Technology marketers have a well-deserved reputation for adopting new marketing automation and customer intelligence systems ahead of other industries. Online marketing is a key channel for these companies, of course. A just-released eMarketer report, "Technology Marketing: Customer Driven Convergence" predicts online technology ad spending will hit $2.8 billion in 2007, led by the computing (hardware and software) category, accounting for about 16% of all online ads in 2007.
However, there may be cause for concern, too. A recent survey of more than 550 technology marketers suggests an over-reliance on customer intelligence systems and a worrisome lack of direct contact with customers themselves.
"This lack of direct contact with customers paints a disturbing picture of a customer-centric business defined more by processes than real engagement, and seems to support the common complaint among sales teams that marketers don't really know their customers," writes Christopher Kenton, a senior VP of the CMO Council.