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Insights from top marketers

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Last month, at BtoB's NetMarketing Breakfast in Boston, our three marketer panelists—Drew Clarke of Cognos, Belinda Hudmon of Motorola and Phil Juliano of Novell—concurred on one thing: They no longer see Internet marketing as separate from traditional marketing. While they are constantly experimenting, measuring and spending money on various new techniques, it's all just marketing. One statement that brought a murmur from the audience was when Juliano said, “Online is now 70% of our marketing budget.” He proceeded to emphasize that online is no longer viewed separately from other spending and said it is growing at the expense of both print and events. If you are at a technology media company, you probably don't see this as news. However, it's very clear that what the tech publishers experience first with online marketing trends filters back to nontech publishers to a large degree and in a relatively short time. What else did the marketers say? Hudmon said Motorola is focusing on social media but hasn't yet figured out if it works because of the measurement challenges. Clarke said that for Cognos, paid search is more effective than search engine optimization because “buyers are ready to buy when they click on paid keywords.” Novell is sponsoring widgets and is ready, like most leading-edge companies, to spend on new marketing techniques. “We have to experiment as long as it's aimed at our audience,” Juliano said. We can all provide marketers with more to spend and experiment on, and it's imperative that we do. Bob Felsenthal can be reached at bfelsenthal@crain.com.
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