2014: The year of Digital Marketing…Wait a Second, What Exactly is Digital Marketing?

Or maybe 2014 will be the year of mobile, or the year content marketing. Ok, Ok, I can guarantee one thing, 2014 will be the year of the horse.

While 2014 might not be the year of digital marketing, digital will continue to be deeply important to the marketing organization. As digital spend continues to increase, the focus grows. Despite this, there can be a lack of clarity around the topic. What exactly falls within digital marketing? How much budget is actually being spent on digital? And how does it all meld together?

Let’s dive in.

Digital Marketing Budget Trends:

From 2009 to the end of 2013 digital marketing program spend has increased from 13% to 34% of the total marketing program mix. For 2014 IDC’s CMO Advisory Service expects this to increase to 39% and to 50% in 2016 (highlighted within Kathleen Schaub and Rich Vancil‘s IDC Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) 2014 Predictions). While this level varies depending on sector and size, the upward trend is clear. 

What is Digital Marketing:

At this point all marketers agree that digital is important. That is all well and good, but without a consistent definition around the topic, digital marketing may mean different things to each person or organization. To be successful in building a digital marketing practice, having clear definitions is imperative. This will drive consistency throughout the organization leading to proper tracking and staff allocations.  Below is IDC’s definition of which marketing programs fall within “digital marketing.”

For specific definitions for each area please view IDC’s Worldwide Sales, Marketing, and Market Intelligence Taxonomy, 2013.

Digital as an Organizational Practice:

Defining and tracking digital marketing is important, but the modern marketer understands it must be executed in orchestration with the full marketing strategy. A key guidance for 2014 is to create “systems not silos.” In short, rather than creating another walled practice within marketing (think, advertising vs email marketing, vs events), make digital an organizational practice that spans across all tactics and staff. Separating digital and non-digital marketing will create more complex challenges for the organization. Avoid this approach and make digital a strength across all of marketing.

3 Take Aways:

  1. Digital marketing spend is growing, FAST, it will be 50% of the (multi-billion dollar) B2B tech marketer’s program budget by 2016. 
  2. Work to define digital marketing so everyone in the organization is speaking in the same terms. 
  3. Do not separate digital from the rest of marketing, it is too important to sit on an island. 
Now it’s your turn, what are you planning to do within digital marketing for 2014? What other suggestions do you have for your peers? What did I miss?
Follow Sam Melnick on Twitter: @SamMelnick

IDC 2014 CMO Predictions

The Chief Marketing Officer cannot avoid broader responsibility as the digital customer experience bursts traditional boundaries. IDC predicts that by 2020, marketing organizations will be radically reshaped. The core fabric of marketing execution will be ripped up and rewoven by data and marketing technology.

What actions will you take in 2014 to gain the most from this future opportunity? Here are the IDC CMO Advisory Service views on the long-term industry trends and new themes that may be on the horizon that will most impact the role of the CMO.
 
To hear more, listen to a replay of our December 17th webinar.
  • Prediction 1 – The CMO role becomes “open for definition” as today’s CMO job description becomes considerably more complex and critical.
  • Prediction 2 – Innovative CMO and CIO pairs will throw out the rule book when it comes to IT’s support of Marketing
  • Prediction 3 – By 2020, the Marketing function in leading companies will be radically reshaped into three organizational “systems” – content, channels, and consumption (data)
  • Prediction 4 – The best marketers will understand that “Content Marketing” does not equal “Thought Leadership”
  • Prediction 5 – Multi-channel coverage becomes an opportunity and a challenge area, as CMOs integrate media silos
  •  Prediction 6 – 80% of customer data will be wasted due to immature enterprise data “value chains”
  •  Prediction 7 – By the end of 2014, 60% of CMOs will have formal recruiting process for people with data skills
  • Prediction 8 – Only 20% of marketers will receive formal training on analytics and customer data management
  • Prediction 9 – Fragmented marketing IT point products and low adoption rate will inhibit companies’ ability to win customers
  • Prediction 10 – Digital marketing investment will exceed 50% of total program budget by 2016

