As 2011 drew to a close, Arketi Group hosted the fifth annual Atlanta High-Tech CMO Roundtable, as well as the first such Roundtable for High-Tech CMOs in the Raleigh-Durham area. In all, some 60 marketing executives from leading technology companies across the Southeast gathered to discuss the current and future state of marketing within the business-to-business, technology sector.
The roundtables were divided into two sessions. In the first, participants discussed the outlook for their industries in general, and their organizations in particular; how they saw their marketing budgets, goals and priorities for 2012; and what they viewed as the challenges facing us the rest of this year.
Improving lead generation is the top marketing priority this year for tech marketers, according to IDC’s “2012 Tech Marketing Barometer Study,” released in March. The study was based on an online survey of 61 senior marketers at high-tech companies conducted in January and February. The companies surveyed have combined revenues of more than $550.0 billion and include industry leaders such as Cisco Systems, Dell, HP and Intel.
Respondents were asked to allocate 100 “importance points” to various marketing priorities for the year. Improving lead generation received the highest score (20.7), followed by building more brand awareness (16.2) and improving marketing processes (13.9).
These are some of the findings of the IDGEnterpriseCloud Computing Study, conducted in January 2012. Most of these budgets are going to private clouds hosted within the walls of enterprises. Private cloud deployments are currently where the majority of information is stored in the cloud (24%), and the trend will continue to dominate 18 months from now (33%).
The fact that cloud now comprises more than one-third slice of IT budgets suggests the computing approach has gained serious traction within enterprises. And cloud isn’t just being brought in to enhance applications or to save money. One-fourth of respondents from the business side, in fact, report they believe cloud will play a critical role in shaping business strategy. Cloud may grab an even bigger slice of IT budgets in the next few years. Close to two-thirds of companies expect to increase cloud spending in the next 12 months. On average, organizations will increase cloud computing spending by 16%.
The economics of cloud computing are driving down the cost structure of business so far and so fast that it’s scary, Google CIO Ben Fried says. “It deeply disturbed me … in 2006, 2007 consumer companies were forcing efficiencies on a scale never seen before,” Fried said Thursday during remarks at the Bloomberg Link Enterprise Technology Summit in New York. At the time, Fried was working in the technology group at investment bank Morgan Stanley, where he was a managing director of application infrastructure, in charge of software development, electronic commerce and knowledge worker productivity. In 2008, he left the bank and headed to Google, which was at the heart of the disruption that was emanating from the consumer market and beginning to spread through the business world.
Workers, accustomed to using free and simple tools such as Google Apps, Skype, Flickr and iTunes for their personal affairs, now wanted to use those cloud-based software tools at work. And CIOs and other technology executives were beginning to let them, and to experiment themselves with those services.
I was reading an article in MIT’s technology review this past weekend about social intelligence, and I came across an interesting comment by Stanford professor Clifford Nass, an expert on human-computer interaction. You may be thinking, “what could this possibly do with sales?” Well, Nass was commenting on why Microsoft’s 1997 intelligent assistant for Microsoft Office, Clippy, failed so miserably. As Nass suggests, “Clippy’s problem was it said ‘I’ll do everything’ and then procreeded to disappoint [its customers].” Sound familiar?. . . I hear this from a lot of CIOs about their interaction with their vendors’ sales teams.
International Data Group (IDG) leads the technology information market with a worldwide portfolio of print and online media, research, and events. Since its founding in 1964, IDG has grown to serve 270 million tech buyers in more than 90 countries. This brief video highlights our products and services for tech marketers and consumers.
As an IT community we are still stuck in the past relative to the strategic nature of cloud. Many of us are looking at the adoption of cloud as just another technology, and are leaving the decisions on how to adopt, own, and manage the cloud up to engineers. But acquiring a cloud management platform is not an engineering decision — it’s a strategic one. Do engineers need to be involved? Yes, but your cloud adoption strategy has already failed if you don’t treat cloud as the operational construct that it is.
I wrote “Cloud management, what’s the big deal” a little over a year ago and the good news is many more of us now at least acknowledge the need for robust management tools. The problem is, we still think of them as “tools”. Cloud management isn’t just a pretty wrapper that you put on top of virtualization to make it easier to use, and it’s not a few scripts that automate builds or scaling functions. Cloud management is a platform that allows the cloud(s) owner to express their company’s directives and policies effectively and safely onto their myriad technology solutions and across international borders.
For the past few years, at my direction, Accenture has studied usage of technology by consumers to identify major trends that might assist our corporate clients. Our most recent survey of 19 different technologies across users in 10 countries revealed four major trends that we believe will be crucial over the next several years. They are:
–Consumers are reaching a state of “hypermobility,” rapidly adopting mobile technologies and downloading applications that keep them connected anywhere, anytime.
–Consumers are increasingly reaching into the network and modifying their behaviors as they rely on cloud services.
–Consumers’ use of electronics is increasingly more dependent on the exploding number of applications now within their reach.
–Emerging markets lead in usage and spending growth of many consumer technologies.
“Digital marketing is all about reading signals and mapping patterns. And it has to matter right now or it doesn’t matter.” So said Brad Rencher, Adobe Systems’ senior vice president and general manager, Digital Marketing Business Unit, Wednesday morning, as he kicked off the company’s Digital Marketing Summit 2012, taking place this week in Salt Lake City. Rencher, playing to a full house at the Salt Palace, told attendees that Big Data is getting bigger, while the details are getting smaller—but it’s those details that drive success.
We already know that click-through rates on online display ads are abysmal. Now a study from the startup Pretarget and ComScore revealed that even when a user clicks on an ad, the correlation between that click and a conversion is virtually nonexistent.
Over nine months, Pretarget analyzed more than 260 million ad impressions across the campaigns of 18 advertisers, the company said, and tracked conversions ranging from filling out an online form to downloading software. In the analysis, Pretarget found that the Pearson correlation (a common correlation methodology) between clicks and a conversion was 0.01, the lowest correlation rate among metrics tracked in the study (a 0 result would mean there is absolutely no correlation, while 1.0 would signify the strongest possible correlation.)