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7 Key Marketing Trends for 2015 and Tactics for Succeeding in the New Year

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As we enter the second half of the 2010s, the buyer journey continues to evolve. More than ever before, customers and prospects are shopping online and engaging with businesses through mobile and social media.

Email is still the preferred method for receiving content from companies, but people expect this content to be engaging and personalized — nearly 60 percent say they won’t even open an email if they think it’s irrelevant to them. In this landscape, enhancing the customer experience at every touch point has rarely been more important. To that end, “digital pacesetter” CMOs surveyed in 2014 cite enhancing customer loyalty and encouraging satisfied customers to advocate their brands as their current top priorities.

Likewise, more than 60 percent of CIOs plan to focus more heavily on improving the customer experience and getting closer to customers in the year ahead. Many of today’s leading digital marketers are using behavioral marketing automation to help them enhance the customer experience, building rulesbased programs and scoring models that reflect the actions customers and prospects take. And they’re using automation and strategically created content to deliver the right message at the exact time contacts need it
based on their behaviors.

The core tenets of behavioral marketing will continue to serve marketers well in 2015, and as marketing technologies have grown in sophistication and buying patterns have continued to evolve, exciting new opportunities have arisen for marketers to engage with their customers. Here’s a look at seven key trends that will help define digital marketing in 2015, plus some quick-hit tactics to help you start thinking about how you
might address these areas.

Download the guide now… 

New IDC Study Finds that Tech Marketing Budgets Will Rebound in 2014 with Average Increase of 3.5% for the Largest IT Vendors

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 New IDC Study Finds that Tech Marketing Budgets Will Rebound in 2014 with Average Increase of 3.5% for the Largest IT Vendors

This in spite of tech marketing turmoil and transformation, as half of tech companies replaced CMO in last 24 months

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – The 12th Annual Tech Marketing Benchmark Study from the International Data Corporation (IDCCMO Advisory Service finds that marketing budgets among the 101 technology companies surveyed will increase by an average of 3.5% in 2014. Those same companies expect a revenue increase of 3.7% for the same period. Despite this momentum, the CMO role remains very fluid as marketing organizations attempt to reinvent their capabilities and effectiveness in a new era of marketing. In a related study, IDC finds that 51% of tech CMO’s have been in their position for fewer than two years.

Two-thirds of the companies surveyed by IDC will increase their marketing budgets in 2014 while only 20% of the companies will decrease their marketing budgets with the remainder indicating no change in budget levels. Notably, companies with a high percentage of 3rd Platform products (cloud, social, mobile and Big Data and analytics) will receive marketing budget increases upwards of five times that of the average tech company, increasing their budgets 10-20% year over year.

“For the first time in eight years, IDC is seeing that marketing budgets are increasing at about the same rate as revenues. This is positive news for tech marketers and also a clear indication that the C-suite is ready to put additional marketing investment up against more promising business prospects,” saidSam Melnick, Senior Research Analyst, IDC CMO Advisory Service. “However, both the CMO and CEO must understand that momentum is being driven by success in 3rd Platform solution areas. To continue this growth, executives must continue to invest to be competitive in these high-upside segments.”

“We examined 152 tech companies with a current CMO in place and found that 77, just over half, have replaced their CMO in the last 24 months – an astonishing rate of change. CMOs must own the digital disruption of buyer experience for their companies. Those CMOs able to rise to the challenge will be provided more resources and given more power. The unprepared will be replaced,” said Kathleen Schaub, Vice President, IDC CMO Advisory Service. “However, tech CEOs must also wake up to the impact marketing now wields over revenue and reputation. It’s their job to pick the right person for today’s challenges. To get CMO selection right means the CEO needs to understand and get closer to marketing.”

The 12th annual 2014 Tech Marketing Benchmark Study was recently completed by IDC’s CMO Advisory Service and seeks to capture the full marketing spend and marketing headcount allocations of global companies within the technology sector. The research effort surveyed 101 companies, with the average company’s revenue surpassing $7 billion. IDC’s 2015 Marketing Investment Planner containing study details will be published in November and will be available on IDC.com. In a parallel study, the CMO Advisory Service studied 152 tech companies ranging from $50 million to $100 billion in revenue to observe their CMO tenure.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (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 to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. In 2014, IDC celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing strategic insights to help 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. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

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Organizational Tips for Leading the Marketing Transformation

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 300x99 Organizational Tips for Leading the Marketing Transformation

By Kathleen Schaub 

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the marketing transformation? You aren’t alone.  An IDC analysis of tech marketing staff changes since 2009 reveals that CMOs have had to squeeze traditional staff functions to accommodate five new roles: analytics/business intelligence, marketing technology, social marketing, sales enablement, and campaign management. In 2013, these new five roles collectively made up 14% of the total marketing staff. 

