IDC Survey Shows Sales and Marketing Budgets Will Rise in 2010; Tech executives face significant sales and marketing process challenges and opportunities

IDC Survey Shows Sales and Marketing Budgets Will Rise in 2010; Tech executives face significant sales and marketing process challenges and opportunities

FRAMINGHAM, MA – September 21, 2010 – The International Data Corporation (IDC) Executive Advisory Group forecasts that IT vendor marketing budgets will increase by 3.7% and vendor sales budgets (investment) will rise by 5.6% for the full year 2010.

Richard Vancil, vice president of IDC's Executive Advisory Group noted some key trends and offered guidance for the tech executives. "The recession has brought major changes to the level and shape of marketing investment. At the macro level, overall investment is likely to lag revenue growth this year and this is the first 'watch-out' for executives, as our research consistently shows that marketing leaders tend to keep budgets in-line with revenue growth. The second factor is the major shift in the shape of the marketing mix. Traditional media spending has declined by 43% this year, and the category of digital marketing has grown by 53%.

"These shifts were expected and our forecast accuracy from earlier this year was excellent. Now, the question for marketing and marketing-operations executives is: How do we adjust our execution and processes to adapt? IDC suggests two key steps. First, seek process improvement to address the complexity of multi-path marketing. Think about separate process paths for Waterfall versus Agile execution. Second, look for processes that will improve the capability for personalized marketing. It is counter-intuitive, but consolidation and centralization of marketing processes and IT will precede the ability to de-centralize and personalize. The top marketers are putting more intelligence and process in place at corporate to make this happen."

The IDC Executive Advisory Group has also expanded its benchmarking research for Sales Productivity improvements. Noting that the average cost to create a B2B customer is about 14% of revenue, Vancil noted that "Selling expenses are nearly 80% of this total and so are a huge target for cost control and effectiveness improvements."

Michael Gerard, vice president of IDC's Sales Advisory Service, offers three guidance imperatives for 2011, for Sales executives. "First and foremost, upgrade your Sales Operations function. This role is quickly becoming more strategic and will be the key lead role in productivity improvements. The second area is to better equip the knowledge of sales reps as they prepare for account interaction. This includes account knowledge, competitive intelligence, and product knowledge. At most companies, these are all lacking. Finally, Sales execs should continue to invest in and deploy the automation tools to help with process improvement. Many are struggling with overcoming their deployments of first generation CRM and SFA tools, and this is now a significant impediment."

The 2010-2011 Sales and Marketing Technology Benchmarks Surveys were recently completed and their analysis is the cornerstone of the IDC CMO and Sales Advisory Practices, research services that provides analysis and insight to IT sales and marketing teams to improve the productivity and efficiency of their practices. Full reports of each survey will be officially published in the coming weeks.

About IDC's Executive Advisory Group

The Executive Advisory Group provides IT marketing & sales executives and their operations counterparts critical insights and fact-based information to plan program and people investments, prepare marketing and sales operations, launch initiatives, and measure results. Both the CMO Advisory and Sales Advisory Services offer an annual subscription service, targeted mult-client studies, and custom engagements. As part of each subscription service, a peer-to-peer leadership board meets three times per year, where senior executives collectively problem-solve on difficult marketing and sales operations issues and processes. For more information on IDC’s Executive Advisory Group, contact Michelle Blondin at 508-988-7579 and mblondin@idc.com.

About IDC

The International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps business executives, IT professionals, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on business strategy and technology purchases. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 46 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events Company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com [http://www.idc.com].

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