With such growth, technology marketers will certainly have more to work with, but with more channels to leverage in order to reach customers, and a backlog from negative budget growth during the Great Recession and modest 3.7% growth in 2010, it’s unclear whether this increase will provide enough fuel to drive all of the campaign requirements and requests.
During the downturn, marketing budgets were reduced more than the growth in the global IT marketplace, and during the recovery in 2010, marketing spending lagged the “snap back” recovery in IT spending. In 2011, this lag reverses finally, as IT marketing growth exceeds the anticipated growth in IT global revenue, a sign that executives are anticipating good times for IT - spending ahead of the growth in the target market by throttling up marketing spending now versus later.
Major Changes to the Marketing Mix
Examining the spending mix, technology marketers continue to shift budgets from traditional advertising, to digital marketing, which includes company websites, digital display ads, e-mail marketing, digital events, search engine optimization, and social media. This shift is dramatic, with the traditional media spend reduced in half from 2009 to 2010, with expected continued declines into 2011.
The strategy to online is being driven by buyers, who have dramatically shifted their preference for where to source decision support content. The preference was split between sourcing the content via traditional formats and on-line just two years ago, to 2/3rds now preferring the content via on-line sources.
Comparing 2010 to 2009 spending, digital marketing is not changing too dramatically, with a higher percentage of spend being allocated to the company web site, as buyers continue to use this content to fuel buying decisions, and social networks, which is almost doubling in investment for 2010 (but still a small fraction of the overall digital spend at less than 6%). The increased budget for web and social media is primarily coming at the expense of spending on search ads and digital events.
The Bottom Line
As it has been said, “It is often not how much you have, but what you spend it on that matters”, however, the 2011 recovery in marketing spending is significant, and sure to help overloaded marketers implement the programs they so desperately need to connect, engage and sell to today’s more empowered, skeptical and frugal buyer.
The latest 2011 predictions put the marketing budget growth ahead of the overall worldwide market opportunity for IT, as executives hope to get ahead of anticipated IT spending increases for the first time in several years. This shows that executives have confidence in the next technology spending wave, and confidence in marketing to help catch their fair share of anticipated marketing opportunities.
And the spending shift to digital continues as buyers shift to using the web site and social media to source content, cannibalizing traditional media spending to ½ of prior year levels.
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Source: IDC Webinar: Digital Content Matchmaking: Address Changing Buyer Needs or Risk a Bad First Date: http://w.on24.com/r.htm?e=296555&s=1&k=B50E2F94F3DF611DF04AB37F12B4C7E1