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FutureM: For Marketers, Times They are a Changin’

I attended FutureM in Boston a few weeks ago and the main take away was: Marketing is changing quickly and organizations must grow and adapt, otherwise they will fall behind.

IDC’s CMO Advisory Service has been advising this for some time, but as I read more blogs and attend more marketing based events like FutureM, the reality of overarching change is becoming obvious. IDC’s data points to this as well; investment in Digital Marketing within the Enterprise Tech industry has increased from 12.6% of budgets in 2009 to 29.2% by the end of 2012* – we expect this trend to continue.

Below I have outlined 3 sessions that did a great job of highlighting the change that is taking place. I then took particularly interesting or relevant quotes and expanded on them.

“Social has to be collaborative between agencies and the brand – It has to be done for consumer insight and you cannot do it for the sake of just doing it.
                   – Anthony van Dijk, Brand Manager, Global Gillette Venus Base Business, Gillette

This quote hit home with me – as social, and digital in general, continue to mature, marketers must engage with their agency around these topics. However, don’t just check off a box by giving them the set of keys to your online presence and communities. Hold your team and agency accountable; have a specific plan and goals. Almost as importantly, don’t just give your agency a mandate to improve social, work with them and guide them as your brand and goals change. Social is often instantaneous, you cannot expect the undertaking to be a straight line trajectory – be ready to adjust and if you’re expecting deliverables from your agency give them the best chance to help you succeed!

Understand IDC’s guidance for B2B Social Marketing by downloading our report: “Despite the Hype, B2B Social Marketing Is Still in Its Infancy: 2012 Guidance for New Investment Dollars and Staff

“The buyer is on a journey and the vendor is not invited.”
                    –  Joe Chernov – VP of Marketing, Kinvey

This was one of my favorite quotes of the entire conference – it was provocative and goes against much of what we have been taught as marketers. If you take a broader view, Joe is right, this isn’t your father’s “buyer” the tools and knowledge available today have changed everything. Rather than Sales or Marketing holding all the information, social networks, forums, and the rest of the internet can provide the Buyer with a large majority of answers. As IDC has reported in our recent publication, The 2012 IT Buyer Experience Survey: Accelerating the New Buyer’s Journey, marketers and sales must be aware of this new reality and adjust their strategies and tactics. Additionally, my colleague Kathleen Schaub wrote a great blog post on Operationalizing Your Buyer’s Journey. The report and post both are great places to start on this topic!

“Good professionals let the data speak, if you don’t have good data – don’t make a decision!”
                     – Chuck Hollis, VP — Global Marketing CTO, EMC Corporation

Discussion around Analytics and Big Data resonate strongly with me – they are hot topics in the marketing world and can provide immense value. Our group always urges marketers to utilize data any chance they can. However, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of trying to quickly move projects forward while using data as a guide. Chuck’s quote reminds us to be honest with yourself and be honest in your decision making process, don’t make a decision based on data unless it is telling a clear objective story.

For more information on data driven marketing download IDC’s study “Data-Driven Marketing: A Survey of Marketing Automation Maturity in Global High-Tech Companies


While these quotes give a quick glimpse into a few sessions at FutureM, the entire conference is a reminder that there is a lot of change in Marketing and many technologies and companies can be a huge asset in this transformation. Don’t ignore this change, take time to educate yourself even if it is just a few hours a week to demo a new product or service or view an interesting webinar. Ultimately, as a marketer if you don’t start swimming, you risk sinking like a stone. 

You can follow Sam Melnick on twitter: @SamMelnick or contact him at smelnick (at) IDC (dot) com

*Source:  IDC’s 2012 Tech Marketing Benchmark Study (full results to be published this quarter)

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