IDC invited organizational change expert, Dr. Rick Mirable, to advise our clients on insights for leading more successful organizational change initiatives. Here are some of the tips that Dr. Mirable, who has more than 20 years of diverse business consulting and academic experience, offered:
  • What we believe about change determines how we will respond to change. People hold beliefs about the capability of both company culture and individual people’s ability to change. Good change initiatives raise awareness of these biases.
  • Successful change initiatives require that leaders be included. It’s not only individuals deep in the organization that need transformation, but leaders must also be role models for the change they want to see.
  • People resist change for many reasons. Change can threaten our sense of security (What will happen to me?) and our sense of competence (Can I learn new skills?). People may worry they will fail. They may not understand why change is needed. Companies may inadvertently reward people who resist change by penalizing people who try new things and fail.
  • Some resistance to change comes from unspoken resentment. Companies must allow for expression of the relevant “inner conversations” that people have with themselves about the change — views that are not explicit to others. Resentment is like dirty laundry — if you don’t get rid of it eventually it starts to smell!
  • Some change initiatives fail simply because the organization isn’t ready.Assess your readiness and then bring those areas found lacking up to speed before embarking.
  • The communication portions of most change efforts are weak and not consistent over the long haul. The communication must be open and bidirectional. Messages and goals need to be regularly repeated and reinforced.
  • Company culture is essential to sustaining success over time. One cultural attribute proven to accelerate change is the empowerment of individuals to make decisions that further the change goals. It is a best practice to ask people what they want to do (and ask for management permission to do it) rather than telling them what to do. This practice encourages innovation and accountability and drives change deeper in the organization.
  • Don’t confuse “movement” with progress. When you get off the freeway during a traffic jam, you may be able to move faster; however, that movement doesn’t guarantee that you are actually moving toward your destination or will get to it any more quickly. IDC notes that marketing teams that measure activity rather than outcomes are making this error.
  • Create circumstances for people to motivate themselves. Motivation can include extrinsic rewards such as money. Proven to be even more effective are intrinsic rewards — challenge, learning, responsibility, contribution, and career path advancement. Intrinsic rewards tap into the power of people’s passions. Companies are advised to structure people’s work so as to allow passion to surface.
  • Reduce resistance by creating a “burning platform.” Clarify the risks and benefits of the change and involve the collective wisdom of the group. Give people a role in the change. Involve a person’s “head” and “heart” as well as the “feet” of required actions.

For more blogs and research from IDC, click here

The one map your CMO must share with your CIO

IDC PMS4colorversion  The one map your CMO must share with your CIO

So many marketing solutions are available that it is very difficult for marketers, chief digital officers, and CIOs to have a holistic view of what they have, what they need and why. IDC has recently created a tool to help – The 2014 Marketing Technology Map. This tool provides a visualization of the different technologies needed to support different marketing organizations no matter how small or large, digital or non digital, modern or not. Pictured below is the whole map which presents solutions in four broad categories:
  1. Interaction: The primary function of these solutions is to be customer facing
  2. Content:  The primary function of these solutions is to facilitate the production and management of marketing content
  3. Data and Analytics: The primary function of these solutions is to store and produce insights from customer, operations, and financial data
  4. Management and Administration: The primary function of these solutions is to provide internal communications, workflows, budgeting and expense tracking.

View the map now… 

How to Make Technology a Win-Win for the CMO and CIO

IDG Connect 0811 How to Make Technology a Win Win for the CMO and CIO

Technology used to be the exclusive realm of the CIO; now, it underpins the work of every facet of every organisation. CMOs want to use digital technology to power their campaigns and sales drives; HR wants to automate payroll and resource management; and so on. IT decision-making is now everyone’s responsibility – but rather than facing extinction, the CIO still plays a crucial role in making sure these decisions are sound.

