IDC's CMO Advisory Practice is in the midst of its 2009 Tech Marketing Benchmark study, gathering marketing research data from hardware, software and services vendors. The study conclusions will inform IDC's 2010 Marketing Investment Planner, due out later this year. In a post on the Technology Marketing Blog, Seth Fishbein, a senior IDC analyst, offers a preview of the research, focusing on marketing automation priorities for the coming year.

Develop a roadmap. Tech marketers are streamlining their marketing IT tools and applications. "Not only has IDC observed that most marketing organizations under-invest in automation tools, but most have not developed a roadmap or formal taxonomy to align their systems to strategic goals," writes Fishbein.

Simplify marketing systems. A common problem among tech marketers is the lack of customer data quality and adherence to data standards, especially in the field. According to the study results, marketing organizations are looking to simplify their marketing systems to make data entry and use easier for global users.

Improve marketing asset management. IDC research suggests that 40% of all marketing assets handed over to Sales are not being used. What's more, most companies spend an estimated 30% of their annual budget on creating content. "Clearly," says Fishbein, "marketers can leverage cost reduction opportunities if they take the time to improve their content management process and technologies."

The Po!nt: Assess your priorities. Find the opportunities in your organization to trim costs and reallocate resources to improve the tools and systems that make you more effective—from lead generation to close.

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