Tech Vendors are Rapidly Adding New Marketing Operations Staff, Though Organizational Impact is Still in the Early Stages of Development, IDC Reveals

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JANUARY 4, 2007 – As tech marketers remain under pressure for improved performance, new IDC research finds that 60% of large IT vendors have implemented an emerging staff position within the past two years: the Marketing Operations (MO) manager. This new role is designed to equip the marketing organization with better planning and accountability, performance measurement, and process excellence. However, while the MO position and job title has been eagerly adopted, IDC sees that the role itself is still in the early stages of development. Only a handful of vendors have staffed and structured the marketing operations role so that it can have deep impact across the marketing organization.

IDC first identified the rise of the marketing operations (MO) function early in 2005 and provided a detailed analysis and framework for the staffing requirements and responsibilities as industry guidance for this role's contribution to the marketing organization. Twelve months later, adoption of the marketing operations function continues to expand with 25% of tech marketing organizations having newly established this function in the past year.

"The MO role continues to be the 'new kid' on the block in marketing organizations with nearly 60% of companies having implemented or expanded the MO role in the past two years," said Michael Gerard, director of IDC's CMO Advisory Practice. "Based upon marketing's low credibility in the average tech organization and the lack of process and infrastructure, the MO team is faced with significant challenges, especially with the breadth of responsibilities that fall within the MO team's domain, such as strategic planning, performance measurement, and marketing infrastructure."

IDC believes that senior marketing leaders and their MO lieutenants need to focus on the following key areas to optimize their potential for success in the next 12-18 months:

— The most effective MO leaders bring deep operational experience to the role with the credibility and political capital to identify and drive real process change.

— The MO team should report directly to the CMO or a global vice president of marketing, focusing on the areas of strategic planning, performance measurement, and marketing infrastructure. This will provide the MO function the greatest opportunity to instill change in the organizational processes of marketing.

— The MO team must be the agent of change to improve marketing's credibility in the organization from a fiscal management perspective. A key success factor is to collaborate with finance and IT to establish the foundation for marketing managerial accounting – enabling the CMO and other marketing executives to track and manage investment by region, segment, business unit, product line, and campaign.

— Best-in-class MO teams will collaborate closely with sales, the CFO, the CEO, and marketing executives to develop a performance measurement process which cascades from corporate objectives to marketing objectives to campaigns/programs. An important facet of this strategy is facilitating the improvement of marketing's lead management process, which is in a state of disrepair across many organizations.

"The marketing function is poised to increase its influence in the organization; establishing greater credibility, expanding its role, and increasing its contribution to the strategic direction of the organization," continued Gerard. "The MO profession is in an ideal position to catalyze this transition."

This study, The Marketing Operations Function: Is It Evolving Fast Enough? (IDC document #204647 and IDC presentation #204649), provides insight into best practices in place by leading MO teams who are making significant progress in advancing marketing's credibility in the organization, providing the foundation for marketing to increase its contribution. The data presented in this study is based upon an online survey of 68 tech and non-tech MO professionals conducted from August to November 2006, supplemented by executive interviews with select participants in the online survey. Information from IDC's CMO Advisory's 2006 Technology Marketing Benchmarks Survey is also included as part of this study.

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. Over 850 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends. For more than 42 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 .