Cross Training for Marketing

Most marketing organizations are organized around a set of silos based on specialized program functions within branding or demand generation. The skills, tools, and relationships needed to manage advertising, events, email, website, social, video production, technical writing, etc. are very different. The pressure and complexity involved in each area can easily turn them into organizational islands. They may each have their own databases, audiences, and reporting structures. They may be further fragmented when replicated across business units and geographies. While specialization is necessary and will only increase, the fragmentation and separation that typically accompany it can break down the customer experience, introduce inefficiencies and redundancies, and slow down the whole marketing operation.
The challenge is how to make strong sustainable connections between specialists so that new competencies can be acquired without the negative side effects. Data management and analytics have emerged as two key skills common to every marketing activity. These topics are ideal for bringing marketers together to share how each of their areas produces and consumes data and the models and tools they use to gain meaningful insights. IDC recommends marketing organizations conduct regular analytics knowledge jams to share competencies, resources, and insights. To cross train them on the many other functions that affect customer creation. Key objectives include:
  • Provide visibility into how data is produced and consumed in other areas
  • Improve data capture, quality, and usability
  • Socialize important analytic models
  • Provide a more holistic perspective on the customer experience
  • Raise the overall data and analytics IQ of the marketing team

In each session, representatives from different groups share 15 minute presentations of what they are working on and how they use data and analytics. This will help combat the fragmentation brought on by specialization, reduce inefficiencies and redundancies, and make marketing more responsive.



Marketing automation enters the age of the platform: The integration theme threaded through
Dreamforce as the company unveiled Salesforce 1, a platform for the Internet of Customers.  Providing a quality digital customer experience requires the integration of applications, data, messaging channels, and delivery mechanisms (including mobile and machines). Like an orchestra playing a piece of music, a brand is more richly experienced by multiple instruments simultaneously. Orchestration is the key. If the oboe plays independently in this corner and the violin over there, you can imagine the discord – even if they all work from the same sheet music. Integration, platforms, and clouds are themes I've also heard from Oracle Eloqua, Marketo, Adobe, IBM, Hubspot, and Microsoft. Most of these companies will fill in important platform gaps over the next few years to become winners (I think Salesforce will clearly be in this camp).

Why this matters:  Marketing technology platforms will prod two big changes. Marketing will need to reorganize and become multi-channel and customer experience oriented.  And although vendors playing nice together will be easier to do in the cloud than it was for on-premise software, CMOs will someday find it valuable to standardize on a platform (or "cloud"). Hopefully, they will have differentiated choices that optimize for different business models.

Growing importance of design: I was super impressed with the fireside chat between Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo and Marc Benioff, Salesforce's CEO. I found Marissa's ideas on design most intriguing. It’s a topic you don't hear much about in business circles, yet it was clear that her views on design informed her strategy for Yahoo and her leadership style.  One of Marissa's points - don't design for the expert.  Create a "big green button" for the thing people most want to do. Expert users can afford to work a little harder to get their bells and whistles.  Simple things, if they are the right things, make a huge difference. Think about the impact of Amazon's iconic Add-to Cart one-click shopping.
Why this matters: Change-agents (managers, marketing ops pro's, communicators, etc.) would benefit from getting grounding in design. You might start with a little podcast I recently found called 99% Invisible.

Marketing in the moment:  Marketing is speeding up. Few marketers remain unconvinced about the value of personalization. Messages are more effective when they leverage the viewer's attributes. Now it seems that time is also becoming an impact point. Your message is more relevant if it pops up within the context of a real-time conversation. Some moments are daily habits – such as exercising, or conducting a task at work. Other moments are occasional, shared, and public – such as a sports event or an event like Dreamforce. Some moments can be planned for but others will pop up opportunistically and you need to be ready.

Why this matters: Marketers pay lip service to the concept of "agile" but marketing in the moment requires a truly different approach than planning a launch. Agility is what enabled the Oreo marketing team to steal the moment at the Superbowl. Read this Wired story to learn how they did it.

These are three ideas that I'm going to pay more attention to.
Copyright 2011 IDC. Complete articles may be reposted. Reproduction in part is forbidden unless specifically authorized. All rights reserved. Please contact IDC for information on republishing or web rights.
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Three Big Ideas from Dreamforce 2014

https://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/DF13/Dreamforce, Salesforce’s user conference, is always a phenomenon – boatloads of sales and marketing tips and tricks alongside the philanthropic videos and big name entertainment. However, it was these three ideas that impressed me most.

