Tech Marketers Face Budget Pressures, Even as Performance Measurement and Operational Efficiencies Improve, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, MA. – September 17, 2007 – The IDC CMO Advisory Practice projects that IT vendor marketing budgets will increase by 6.1% for the full year 2007, slightly below the level of investment increases of the previous two years. IDC analysts are observing that marketing executives are dealing with budget pressures not solely placed on the marketing function, but rather are bearing their share of overall cost-control measures as tech vendor management teams seek improvements in overall operating margins. Even as budget pressure increases, IDC does see that tech marketers continue to make solid progress in operational efficiency: performance measurement reporting is improving, as are critical process issues between the sales and marketing functions.

Richard Vancil, vice president of IDC’s Executive Advisory Group noted some key trends expected to emerge within the tech marketing community. “We expect to see continued pressure on the traditional elements of the marketing mix – the major spend areas of advertising, events, and traditional marketing communications formats. These traditional techniques are costly and they are going to yield declining ROI over time."

"New IDC research shows that the factors IT buyers value most when searching for information to support IT decisions are the factors least considered during marketing mix planning and measurement," Vancil continued. "Buyers care less about the factors of format and communications channel, which is really the foundation on which most tech marketing budgets are built and executed."

"Combining this trend with the underlying budget pressures, IDC expects to see the traditional marketing budget process change quite apparently in the coming years, in several ways. The process will become more market-centric and content-centric versus format or channel-centric; it will produce execution elements that are more often interactive vs. asynchronous in format; it will respond to buyers needs for more educationally-oriented content; and last but not least, it will result in marketing execution programs that are less expensive than traditional go-to-market techniques," noted Vancil.

The new insights and analysis are from IDC’s CMO Advisory Practice, the tech industry’s most comprehensive benchmarking and advisory offering for tech marketing leadership. IDC's fifth annual Technology Marketing Benchmarks Survey provides insight into the management techniques and investment strategies based on IDC's unique access to the world's largest and most influential technology marketing leaders.

In the study, Marketing Investment Planner 2008: Benchmarks and Key Performance Indicators (IDC #208489), IDC provides a comprehensive analysis of qualitative and quantitative marketing investment priorities, marketing-mix decisions, and operational and organization information for many of the world's leading and most influential technology vendors. This study is based on 95 interviews conducted with senior marketing executives of the leading IT hardware, software, and services vendors, including Adobe, Cisco, HP, Intel, SAP, and Symantec, representing over $360 billion in IT revenues and over $12 billion in marketing spending.

The Tech Marketing Benchmarks analysis is the cornerstone of the IDC CMO Advisory Practice, a research service that provides analysis and insight to IT marketers to improve the productivity and efficiency of their marketing practice.

For more information on the IDC CMO Advisory Service, contact Natalie O'Reilly at 508-988-6746 or noreilly@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 900 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 90 countries worldwide. For more than 43 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com .

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