Key Findings From IDC’s 2011 Tech Marketing Benchmarks Study

Between May 15th and July 31st, 2011, IDC’s CMO Advisory Group fielded its 9th annual Tech Marketing Benchmarks Study. More than 100 tech companies representing about $850B in revenue responded, making this the CMO Advisory Group’s most successful benchmarking study to date. The average revenue for companies in this data set is $9.5B, and these data include companies ranging from less than $500M to about $100B. Technology hardware, software, and services companies with both direct and indirect channel strategies are represented in the database. The following are some key findings from IDC’s 2011 Tech Marketing Benchmarks Study.

Marketing investment growth in 2011 is lagging revenue growth at 3.5% and 6.5% respectively. Moreover, the 3.5% marketing investment change figure is significantly lower than tech marketer’s sentiments in January of 2011, when they reported expectations of an 8% increase to marketing budgets. In past years, IDC’s CMO Advisory Group has observed that marketing investment growth generally tracks revenue growth, but that trend has not re-emerged since the recession. Larger companies in particular are experiencing weak marketing investment growth. Companies with revenues between $3B and $9.9B are reporting marketing investment changes of only 2.1%, and companies with revenues greater than $10B are even less at 1.7%. Smaller companies are investing more heavily; companies with less than $500M, between $500M and $999M, and $3B to $2.9B in revenues have average marketing investment changes of 10%, 8.1%, and 7%. Services companies have the weakest marketing investment growth in 2011, however, with an average of -1%.

IDC’s CMO Advisory Service tracks a series of key performance indicators that marketing executives should monitor closely in their own organizations. The following are some key observations on changes to top-line key performance indicators in 2011:
  • Marketing Budget Ratios, which are calculated by dividing total marketing spend by revenue, are decreasing in 2011 because revenue growth is outpacing revenue growth.
  •  IDC’s Awareness-Demand Ratio, which calculates the total amount of marketing spend dedicated to awareness building activities versus demand generating activities is at 52%, which means that the focus this year has shifted to Awareness. Last year, marketers were favoring Demand.
  •  Program-to-People Ratios, which show the percentage of total marketing spend that is directed towards programs, have increased year over year to 60%. The main contributor to the increase in this ratio in 2011 is the increase in Awareness generating activities such as Advertising, which are more program-spend heavy.

Digital Marketing Program spend–defined as display ads, search ads, email marketing, digital events, company web sites, search engine optimization, and social networks–continues to increase rapidly. In 2010 digital marketing accounted for 19.3% of total program spend, but in 2011 this number has risen to 26.4%. Advertising program spend, which includes display ads and search ads in addition to traditional advertising mediums, has also increased year over year. This finding is consistent with the overall increase in Awareness activities. Marketing organizations are also allocating more spend to web site content and development this year, which is now 8.2% of the total marketing program spend mix.

IDC’s CMO Advisory Service has also observed changes to marketing staff allocations in 2011, see below for some highlights:
·    Web site content and development is not only a key area of program spend investment–marketing departments have also increased their staff allocations in this area to 5.6%. IDC believes that this is a positive change, since IDC’s 2011 Buyer Experience Study revealed that the first place prospects turn to for information is a company’s web site.
·      Marketing operations has experienced growth for a number of years, but this trend seems to be leveling off as the position matures. Marketing operations currently accounts for 5.3% of total marketing staff which is a decrease from last year’s allocation. IDC does not believe that companies are actually reducing marketing operations staff; the cause of the year over year decrease is a combination of other staffing categories increasing more rapidly and an IDC taxonomy change to include a new category called marketing IT.
·       The CMO Advisory Group has been championing sales enablement for the past few years. In 2010 sales enablement accounted for 3.1% of the total staff mix, but since then this allocation has risen to 3.7%.
These are only a few of the findings uncovered by IDC’s 2011 Tech Marketing Benchmarks Study. For more information, or to participate in upcoming IDC studies please contact Joseph Ferrantino at

The Customer Cloud: The Killer App for the Social Enterprise

The old two-step marketing and sales model for customer creation is dead. Today we have a three part model: Socializing, Marketing, and Sales – with socializing taking on increasing importance and marketing being redefined in the process. That’s a good thing for customers but it makes the market more competitive for sellers. Companies have to seek out and engage with both existing and potential customers in radically new ways outside of explicit business contexts with resources previously not thought of as customer facing.
This activity is going on today at a furious pace, but it is highly fragmented. With the introduction by of and the social ready rebuild of at Dreamforce, as well their Chatter and CRM capabilities, customer interactions will come together in what is emerging as the Customer Cloud – the first killer app for the social enterprise.
The Customer Cloud will evolve into the source of record for all account and contact data because it can provide the Holy Grail of the customer creation process – the unified customer record. As a result, it will be the centering point for all customer interactions. It is definitive because:
  • It is self-regulating – contacts update their own data via social tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. greatly improving data accuracy and timeliness
  • It is real time – individuals have a vested interest in updating their social profiles asap
  • It has practically infinite scalability and reach.
  • It is equally available to all customer facing functions from marketing to sales, as well as fulfillment, finance, service and support, etc.
  • It provides insight into relationships – account contacts can be sustained and expanded even in the face of departures, and corporate hierarchies can be better understood and tracked.

A unified customer record provides the basis for breaking down the discrepancies, decay, and dysfunction that currently plague (or prevent the implementation of) enterprise customer creation processes, especially in B2B. It offers companies the potential to coordinate all of their customer facing activities around a single source of information – the lack of which has been the Achilles Heel in all previous efforts in CRM, data warehousing, and other valiant attempts to unify customer facing functions.
Thus at Dreamforce, the announcements of and the social data readiness of are major strategic milestones for With the addition of the Radian 6 social monitoring last year, this neatly rounds out a very strong play for leadership in the battle to deliver the Customer Cloud and provide the customer facing infrastructure of the future that will be build upon it.