Marketing automation enters the age of the platform: The integration theme threaded through Dreamforce as the company unveiled Salesforce 1, a platform for the Internet of Customers.  Providing a quality digital customer experience requires the integration of applications, data, messaging channels, and delivery mechanisms (including mobile and machines). Like an orchestra playing a piece of music, a brand is more richly experienced by multiple instruments simultaneously. Orchestration is the key. If the oboe plays independently in this corner and the violin over there, you can imagine the discord – even if they all work from the same sheet music. Integration, platforms, and clouds are themes I’ve also heard from Oracle Eloqua, Marketo, Adobe, IBM, Hubspot, and Microsoft. Most of these companies will fill in important platform gaps over the next few years to become winners (I think Salesforce will clearly be in this camp).

Why this matters:  Marketing technology platforms will prod two big changes. Marketing will need to reorganize and become multi-channel and customer experience oriented.  And although vendors playing nice together will be easier to do in the cloud than it was for on-premise software, CMOs will someday find it valuable to standardize on a platform (or “cloud”). Hopefully, they will have differentiated choices that optimize for different business models.

Growing importance of design: I was super impressed with the fireside chat between Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo and Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s CEO. I found Marissa’s ideas on design most intriguing. It’s a topic you don’t hear much about in business circles, yet it was clear that her views on design informed her strategy for Yahoo and her leadership style.  One of Marissa’s points – don’t design for the expert.  Create a “big green button” for the thing people most want to do. Expert users can afford to work a little harder to get their bells and whistles.  Simple things, if they are the right things, make a huge difference. Think about the impact of Amazon’s iconic Add-to Cart one-click shopping.
Why this matters: Change-agents (managers, marketing ops pro’s, communicators, etc.) would benefit from getting grounding in design. You might start with a little podcast I recently found called 99% Invisible.

Marketing in the moment:  Marketing is speeding up. Few marketers remain unconvinced about the value of personalization. Messages are more effective when they leverage the viewer’s attributes. Now it seems that time is also becoming an impact point. Your message is more relevant if it pops up within the context of a real-time conversation. Some moments are daily habits – such as exercising, or conducting a task at work. Other moments are occasional, shared, and public – such as a sports event or an event like Dreamforce. Some moments can be planned for but others will pop up opportunistically and you need to be ready.

Why this matters: Marketers pay lip service to the concept of “agile” but marketing in the moment requires a truly different approach than planning a launch. Agility is what enabled the Oreo marketing team to steal the moment at the Superbowl. Read this Wired story to learn how they did it.

These are three ideas that I’m going to pay more attention to.

"If your job involves learning a set of logical rules or a statistical model that you apply task after task – whether you are grilling a hamburger or issuing a boarding pass or completing a tax return – you are ripe for replacement by a robot."
Marketing automation is one of the fastest growing sectors of the technology industry, growing at 11.8% in 2012 according to the IDC 2012 Worldwide Marketing Automation Vendor Share Report. Most marketers would agree that marketing automation drives gains for their companies - improved customer engagement, greater marketing accountability, better pipeline management, etc. But is it good for marketing people? The jury is out on whether automation is reducing marketing headcount.  On the precipice of the 2008 downturn, the IDC Tech Marketing Benchmark showed a decline in marketing headcount as a percentage of total employees to approximately 1.5% and the number has sat roughly at that level for the last few years.

Winners and Losers in Marketing Jobs? Nate Silver's book,
The Signal and the Noise, is about making better decisions using analytics. In a chapter about chess, Silver summarizes a 1950 paper by MIT's Claude Shannon on the benefits of a computer in making decisions versus the benefits of a human.  Claude Shannon said that computers are better at decision-making because:
  • They are very fast at making calculations
  • They won't make errors, unless the errors are encoded in the program
  • They won't get lazy and fail to fully analyze a position or all possible moves
  • They won't play emotionally and become overconfident in an apparent winning position that might be squandered or grow despondent in a difficult one that might be salvage
 Claude Shannon said that humans are better at decision-making because:
  • Our minds are flexible, able to shift gears to solve a problem rather than follow a set of code
  • We have the capacity for imagination
  • We have the ability to reason
  • We have the ability to learn
 Silver concludes that the reason why a computer like IBM's Deep Blue could beat a chessmaster is that chess is a deterministic game, that is, there is no luck involved. In deterministic situations, where there is perfect information and perfect knowledge of the rules, computers do a better job.  However, wherever there is uncertainty, a better decision will be made if humans help out.

