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A Preview of IDC’s 2009 Tech Mktg. Benchmarks: A Focus on Marketing Automation

As discussed in my last blog entry, Are you Ready for Marketing’s 2010 Annual Planning Process? , the IDC CMO Advisory Practice is “in the thick” of collecting surveys for our 2009 Tech Marketing Benchmarks study. We expect to collect detailed marketing investment data from nearly 100 hardware, software, and services vendors. With this is hand, we will be well prepared to provide our insight and guidance to tech marketers for their annual planning process.

I’d like to invite Seth Fishbein, a senior IDC analyst on our team, to provide a preview of some of this research, focusing on CMOs’ marketing automation priorities for the coming year. A more comprehensive analysis of this topic will be included in IDC’s 2010 Marketing Investment Planner, due out in late September/early October.

“Thanks Michael. Based upon interviews with leading tech marketing executives over the past month, the following three areas represent some “low-hanging fruit” in the marketing automation space for 2009/2010:

  • Development of a formal marketing automation roadmap: Tech marketers should take a fresh look at their marketing IT tools and applications to look for redundancies and cost savings. Not only has IDC observed that most marketing organizations under-invest in automation tools, but most have not developed a roadmap or formal taxonomy to align their systems to strategic goals and related processes. A couple of verbatim comments from our study:

    – “We are reviewing all of our marketing systems, from owners to costs to measurements, to see what is truly being used and what is needed…”
    – “We are hoping that an audit of our marketing automation systems will help us integrate our lead management system with in order to automate and measure the flow of marketing opportunities to sales…”

  • Simplification of marketing processes and systems: A common thread among tech marketers is the lack of data quality and consistency in their lead management/CRM systems. In particular, a frequent challenge is field marketing’s adherence to data-entry standards. IDC is observing that more marketing organizations appear to be moving in the direction of simplifying their marketing automation strategies and taxonomies in order to make processes easier for global users.

    – “More [investment in] automation is not a priority, [but] process improvement is…and we will then automate more where it makes it easier.”
    – “We are trying to streamline our campaign management systems so all users, from North America to Japan, can select from a list of 10 campaigns as opposed to 30-40.”

  • Improvement to sales enablement and marketing asset management technologies: IDC research shows that over 40% of all marketing assets handed over to sales are not in use today (IDC’s Best Practices in Sales Enablement – Content and Marketing (to be published end of July)). This includes assets that have been developed for sales, channels, prospects and current customers. IDC estimates that at least 30% of companies’ marketing investment, including program and people spend, is dedicated to creating content and marketing assets. Clearly, marketers can leverage cost reduction opportunities if they take the time to improve their content management process and technologies.

    – “Our content is all over the place…a more formalized content portal is being created to get our sales team the most relevant materials when they need them.”
    – “…marketing is funding an improved marketing asset management system and we are hoping to achieve 3% – 5% reduction/reallocation of spend on annual asset development and improved production efficiencies.” (improvements in production efficiency, reduced program time-to-market, and reduced re-work).

    In the next several weeks, IDC will be publishing a sales enablement report highlighting best practices in marketing content management from a lifecycle management, technology, and measurement perspective. Detailed company case studies will be also be included.

Please keep in mind that we are currently in the process of collecting surveys for our 2009 Tech Marketing Benchmarks study. If you are interested in participating in this study and have not received a survey, please let us know as soon as possible. Thanks!”
Seth Fishbein, Senior Analyst, CMO Advisory Service (

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