Thank you to BtoB magazine for the invitation to blog! As a starting blog, I will stick to what I know best—the status and direction of tech marketing budgets and investment priorities. For those who don't know my work, it is "heavy" on the research, based on IDC's deep audits of the marketing budgets at most of the world's top tech brands.
Tech marketing budgets have finally emerged from the grip of the 2008-2010 recession, and the average marketing budget for a large tech vendor will increase by 8% this year. Good news.
More significant than the rise in budgets is the shape of budgets. The recession permanently altered the anatomy of the marketing mix. Traditional advertising including print, broadcast and out-of-home now comprises just 12% of the marketing mix. This figure was close to 20% at the start of the recession.
It seems natural to ask: Will some of the most traditional mix elements eventually fade away entirely? I don't think so. Old media can get entirely eclipsed by the new, but more often new media formats tend to get lumped on top of old ones and the stack just continues to morph and grow. The TV didn't put the radio out of business, as many feared. And the VCR didn't put the movie theaters out of business.
Today in my budget audits, I account for 45 separate program spending elements. Sorting out the media choices and the marketing mix complexity is a key challenge, and that challenge will grow.
Where are 2011 budgets being allocated? Most of the new budget dollars expended this year will go toward website content and development, and also deployment of new social marketing and social media efforts.
Evaluation and deployment of marketing automation technologies will continue to accelerate. These investments actually continued to rise even during the height of the recession.
Finally, a major spend area of note is for sales enablement. This process improvement area begins with investments in improved marketing content asset management techniques. Effective sales enablement remains at the top of the lDC list of essential guidance for tech marketers seeking to reduce costs and improve ROI.
There are two sides to every marketing budget: the programs and the people. Today we've taken a brief look at the programs, and in my next blog we will look at the people side, and see what 2011 portends