Future proof your career. To ensure you head your career in a confident direction, gain competency in the following types of marketing skills:
  • Solve problems that have never been solved before:  Work that is genuinely non-routine, creative, or paradoxical – such as people or customer management, strategy development, and design.  However, be warned that being creative does not let you off the hook for learning to use data to inform the creative process.
  • Analyze for insight:  While analytic tools will do most of the heavy lifting for us, humans will give meaning to the data patterns as well as to create models, frameworks, and stories for using the analysis.
  • Make unstructured decisions: Unstructured decisions are those where no explicit process for deciding can be put in place – such as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). Almost every category of marketing has jobs like this. Put yourself in the line of fire, where there are tough trade-offs, and information is ambiguous. 
  • Persuade: Automation can take over lead nurturing by listening to online data, analyzing it for behavior patterns, and responding with the most relevant selection from a content catalog.  However, blending a human with automation may get you better results.  A leading tech company found that although they can go straight through to purchase using automation, that adding an inside sales person to the conversation increased deal size by 3x.
What ideas have you seen marketers implement to help future proof their departments?
 
Copyright 2011 IDC. Complete articles may be reposted. Reproduction in part is forbidden unless specifically authorized. All rights reserved. Please contact IDC for information on republishing or web rights.
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Will a Robot Make Your Marketing Job Obsolete?

Cars with no drivers.  Airport ticket counters with only touch-screens. Surgery with no doctors. Automation has taken over human jobs since the industrial revolution. But this trend may be accelerating with the “Great Restructuring“. Which marketing jobs will automation make obsolete?

Time magazine recently published an article titled The Robot Economy which highlights the types of jobs that will flourish (and which won’t) as automation expands. Time says,

“If your job involves learning a set of logical rules or a statistical model that you apply task after task – whether you are grilling a hamburger or issuing a boarding pass or completing a tax return – you are ripe for replacement by a robot.”

Marketing automation is one of the fastest growing sectors of the technology industry, growing at 11.8% in 2012 according to the IDC 2012 Worldwide Marketing Automation Vendor Share Report. Most marketers would agree that marketing automation drives gains for their companies – improved customer engagement, greater marketing accountability, better pipeline management, etc. But is it good for marketing people? The jury is out on whether automation is reducing marketing headcount.  On the precipice of the 2008 downturn, the IDC Tech Marketing Benchmark showed a decline in marketing headcount as a percentage of total employees to approximately 1.5% and the number has sat roughly at that level for the last few years.

Winners and Losers in Marketing Jobs? Nate Silver’s book, The Signal and the Noise, is about making better decisions using analytics. In a chapter about chess, Silver summarizes a 1950 paper by MIT’s Claude Shannon on the benefits of a computer in making decisions versus the benefits of a human.  Claude Shannon said that computers are better at decision-making because:

  • They are very fast at making calculations
  • They won’t make errors, unless the errors are encoded in the program
  • They won’t get lazy and fail to fully analyze a position or all possible moves
  • They won’t play emotionally and become overconfident in an apparent winning position that might be squandered or grow despondent in a difficult one that might be salvage

 Claude Shannon said that humans are better at decision-making because:

  • Our minds are flexible, able to shift gears to solve a problem rather than follow a set of code
  • We have the capacity for imagination
  • We have the ability to reason
  • We have the ability to learn

 Silver concludes that the reason why a computer like IBM’s Deep Blue could beat a chessmaster is that chess is a deterministic game, that is, there is no luck involved. In deterministic situations, where there is perfect information and perfect knowledge of the rules, computers do a better job.  However, wherever there is uncertainty, a better decision will be made if humans help out.

