Tech Marketers Confront Budget and ROI Pressures: IDC Provides Guidance for Organizational Transformation

FRAMINGHAM, MA – SEPTEMBER 18, 2008 – The IDC CMO Advisory Practice projects that IT vendor marketing budgets will expand by 3.5% for the full year 2008, below the level of investment increases of the previous three years. IDC analysts are observing that many marketing executives are now exploring broader and more sweeping marketing organizational changes, as they seek to increase the return on their efforts and attempt to get marketing better aligned with the content requirements of sales teams, partners, prospects, and customers.

Richard Vancil, vice president of IDC's Executive Advisory Group, noted some key trends emerging within the tech marketing community. "The 2008 decline in budget growth was expected, given the tech economy. But the real story is behind the numbers: tech marketers are getting more input from all sides that greater transformation is required. Much of the corporate marketing agenda across the tech vendor community is really disconnected with the information or content wants and needs of the key constituents of marketing. The sales teams have never really climbed 'on board' to marketing's agenda. And in IDC's research with technical and business buyers, we see that most elements of the classic tech marketing agenda continue to fall short of how those buyers want to consume information today."

"IDC has specific guidance for organizational change," noted Vancil. "We are guiding clients toward an expanded Sales Enablement function with an emphasis on content alignment. We are also advocating that management teams staff and execute a larger Campaign Management function so that unilateral and un-coordinated product marketing can be better tied into integrated themes. Finally, we are advising senior marketers to consider additional budget shifts. Our latest research shows that only about one-third of the average marketing budget is executed in the field geographies: the rest is centralized within corporate marketing and product-line marketing budgets. Our guidance is that even where these centralized budgets are 'owned' by corporate or product marketers; they should be allocated and 'spent' by the regions. We'd like to see the regional spend figure approach 50% of the total."

The new insights and analysis are from IDC's CMO Advisory Practice, the tech industry's most comprehensive benchmarking and advisory offering for tech marketing leadership. IDC's sixth annual Technology Marketing Benchmarks Survey, completed in September 2008 provides insight into the management techniques and investment strategies based on IDC's unique access to the world's largest and most influential technology marketing leaders.

In the forthcoming study, Marketing Investment Planner 2009: Benchmarks and Key Performance Indicators, IDC provides a comprehensive analysis of qualitative and quantitative marketing investment priorities, marketing-mix decisions, and operational and organization information for many of the world's leading and most influential technology vendors. This study is based on surveys and interviews conducted with senior marketing executives of the leading IT hardware, software, and services vendors, including Adobe, Cisco, HP, IBM, Intel, SAP, Symantec, and Xerox; representing over $400 billion in IT revenues and over $15 billion in marketing spending. The Tech Marketing Benchmarks analysis is the cornerstone of the IDC CMO Advisory Practice, a research service that provides analysis and insight to IT marketers to improve the productivity and efficiency of their marketing practice.

About IDC's CMO Advisory Practice

The CMO Advisory Practice provides IT marketing executives with the industry's most respected marketing benchmarks, research-based advice, and peer-networking, to strengthen planning, operational, and market-execution decisions.

The CMO Advisory Practice is a part of IDC’s Executive Advisory Group which provides Sales, Marketing, and Market Intelligence executives with critical insights and research-based information to plan investments, prepare operations, mobilize resources, and measure results. Members also access the collective knowledge of peer-level managers to gain the insights of fellow practitioners.

For more information on the IDC CMO Advisory Service, contact Michelle Blondin at IDC: mblondin@idc.com

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. 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 44 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.

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