CIOs need to play to their strengths – and in doing so, help their C-suite counterparts play to theirs. The CIO has deep technical expertise coupled with a holistic view of technology within the organisation; they’re used to ensuring that a new technology won’t wreak havoc across other parts of the system before they invest in it. This puts them in a unique position to both support other line-of-business initiatives, and also ensure compliance and internal control (so that one division’s rapid adoption doesn’t endanger another’s outcomes).

However, this doesn’t mean the CIO should be the policeman of IT; rather they should be partnering with their executive colleagues and seeking to understand their goals better. These goals are often more directly aligned with business growth and efficiency than IT’s, which have traditionally been more of the “keep the lights running” type. If you’re a CMO, the objective of your marketing and social media campaign directly impacts the business’ bottom line – but you also need technical leadership so that your campaign runs smoothly and without downtime.

Continue reading

Marketing: Highlights 2013

IDG Connect 0811 Marketing: Highlights 2013

 

In our quest to deliver marketing insights from around the world, IDG Connect Marketers regularly publishes information on the latest trends, interviews with CMOs, regional viewpoints, along with opinion from our in-house analyst, Bob Johnson.

This has gained us two IMA ‘Outstanding Achievements’ in 2013 and an Honourable Mention at this year’s Content Marketing Awards.

Here are some highlights…

INFOGRAPHIC: 20 MARKETING STATISTICS TO GIVE YOU A HEADSTART IN 2014

The Hub

As we roll into the new year, here are the digital trends that are expected to play a big role in marketing strategies in 2014.

Infographic by WebDAM.

Here are some of the ones that were particularly interesting:

– Videos on landing pages increased conversions by 86%

–  Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%

–  67% of B2B marketers consider event marketing the most effective strategy

View the full infographic on Pinterest

Screen Shot 2013 11 08 at 11.41.11 AM INFOGRAPHIC: 20 MARKETING STATISTICS TO GIVE YOU A HEADSTART IN 2014

Brand Marketers Put More Emphasis on Social, Mobile, Video

eMarketer

Marketers will continue to increase their online ad presence this year, with much of that added spending going toward branding efforts, according to a February 2013 survey fielded by CMO Council and developed by Vizu, a Nielsen company. The study found that whereas in previous years, online ads had served primarily direct-response purposes, this year, marketers are moving to a more even mix of brand-focused efforts alongside direct response, with 64% planning to do a mix of both.

And in fact, brand advertising will see a big increase in spending, with 63% planning to up investments vs. 51% who will put more dollars to direct response. This is also a reflection of the lesser role branding has played in digital advertising previously.

Continue reading… 

The CMO/CIO Bond: How Solid Is Yours?

MediaPost

While CMOs often save time by developing tech-driven programs that somehow bypass their IT departments, going rogue usually backfires, according to a new report from Forrester. In fact, CMOs who actively work to build strong relationships with their IT counterparts have the most success with marketing innovations.

Some CMOs inherently get that  “understanding the internal technology plumbing is as critical as understanding customer behavior,” writes Forrester analyst

Sheryl Pattek in the new report, which includes a quiz that CMOs can take to assess how tech-advanced (or limited) their skills are.

Those who don’t — buying technology to suit their immediate needs rather than taking the time to develop it internally — end up using piecemeal solutions and don’t fully take advantage of the best customer touchpoints or account for an entire purchasing cycle

Continue reading… 

B2B Buyers Don’t Trust Vendors’ Online Content: CMO Council

cmo.com

Vendors certainly know the true value of what they are vending, but when they seek to convince business buyers of the value, the buyers become suspicious.

According to “Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field,” a new study from the CMO Council and NetLine, business buyers belittle vendors and give much higher marks for content trustworthiness to professional organizations and industry groups, whose information is considered more usable and relevant.

“Buyers are not happy with vendors,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, in an interview with CMO.com. “Their content [tends to be] overtechnical, product-centric, and self-serving”–and buyers sense this. Neale-May said B2B marketers annually invest $16.6 billion in digital content publishing, used primarily to produce leads.

The report surveyed more than 400 business buyers across a wide range of global industries and other disciplines. It found a critical need for marketing organizations to bring more discipline and strategic thinking to content specification, delivery, and analytics.

Continue reading….