Future proof your career. To ensure you head your career in a confident direction, gain competency in the following types of marketing skills:

  • Solve problems that have never been solved before:  Work that is genuinely non-routine, creative, or paradoxical – such as people or customer management, strategy development, and design.  However, be warned that being creative does not let you off the hook for learning to use data to inform the creative process.
  • Analyze for insight:  While analytic tools will do most of the heavy lifting for us, humans will give meaning to the data patterns as well as to create models, frameworks, and stories for using the analysis.
  • Make unstructured decisions: Unstructured decisions are those where no explicit process for deciding can be put in place – such as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). Almost every category of marketing has jobs like this. Put yourself in the line of fire, where there are tough trade-offs, and information is ambiguous. 
  • Persuade: Automation can take over lead nurturing by listening to online data, analyzing it for behavior patterns, and responding with the most relevant selection from a content catalog.  However, blending a human with automation may get you better results.  A leading tech company found that although they can go straight through to purchase using automation, that adding an inside sales person to the conversation increased deal size by 3x.

What ideas have you seen marketers implement to help future proof their departments?

 

The Countryside of Massachusetts

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Tum Piso: Quoniam igitur aliquid omnes, quid Lucius noster? Ad corpus diceres pertinere-, sed ea, quae dixi, ad corpusne refers? Duo Reges: constructio interrete. Non quam nostram quidem, inquit Pomponius iocans; Sed quanta sit alias, nunc tantum possitne esse tanta. Miserum hominem! Si dolor summum malum est, dici aliter non potest. Portenta haec esse dicit, neque ea ratione ullo modo posse vivi; Et quae per vim oblatum stuprum volontaria morte lueret inventa est et qui interficeret filiam, ne stupraretur. Praeclare Laelius, et recte sofñw, illudque vere: O Publi, o gurges, Galloni! es homo miser, inquit.

Sed eum qui audiebant, quoad poterant, defendebant sententiam suam. Sed quamquam negant nec virtutes nec vitia crescere, tamen utrumque eorum fundi quodam modo et quasi dilatari putant. Quo igitur, inquit, modo? Ita relinquet duas, de quibus etiam atque etiam consideret. In omni enim arte vel studio vel quavis scientia vel in ipsa virtute optimum quidque rarissimum est. Themistocles quidem, cum ei Simonides an quis alius artem memoriae polliceretur, Oblivionis, inquit, mallem. Atqui haec patefactio quasi rerum opertarum, cum quid quidque sit aperitur, definitio est. Aliis esse maiora, illud dubium, ad id, quod summum bonum dicitis, ecquaenam possit fieri accessio. Numquam audivi in Epicuri schola Lycurgum, Solonem, Miltiadem, Themistoclem, Epaminondam nominari, qui in ore sunt ceterorum omnium philosophorum.

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Architectural Detail of Tokyo

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Varietates autem iniurasque fortunae facile veteres philosophorum praeceptis instituta vita superabat. Verum tamen cum de rebus grandioribus dicas, ipsae res verba rapiunt; Utrum igitur tibi litteram videor an totas paginas commovere? Graece donan, Latine voluptatem vocant. Explanetur igitur. Nam illud quidem adduci vix possum, ut ea, quae senserit ille, tibi non vera videantur. Sed quot homines, tot sententiae; Minime id quidem, inquam, alienum, multumque ad ea, quae quaerimus, explicatio tua ista profecerit. Duo Reges: constructio interrete. Non ego tecum iam ita iocabor, ut isdem his de rebus, cum L. Duo enim genera quae erant, fecit tria. Tria genera bonorum; Hoc ille tuus non vult omnibusque ex rebus voluptatem quasi mercedem exigit.

Ut Phidias potest a primo instituere signum idque perficere, potest ab alio inchoatum accipere et absolvere, huic est sapientia similis;

  • Utrum igitur tibi litteram videor an totas paginas commovere?
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  • Tum ille: Ain tandem?

