Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Find the Right Type of Content For Your Business

Marketing budgets are growing for most companies, but so are the requirements to reach more empowered, skeptical and frugal buyers via more channels. How can you know that the content you invest in will forge effective connections and engagements that will ultimately lead to incremental sales?

To help define how to best market and sell your solutions, SiriusDecisions has created an innovative way to understand the market characteristics for your offerings, which improves the chances for your success.

Click here to learn more >>

Monday, April 18, 2011

If Content Marketing is the Titanic, Could Low Marketer Confidence be the Iceberg?

After two economic downturns over the past decade, most executives are scrutinizing budgets much more closely, and marketing is no exception.

According to research from Junta42 and MarketingProfs, in surveys of over 1,100 North American B2B marketers, a significant portion (26%) of total marketing budget is spent on content-marketing initiatives, with 51% of B2B marketers planning to further increase their spend on content marketing over the next 12 months.

Since content marketing is such a significant – and growing – budget line item, the need to prove ROI is high. However, the survey found that many content marketers have doubts about whether content marketing actually delivers measurable ROI, especially newer tactics such as social media, blogs and online videos.

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Social Media ROI is Greatest Challenge to Marketing Success in 2011?

Post the Great Recession, marketers are being met with new levels of executive scrutiny and financial accountability, challenging the ability to get their fair share of the budget, and implement new and innovative programs. The scrutiny is formalized for many organizations, with 33% of chief financial officers (CFOs) indicating that over the past 18 months they have assumed formal responsibility for marketing groups and spending (Accenture - 2010).

Marketers, who historically have been more creative, focused on the “Art”, are being challenged by measurement edicts, return on investment (ROI) requirements, and the “Science” of marketing.

New areas like social media and digital marketing, where accountability is a requirement, but measurement and ROI proof points are new and not always available, represent a stumbling block to future success.

This is evidenced in IDC’s 2011 Tech Marketing Barometer Study, where marketers were asked about the single greatest challenge for increasing proficiency with digital and social media execution, indicating Measurement and ROI as the majority critical missing success factor.

Source: IDC’s 2011 Tech Marketing Barometer Study (N = 45)

When asked to indicate the measurements used to prove the ROI of social media, the challenges are evident, with the majority using usage statistics to prove ROI, versus true financial measurements / bottom-line impacts that financial types often require to prove value and to prioritize additional funding.

Activity based metrics are the most popular way to measure value including tallying traffic, number of positive and negative, comments, and number of registered participants, but don’t directly prove a return on investment.

The good news is that the majority, 52% also indicating measuring the revenue impact of social media initiatives, as well as retention and referral impacts, which will help prove the ROI to economic-focused executives.

The Bottom Line
Recent economic pressures have led to more executive scrutiny and financial accountability on spending requests, and marketing is no exception. Marketers are being challenged more to measure success and prove the return on marketing investments, especially for new growth areas including digital and social media.

Being able to adequately deliver measurement metrics and ROI is seen as one of the major challenges to future marketing success, implementing “science” of marketing to accompany successful “art” of connecting and engaging with buyers. Those that can sooner measure success and prove the value of marketing will assure their fair share of corporate spend, and help the organization better optimize return on investments, particularly for new marketing initiatives.

Additional research and interactive tools to measure and prove social media ROI can be found at:

Source: IDC Webinar: Digital Content Matchmaking: Address Changing Buyer Needs or Risk a Bad First Date:

Does the Recent Rise in Technology Marketing Growth Predict Coming Tech Boom?

The latest marketing spending survey results are out and the budget news is finally good for technology marketers. According to IDC’s annual “Tech Marketing Barometer Study”, marketing budgets are recovering with strength in 2011, with an expected 8% annual increase over 2010 levels.

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.

Source: IDG Connect (2010)

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.

For more research and best practices information visit

Source: IDC Webinar: Digital Content Matchmaking: Address Changing Buyer Needs or Risk a Bad First Date: