At SiriusDecisions Summit 2011: Marketing tech budgets take center stage

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Scottsdale, Ariz.—When it comes to decisions about marketing automation technology, marketing is a “budgetary island,” funding the purchase of its own tools, and with little input from IT or sales. Those findings were part of a study on marketing technology budgeting and purchasing trends by sales and marketing consultancy SiriusDecisions presented Thursday at the company's annual summit and expo here. The online study—conducted with Penton Media and polling 200 b-to-b companies in March and April—found that 84% of marketers fund their own technology purchases, with an average of 4% of the marketing budget going to technology. “Marketing operations is the IT department,” said Megan Heuer, SiriusDecisions' service director. “Seventy-one percent of marketers own vendor selection, 66% are responsible for implementation, 72% for ongoing management and 76% for roadmap development.” Nevertheless, Heuer recommended that marketing involve IT and sales in all these processes to avoid future problems. Purchasing trends concentrate on marketing automation, with 32.7% of respondents planning to invest the most in this area in the coming year. Further, 70% said their spending on marketing technology will increase this year, with one-fifth eyeing increases of more than 10%. However, the main demand creation/sales enablement tool remains customer relationship management, with 74% indicating CRM is their key tool. Other favored demand-creation solutions included email applications (cited by 54%), Web content management solutions (49%), marketing automation (46%), marketing data warehouse applications (37%) and inbound marketing platforms (30%). While the prospects of mobile marketing garners plenty of buzz, 35% of survey respondents have no plans to deploy mobile tactics in the coming year, and more than 70% are not planning mobile websites or apps. “This is a big problem,” Heuer said. “We aren't keeping up with the technology. We all know about the important role mobile plays in our personal lives, but it's not being translated into professional marketing investments.” Another weak link is training. Less than 20% of respondents feel their marketing teams have the skills to handle their marketing technology adequately, and 70% say they have no budget for such technology training, according to the study. The SiriusDecisions Summit 2011 concludes today.
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