Even in a recession, somebody’s got to be spending money on tech marketing, and a fascinating Webcast from B2B Magazine showed where at least some of the money will be spent. Among the hottest spots: Demand generation and lead qualification done on-line.

First, for the overall damage: The most recent research from IDC’s Richard Vancil shows overall drops of 7-10 percent in tech marketing budgets this year, with the biggest drops occurring among the largest vendors. While tech vendors usually split marketing budgets about 50/50 between brand awareness and lead generation, he says, the downturn has tipped the pendulum to 41 to 25 percent in favor of lead gen.

He also found that marketing activities closest to the top of what he called the “customer generation” funnel (branding, advertising, “big tent” events) will be cut the most, with moderate cuts in activities in the middle of the funnel such as market strategy and research. Interesting, his survey also shows spending on content for marketing campaigns, and demand generation marketing campaigns will be flat.

Budgets will actually rise moderately, he predicts, for those activities that occur closest to the purchase event. These include lead management and qualification, sales enablement and training (getting the right information to the right salesperson at the right time) and, of course, the sales process itself.

He also predicted this downturn will be “transformative” and that all the dollars draining out of print publications will never come back, and that by next year digital marketing will be the largest piece of the marketing budget for hardware, software and services companies. Looks like we all better get savvy in all things online (from video marketing to social media) with a heavy focus on getting prospects qualified and keyed up for the all-important close.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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