Sunt autem, qui dicant foedus esse quoddam sapientium, ut ne minus amicos quam se ipsos diligant. Commoda autem et incommoda in eo genere sunt, quae praeposita et reiecta diximus; Quoniam, si dis placet, ab Epicuro loqui discimus. Sunt autem, qui dicant foedus esse quoddam sapientium, ut ne minus amicos quam se ipsos diligant. Et hercule-fatendum est enim, quod sentio -mirabilis est apud illos contextus rerum. Non minor, inquit, voluptas percipitur ex vilissimis rebus quam ex pretiosissimis. Aut, Pylades cum sis, dices te esse Orestem, ut moriare pro amico? Sed id ne cogitari quidem potest quale sit, ut non repugnet ipsum sibi. Hanc quoque iucunditatem, si vis, transfer in animum; Ita graviter et severe voluptatem secrevit a bono. In omni enim arte vel studio vel quavis scientia vel in ipsa virtute optimum quidque rarissimum est. Et ille ridens: Video, inquit, quid agas; Nunc dicam de voluptate, nihil scilicet novi, ea tamen, quae te ipsum probaturum esse confidam. Nihil opus est exemplis hoc facere longius.

Vitae autem degendae ratio maxime quidem illis placuit quieta. Igitur ne dolorem quidem. Innumerabilia dici possunt in hanc sententiam, sed non necesse est. Quae cum dixisset paulumque institisset, Quid est? Quid ergo aliud intellegetur nisi uti ne quae pars naturae neglegatur? Ita enim se Athenis collocavit, ut sit paene unus ex Atticis, ut id etiam cognomen videatur habiturus. Idemque diviserunt naturam hominis in animum et corpus. Quid est igitur, cur ita semper deum appellet Epicurus beatum et aeternum? Hic, qui utrumque probat, ambobus debuit uti, sicut facit re, neque tamen dividit verbis. Istam voluptatem, inquit, Epicurus ignorat?

London Phone Booth

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. A villa enim, credo, et: Si ibi te esse scissem, ad te ipse venissem. Res enim se praeclare habebat, et quidem in utraque parte. At vero si ad vitem sensus accesserit, ut appetitum quendam habeat et per se ipsa moveatur, quid facturam putas? Tibi hoc incredibile, quod beatissimum. Duo Reges: constructio interrete.

  • Videamus animi partes, quarum est conspectus illustrior;
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  • Nec hoc ille non vidit, sed verborum magnificentia est et gloria delectatus.
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  • Si quicquam extra virtutem habeatur in bonis.

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Scrupulum, inquam, abeunti; Atque hoc loco similitudines eas, quibus illi uti solent, dissimillimas proferebas. Atqui eorum nihil est eius generis, ut sit in fine atque extrerno bonorum. Quod est, ut dixi, habere ea, quae secundum naturam sint, vel omnia vel plurima et maxima. An dolor longissimus quisque miserrimus, voluptatem non optabiliorem diuturnitas facit? Nemo nostrum credebat, eratque veri similius hunc mentiri, cuius interesset, quam illum, qui id se rogasse scripsisset, quod debuisset rogare. Non perfecti autem homines et tamen ingeniis excellentibus praediti excitantur saepe gloria, quae habet speciem honestatis et similitudinem. Tu vero, inquam, ducas licet, si sequetur; Dolere malum est: in crucem qui agitur, beatus esse non potest. Habes, inquam, Cato, formam eorum, de quibus loquor, philosophorum.

Nemo enim est, qui aliter dixerit quin omnium naturarum simile esset id, ad quod omnia referrentur, quod est ultimum rerum appetendarum.

2013 Tech Marketing Budget Trends: 3rd Platform Companies and Products Lead the Growth

Yesterday, IDC’s CMO Advisory Service had our annual Tech Marketing Benchmark Webinar. This study goes out to close to 100 senior lever marketing executives and represents the largest B2B Tech companies in the world (this year the average company revenue was $9.1B.) The webinar was packed with great information and was a great success. However the overlying question each year is where will marketing budgets sit at the end of the year and what direction are they moving. The results are some good news mixed with trends that point to hard work that marketers need to do around their budgets. 
Good News: More Organizations are Increasing their Marketing Spend Than Decreasing

As seen in the graph below, across the entire tech industry a net of 15% of companies are increasing marketing spend versus those decreasing. While it may not always feel like it, there are marketing budget increases out there to be had!

Challenge for Marketers in 2014: Finding the Right Areas that Should Receive More Marketing Budget

Despite the fact more companies across the tech industry are increasing marketing budgets than decreasing, budgets at the aggregate levels are flat to slightly negative. IDC expects Marketing budgets to decrease 0.5% year-over-year from 2012 to 2013. So that leaves us with an interesting juxtaposition, more companies are increasing budgets than decreasing, but at the aggregate weighted level the data shows a slight decrease in overall budgets. Three reasons we are seeing this:

  1. The largest companies within the Tech Industry are seeing flat to declining marketing budgets due to continued transformation within the industry. This brings the weighted levels down. 
  2. Hardware companies (as seen in the above graph) are the only sector where more companies are decreasing marketing budgets than increasing. Companies within this sector are typically larger and the Hardware industry is feeling more affects from the industry’s transformation. 
  3. 3rd Platform companies and other high growth product lines and business units are driving much of the revenue growth and in turn are receiving much of the increases within marketing budgets. These companies are smaller, so they add the “n” value of companies increasing, but do not affect the weighted average as heavily. 
Illustrating the final point (#3) you can see in the graph below that Cloud Software Vendor’s (who are right smack in the middle of IDC’s 3rd Platform) Revenue Growth, Marketing Investment Growth, and Marketing Budget Ratio (total marketing budget / total revenue) are all at least 3X  that of their on-premise peers. Some of this can be attributed the size of the Cloud Vendors (typically smaller), but the growth being seen in the 3rd Platform areas is undeniable.
Note: If you would like to discuss cloud vendors marketing benchmarks further please email me at smelnick (at) idc (dot) com!
In closing the 3 budget takeaways we are giving for budgets in 2013 – 2014 are:
  1. More companies are increasing (vs. decreasing) marketing spend. (This is good news!)
  2. There is not enough “Peanut Butter” to go around… (so an even spread will not work this year)
  3. Marketing Investment will inevitably find growth areas: products; markets;  segments; or geos. (So, work hard to find those areas and invest wisely)
Sam Melnick is a Research Analyst at IDC’s CMO Advisory Service and manages the entire benchmark survey and study. You can follow him on twitter at @SamMelnick

Sales process – the missing ingredient for marketing ROI

Most marketers in B2B enterprises have never been trained on sales process. If I were running your marketing or sales organization this would be the first thing on my agenda. Why? Because without understanding sales process, marketing is essentially set up to fail. How can anyone improve or contribute effectively to something if they don’t know how it works. It’s like setting up your manufacturing to produce blue widgets but not telling your suppliers what parts you need for your particular widgets. So they ship you tons of blue stuff and hope that somehow it all works out. That’s the position, to one degree or another that most enterprise marketing organizations are in even at some of the most advanced process-centric companies in the world. Largely because they have chopped up the customer creation process into a collection of departmentally independent activities. 

In a large enterprise with many products lines, business units and segments, there are likely to be a number of different sales processes. Marketing and sales resources should be aligned against these processes horizontally. This is the key to making the shift from a siloed command and control organization to a responsive, integrated customer focused one. Not only is it important to design around sales process, which should be designed around the buyer’s journey, but it is important to design for change. Markets are dynamic and sales processes change.
Marketing automation systems, especially those that are integrated with the sales force automation or customer relationship management system, have begun to provide marketing with some clues to sales process. At least they can see what happens or does not happen when they deliver something to sales. But the data does not always explain why, and that’s the critical part. Marketing needs to understand very specifically how Sales operates in order to optimize around customer outcomes. The alternative is for marketing to optimize around departmentally focused KPIs like the number of MQLs (ugh), or SALs, or worse vanity metrics like hits, sentiment, likes, etc. These metrics are useful indicators for some marketing activities, but not as business drivers for marketing investment.
Aligning marketing and sales around sales process is the first step to formulating an enterprise customer creation process that extends across all customer touch points, including: billing, fulfillment, service and support. At each stage of maturity, marketing, as well as all the other customer facing departments, gain much greater visibility and accountability to the whole process and its connection to corporate objectives for growth, market share, and margin. This is all necessary for a true picture of marketing ROI.
Your action items:
  • Marketers: lobby your top executives to make regular sales process training for marketing a priority. 
  • Sales executives: demand that marketing know how the different parts of your sales force work so they can more effectively develop prospects and serve customers. 
  • CEOs: get smart about your customer supply chain by applying the same level of due diligence and process discipline to it that you have to your product and services units. As a result, you will make much more effective use of marketing investment and be able to hold your whole customer facing team accountable for its contribution to your strategic objectives.