barometer Survey

IDC's CMO Advisory Service is conducting our 11th annual barometer survey. Consider this blog post the official call for participants (get pumped!)

Ok let's cut to the chase:

What are the benefits:
  • Complimentary copy (value of $4,500, yea the font is green for a reason) of our 2014 Tech Marketing Barometer Report. This will answer key questions around up and coming marketing areas (digital, content, marketing tech) and budget direction throughout the entire tech industry. 
  • Receive an invitation to a future client only telebriefing with key data from this survey
Who Should Participate: Marketing executives who are in a position of responsibility for worldwide marketing practices.

How Long Should it Take: Depending on several factors, as quick as 15 minutes!

What's the Deadline: Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014.... But wait, there's more - All surveys received by Monday, Feb 17, the participant will be entered into a raffle for a $200 Amazon Gift Card!

There's No Link...How do I Participate: To assure the highest data quality we carefully screen our participants. Please email Sam Melnick for the survey link.

Confidentiality: This goes without saying. All answers will be kept confidential by IDC and all data will be aggregated for the purposes of trend analysis.  Additionally, your responses will not be used for any other purpose within IDC.

For those that skipped to the end:

TL;DR: If you are a senior marketer interested in receiving complimentary research, email Sam Melnick for the survey link and complete it by Feb 25!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Busting the Myth of Sales Disintermediation

Are IT Buyers so self sufficient that sales people will no longer be needed? Much was made in 2013 of the notion that IT Buyers make a large percent of their decision before engaging with sales. Every major market research company had its own number but they all ranged north of 50%, a scary thought especially if it represented a rising trend.

As shown in the figure below, enterprise IT buyers actually rely very heavily on vendor input for enterprise solutions. Buyers can make categorical decisions like "we need a new CRM or billing system." But they need a great deal of information from marketing, sales and technical sales in order to complete their decision making processes.

Finding the Right Mix of Marketing and Sales Engagement

Q.        What percent of your decision for an enterprise-level purchase when multiple vendors are competing for your business has been made by the time you first speak with a salesperson?
Source: IDC's 2013 IT Buyer Experience Survey, n = 193

The implications for supporting customer journeys is significant. For purchases that are low cost, familiar and low risk customers want to be as self sufficient as possible. And sellers need them to be because it costs too much for even telesales or online chat to support these transactions. At the other end of the spectrum of course it gets far more complex and that translates into opportunity for vendors - if they are truly aligned with the buyer's journey

One of the most important value adds that most sales and marketing lacks is the need to educate customers on how to buy as much as what to buy. For costly complex purchases, customers need guidance on:
  1. How to evaluate the strategic priority of the solution as well as the technical and business benefits
  2. How to build consensus across line of business, corporate IT and other key players in the decision making process.


According to our latest IT Buyer Experience research, marketing and sales teams that provide this insight early and often will help buyers make their decisions up to 40% faster, putting them ahead of the competition and ahead of forecast.

For more information on this and related research please contact me at gmurray(at)idc(dot)com.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014: The year of Digital Marketing...Wait a Second, What Exactly is Digital Marketing?

Or maybe 2014 will be the year of mobile, or the year content marketing. Ok, Ok, I can guarantee one thing, 2014 will be the year of the horse.

While 2014 might not be the year of digital marketing, digital will continue to be deeply important to the marketing organization. As digital spend continues to increase, the focus grows. Despite this, there can be a lack of clarity around the topic. What exactly falls within digital marketing? How much budget is actually being spent on digital? And how does it all meld together?

Let's dive in.

Digital Marketing Budget Trends:


From 2009 to the end of 2013 digital marketing program spend has increased from 13% to 34% of the total marketing program mix. For 2014 IDC's CMO Advisory Service expects this to increase to 39% and to 50% in 2016 (highlighted within Kathleen Schaub and Rich Vancil's IDC Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) 2014 Predictions). While this level varies depending on sector and size, the upward trend is clear. 


What is Digital Marketing:


At this point all marketers agree that digital is important. That is all well and good, but without a consistent definition around the topic, digital marketing may mean different things to each person or organization. To be successful in building a digital marketing practice, having clear definitions is imperative. This will drive consistency throughout the organization leading to proper tracking and staff allocations.  Below is IDC's definition of which marketing programs fall within "digital marketing."



For specific definitions for each area please view IDC's Worldwide Sales, Marketing, and Market Intelligence Taxonomy, 2013.

Digital as an Organizational Practice:


Defining and tracking digital marketing is important, but the modern marketer understands it must be executed in orchestration with the full marketing strategy. A key guidance for 2014 is to create "systems not silos." In short, rather than creating another walled practice within marketing (think, advertising vs email marketing, vs events), make digital an organizational practice that spans across all tactics and staff. Separating digital and non-digital marketing will create more complex challenges for the organization. Avoid this approach and make digital a strength across all of marketing.

3 Take Aways:

  1. Digital marketing spend is growing, FAST, it will be 50% of the (multi-billion dollar) B2B tech marketer's program budget by 2016. 
  2. Work to define digital marketing so everyone in the organization is speaking in the same terms. 
  3. Do not separate digital from the rest of marketing, it is too important to sit on an island. 

Now it's your turn, what are you planning to do within digital marketing for 2014? What other suggestions do you have for your peers? What did I miss?

Follow Sam Melnick on Twitter: @SamMelnick