Customers with digital DNA expect data driven valueThe digital native generation is bringing new expectations to brand relationships. They are mobile first, crowd sourced, and data savvy. Their first and most frequent interaction with your brand will b…
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Below are the essential “need to knows” around our survey and further down I’ll dive into all the great value of benchmarking your marketing organization:
What are the benefits?
- Complimentary copy of our 2015 Marketing Investment Planner to benchmark your company’s marketing data against industry data.
- Receive an invitation to our exclusive client telebriefing held by IDC Analysts.
- Access to IDC’s industry standard marketing taxonomy.
What is needed?
- Email me (smelnick (at) IDC (dot) com) to get our survey instrument and taxonomy.
- A “lead” marketing executive with access to marketing budget and staffing allocations.
- Complete the survey by August 1st.
What is the Quality of Data and Confidentially?
- This is the 12th year IDC has fielded the Tech Marketing Benchmark Survey and will include participation from many of the 100 largest tech companies – this depth and expertise is unmatched.
- All responses are 100%, no questions asked, confidential. We take this part very seriously.
Bonus to all Participants
- All participants will be eligible for our 2015 Chief Marketing Officer ROI Matrix and will have access to their placement on the Matrix. A great way to easily compare your marketing progress against the rest of the industry’s.
Why do companies benchmark? A benchmark provides context for decision-making. You spend a million dollars a year on social marketing. So what? If your CEO asks you this question, what will you say? Tech marketers tell us that they like to benchmark for the following reasons:
- Improve the quality of annual planning: Last year’s program budget and gut feelings are no longer sufficient input
- Gain insight into critical trends: Learn what industry leaders and competitors are doing – and how you stack up
- Reallocate costs: Identify areas of overspending and opportunities for better value
- Transform with confidence: Answer questions such as how much to invest in new areas like social marketing or how should I re-organize my department?
- Drive with data: C-level executives increasingly expect marketing leaders to manage their business with the same level of operational excellence as other corporate functions.
- Get an independent view: Benchmark data provides IDC analysts with a wealth of information that make guidance to clients personalized and accurate guidance
Feel free to reach out and let’s have a discussion whether it’s the right time for your organization to participate!
Email me at: (smelnick (at) IDC (dot) com) or find me on twitter @SamMelnick
Today, marketing’s equivalent to the Brady Bunch’s “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” just might be “Digital, Digital, Digital!” This is with good reason. Since 2009, digital marketing spend within large B2B tech companies has grown, and is growing, at an enorm…
- Unsustainable complexity: Point solutions have come to market independently leaving it up to marketers to assemble them into rational infrastructures. This is a highly inefficient market model for buyers and sellers.
- Transition to platforms: The consolidation of point solutions into platforms has already begun. Many noteworthy acquisitions have been made by major vendors such as Adobe, IBM, Oracle, salesforce.com, and SAP. However, this phase of market development will not last long as markets move rapidly from platforms to “… as a Service” models.
- Digital and creative coming together:AdAge recently named IBM the number one global digital agency in the world. IBM is rapidly hiring from the agency world to build out its creative services. Adobe has deep and long standing technology partnerships with many top agencies. The agency world needs a value proposition that will allow them restore margins and regain strategic relevance.
Several times a week the IDC CMO Advisory Service gets inquiries from tech company clients about how to shift their company mindset to a new and different buyer. IDC’s IT Buyer Experience Study shows that business buyers have 53% of buying influence in the earliest part of buyer’s journey and their influence stays high throughout the entire process. The tech buyer’s influence, while still important, is comparatively waning.
A successful shift to a business-buyer approach will accelerate if you understand what’s behind it.
Front office automation has more business risk than back office automation. The 2nd Wave (as IDC calls the client-server era) was mainly about automating things inside your company. The 3rd Wave (as IDC calls the current era of cloud, mobile, social, and big data) is about automating your connections to the outside world (I call it the company “skin”). When tech problems happened deep in inside your company, it was frustrating but not devastating. The worst business tech problem of the 2nd Wave was being too slow to adopt new technology leaving competitors or upstarts to sail past you with business process advances. That problem is still a concern today. However, add the horror of screwing up in front of customers, investors, influencers, indeed, the whole world! Just ask the CEO of Target. Business executives are forced to pay attention to technology today – whether they want to or not. IDC forecasts that business executive budgets for technology will outstrip IT budgets.
Technology is easier and prettier now. Back in the day it took a real expert to understand the ins and outs of information technology products. The products were intimidatingly gray and beige and filled with exposed wires and chips. They hummed, got hot, and sparked out with regularity. No wonder the finance and marketing execs wanted to leave those suckers alone. Now most of those wires and chips are moving to the “cloud”. Doesn’t that sound nicer? Devices you touch are smooth and have pictures. Better design makes technology 99% invisible (to quote the title of one of my favorite podcasts).
Business executives are smarter and more confident about technology. Back in the day, technology was a startling thing that business people in the prime of their careers had never seen, much less used. I remember one intelligent, capable, and admired, C-suite executive who used to have his administrative assistant print out his email because he wasn’t quite sure how to use it. Now, anyone younger than 60 came of age with PCs and programmable everything. Information about technology is available at everyone’s fingertips and accessing opinions from your professional network is incredibly easy. While a portion of the population will always be skeptical or frightened about the next new thing – it’s not likely to be IT that they are scared of (drones, anyone?).
Here are some steps you can take to accelerate the shift to a business-buyer focus:
- Bring focus on the business decision-maker up to par with the technology decision-maker. This is the Goldilocks strategy – not too much but not too little. For most new tech installations, IT will no longer instigate nor approve nor pay. However, at some point the business executives will want to bring in their IT partner to take over some aspects of the decision. Keeping adjusting your investments in content, campaigns, training, etc. until you’ve reached a balance in results. Because this is a change you will have to overinvest in activity to achieve new results.
- Take clues from the shifts described above. Focus value propositions on front office business problems. Build in cloud, mobile, social, and big data messages and capabilities (IDC says 90% of IT growth is coming from these areas). Make the “ugly” of tech 99% invisible – in your customer engagement, your sales discussions, and in the products themselves. But that doesn’t mean be fluffy. Much of what is called “thought leadership” is astonishingly useless. People are trying to solve real business problems.
The simple answer is no – search engine submission isn’t necessary. The majority of search engines nowadays (most notably Google) crawl and index pages by following links. Using that logic, a single inbound link from any already-indexed page will identify your page to the engine. Subsequently, if that page links to other pages within your site, they […]
The answer is simple – inbound linking cannot hurt your search ranking. How is this known for certain? Well, for one, if inbound were to hurt your rank, your competitors would continually link to your site from link farms. Such a scenario is beyond your control. For this reason, Google cannot penalize your site for any […]
The importance of anchor text with respect to a linking strategy cannot be overstated. Back-links are a huge part of the search engine algorithm. When initiating a linking campaign, it is vital that external sites link using the appropriate keywords and terms in the anchor text. Almost always, linking candidates will use the company name as anchor […]
The debate between absolute links and relative links continues to live on in the SEO world. The individual significance of each has been contested, but it is widely regarded that absolute links provide better SEO value on the whole than relative links. Many believe that absolute links have less potential for getting messed up when search engines […]
SEO is not an exact science. This becomes apparent when trying to incorporate both SEO and branding into a strategy. This process is finicky to say the least. On the one side, SEO deals with the placement of keywords and phrases. On the other side, branding deals with company loyalty and culture. Incorporating both sides dilutes the […]
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