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Tech Marketing Budgets Under Pressure

October 12, 2012

Tech companies are increasing their marketing budgets a paltry 1.7% in 2012, roughly one-half the 3.5% bump they reported in 2011, according to the "2012 CMO Tech Marketing Benchmark Study" from IDC.

"The main culprit is the economy," wrote Rich Vancil, VP of IDC Executive Advisory Strategies, in a recent blog post. "Management teams are not willing to spend until better signs of demand pick up. The second factor is media shift: Going-to-market with digital vs. traditional media."

Tech marketing budgets hit a low point in 2009, falling 8.3% in the wake of the financial crisis. In 2010, tech marketing budgets increased 3.7% over the previous year, and then rose 3.5% in 2011.

Below, additional findings from IDC's 2012 CMO Tech Marketing Benchmark Study, based on a survey of 91 tech companies conducted from May to August, 2012.

Software companies and smaller tech brands are the most confident

Software vendors are increasing budgets some 5.2% in 2012, whereas hardware vendor budgets are falling 0.5% and services vendor budgets are falling 3.7%.

Also, companies with revenues of less than $500 million are expecting average marketing investment growth of 15.8%, compared with 5.2% growth for those with revenues between $1.0 billion to $2.9 billion, and 0.5% for those with revenues over $10 billion.

Digital allocations, as a percentage of total budget, continue to rise

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