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Showing posts from October, 2010

Tech Marketers May Need to Rethink Budgets for 2011 according to new Harte-Hanks research

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Technology marketers are challenged today with handling proliferating marketing channels to reach and engage more overloaded, skeptical and frugal buyers than ever before.

A recent survey from Harte-Hanks reveals some vital metrics to marketers seeking insight on technology buyers and purchase decisions. Surveying 500 decision makers, the survey reveals that technology marketers may want to reconsider their investments and strategies for 2011.

Generating Awareness
In order to start the engagement process with prospects, awareness needs to be created. In researching technology buyer trends, it is important to know how technology buyers become aware in new solutions.

According to the Harte-Hanks survey results, technology buyers become aware of new technology solutions most often through peers/ colleague interactions, magazines and trade journals, product review websites, search engines and industry analyst reports. From these results, it appears that buyers are looking for a “trusted so…

Accelerate Slow Sales Cycles with More Sales Enablement Investments?

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Two successive downturns over the past decade have resulted in buyers more skeptical of sales pitches than ever, and a condition called Frugalnomics – where buyers demand quantifiable proof of bottom-line impact for each purchase decision.

The result of Frugalnomics has been a marked slowdown in the pipeline, and longer than ever sales cycles.

According to Andrew Gaffney in his article Marketers Shifting Focus To Sales Enablement To Accelerate Slow Pipelines , “Deals expected to close in the current quarter are often getting clogged and pushed out later in the year. Given this reality, many marketing organizations are investing in sales enablement tools and processes to accelerate deal flow and maximize the productivity of their sales teams.”

So how is the sales enablement role evolving within b2b vendors? According to IDC’s 2009 Tech Marketing Benchmarks, large enterprises have gotten the message that sales enablement is required to drive sales effectiveness, with more than 80% of en…

Tailwinds for Marketing Automation Software - Insight from CRM Analyst Lauren Carlson

In a recent blog post from Software Advice'sLauren Carlson, this emerging CRM analyst indicates how hot the market for marketing automation software has become,  and although the niche was timid several years ago, marketers are now adopting these systems aggressively.

These tailwinds for marketing automation solutions indicate a headwind for marketers, who are actively seeking solutions to help solve an increasingly challenging B2B sales environments.

We have written about some of these challenges for marketers, in the blog post "The End of Marketing as We Know It", and how the next decade in marketing will be defined by:
Buyers suffering from information overload - with more channels than ever to connect with buyers, and lower cost channels making outreach easier, marketers have been inundating prospects with more marketing messages than ever. The result, more noise and less engagement.Internet fueled buying cycles - research by IDC and Sirius Decisions both indicate th…

Frugalnomics in Full Effect: Forrester and Gartner Downgrade IT Spending Outlook

In the latest research from Gartner and Forrester, both IT research firms revised their annual spending projections over the next few years, predicting lower budgets and slower growth. Gartner's forecasts, revealed at their annual IT symposium here in Orlando, are the most pessimistic, predicting that the next five years would "represent a period of timid and at times lackluster growth."

The revised forecasts track the overall macro-economic conditions and projections for US and other developed economies, and although emerging economies are expected to continue with strong economic growth, these forces are not enough to drive strong IT spending growth overall.

What do these revised projections mean for IT solution providers? CIOs will maintain tight controls over budgets, and although some sectors will see spending constraints loosened, the prevailing Frugalnomics sentiment is expected to continue in full effect. Frugalnomics has buyers seeking quantified bottom-line im…

Alinean Launches Interactive White Papers

Overcomes Marketing Information Overload, Transforming Traditional White Papers into Dynamic, Personalized Engagement Tools

Alinean, the leading creator of value-based interactive sales and marketing tools for B2B vendors, today launched a new demand generation tool for B2B marketers – Alinean Interactive White Papers. Unlike traditional white papers, Alinean Interactive White Papers use profile information from a prospect to intelligently customize the collateral with more personalized, relevant and analytical content. Alinean Interactive White Papers help B2B marketers better attract and connect with today's overloaded, skeptical and frugal buyers.

The basic white paper is still one of the most important pieces of marketing content - used and trusted as the key buying decision tool by over 65% of early stage buyers and 61% of middle stage buyers (SiriusDecisions -2010). However, in the new world of information overload, these white papers are getting lost in the clutter and wors…

Marketing Hierarchy of Needs: Achieving Marketing Efficiency and Effectiveness

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Every year, around Halloween, organizations meet to begin the battle for budget allocations for the New Year. For marketers, the news is good overall. According to research from IDC and Forrester, marketing spending is anticipated to increase between 3 to 5% for 2011.

This represents substantial growth when compared to 2009 cut-backs; however, even with the 2010/2011 snap-back in spending, most marketing budgets will remain below pre-recession levels. In the current environment, marketers are still being asked to do-more-with-less, driving a significant change in strategies, campaigns and go-to-market channels.

Marketing Spending lags Revenue Growth
Comparing marketing spending growth versus revenue growth reveals another important issue facing marketing budgets – the growth in marketing budgets lags revenue growth for the first time in eight years. For example, an IDC survey of technology marketers revealed that 2010 revenue grew at a healthy 5.8% world-wide, and that this greatly ex…

Drive Budget Planning with the “IT Hierarchy of Needs”

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For Information Technology, it’s not how much you spend, but what you invest in that matters. But as budget season looms for most organizations, how can you be sure IT is getting its fair share to drive innovation and bottom-line impact?

Let the Budget Battles Begin
Each year, about the time Halloween rolls around, most executives begin fighting it out for their share of next year’s budget. In the current climate of austerity, IT has been running on empty, with neglected infrastructure and overworked resources. With revenue growth demands returning but budgets still being managed at tightly as ever, even more pressure will be applied in 2011 to do-more-with-less.

So will this budget season prove to be scarier than most?

IT as a Cost Center
Tracking year over year growth in IT spending over the past decade, we see that growth trends follow the macro-economy, but with rather shorter periods of negative growth. To no surprise, a substantial decline occurred following the bursting of the te…

B2B Companies are Really Content Companies, But is Content Publishing Enough?

With the Internet, B2B buyers have access to more information than ever. As a result, most buyers have taken charge of the buying cycle, engaging with sales representatives later and later. Buyers are clearly in control, and marketers are scrambling to address this power shift.

As a result, Internet fueled buying cycles have required B2B marketers to deliver more content and tools over more and more channels to actively engage ever more empowered, skeptical and frugal buyers.

"Publish or perish" is the defining tag-line driving many new B2B marketing strategies. How important is content marketing becoming to B2B marketers? Research by Junta42 & MarketingProfs indicates that:
9 of 10 B2B marketers leverage content marketing as part of their marketing programs, with marketers using eight content tactics on average. The most popular tactics are social media (excluding blogs) (79%), articles (78%), in-person events (62%) and eNewsletters (61%).51% of B2B marketers are increas…