Call For Participation – IDC’s CMO Advisory Service’s 2014 Tech Marketing Benchmark Survey

It is that time of the year – IDC’s CMO Advisory Service is in the field with our Marketing Benchmarks Study. This is our 12th year conducting this study that is used by leading marketing organizations to benchmark their marketing spend and organizational structures. Now it’s your chance to join in this important research; I would like to offer an invitation to participate in this survey. 

Below are the essential “need to knows” around our survey and further down I’ll dive into all the great value of benchmarking your marketing organization:

What are the benefits?

  • Complimentary copy of our 2015 Marketing Investment Planner to benchmark your company’s marketing data against industry data.
  • Receive an invitation to our exclusive client telebriefing held by IDC Analysts.
  • Access to IDC’s industry standard marketing taxonomy.

What is needed? 

  • Email me (smelnick (at) IDC (dot) com) to get our survey instrument and taxonomy.
  • A “lead” marketing executive with access to marketing budget and staffing allocations. 
  • Complete the survey by August 1st.

What is the Quality of Data and Confidentially?  

  • This is the 12th year IDC has fielded the Tech Marketing Benchmark Survey and will include participation from many of the 100 largest tech companies – this depth and expertise is unmatched
  • All responses are 100%, no questions asked, confidential. We take this part very seriously.  

Bonus to all Participants

  • All participants will be eligible for our 2015 Chief Marketing Officer ROI Matrix and will have access to their placement on the Matrix. A great way to easily compare your marketing progress against the rest of the industry’s. 


Need More Information: View this excerpt from Kathleen Schaub’s excellent post, IDC Tech Marketing Benchmark: Behind the Scenes. It explains all the intricacies (and value of benchmarking).

Why do companies benchmark? A benchmark provides context for decision-making. You spend a million dollars a year on social marketing. So what? If your CEO asks you this question, what will you say? Tech marketers tell us that they like to benchmark for the following reasons:

  • Improve the quality of annual planning: Last year’s program budget and gut feelings are no longer sufficient input
  • Gain insight into critical trends: Learn what industry leaders and competitors are doing – and how you stack up
  • Reallocate costs: Identify areas of overspending and opportunities for better value
  • Transform with confidence: Answer questions such as how much to invest in new areas like social marketing or how should I re-organize my department?
  • Drive with data: C-level executives increasingly expect marketing leaders to manage their business with the same level of operational excellence as other corporate functions.
  • Get an independent view: Benchmark data provides IDC analysts with a wealth of information that make guidance to clients personalized and accurate guidance

Feel free to reach out and let’s have a discussion whether it’s the right time for your organization to participate!

Email me at: (smelnick (at) IDC (dot) com) or find me on twitter @SamMelnick

Tech Marketer’s Top Priorities for 2014 – Call for Participation IDC’s Tech Marketing Barometer Survey

IDC’s CMO Advisory Service is conducting our 11th annual barometer survey. Consider this blog post the official call for participants (get pumped!)

Ok let’s cut to the chase:

What are the benefits:

  • Complimentary copy (value of $4,500, yea the font is green for a reason) of our 2014 Tech Marketing Barometer Report. This will answer key questions around up and coming marketing areas (digital, content, marketing tech) and budget direction throughout the entire tech industry. 
  • Receive an invitation to a future client only telebriefing with key data from this survey

Who Should Participate: Marketing executives who are in a position of responsibility for worldwide marketing practices.


How Long Should it Take: Depending on several factors, as quick as 15 minutes!

What’s the Deadline: Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014…. But wait, there’s more – All surveys received by Monday, Feb 17, the participant will be entered into a raffle for a $200 Amazon Gift Card!
There’s No Link…How do I Participate: To assure the highest data quality we carefully screen our participants. Please email Sam Melnick for the survey link.
Confidentiality: This goes without saying. All answers will be kept confidential by IDC and all data will be aggregated for the purposes of trend analysis.  Additionally, your responses will not be used for any other purpose within IDC.

For those that skipped to the end:

TL;DR: If you are a senior marketer interested in receiving complimentary research, email Sam Melnick for the survey link and complete it by Feb 25!

3 Steps to Move Closer to the Ever Elusive Marketing ROI

CMO ROIHere at the CMO Advisory Service, we recently closed up our 2013 Barometer Study which includes data from senior level marketers working at some of the largest Tech companies in the world. While there are a lot of great insights from this study, these senior level marketers made it very clear that their highest priority is “Proving Marketing’s Value”, or in other words, that always elusive marketing ROI. While this quest(ion) is nothing new to marketers, as our industry continues its transformation, marketing ROI is becoming an even more pressing topic. We see this truth in our surveys, we hear it from clients, and it is actively being discussed at industry events. This year we launched our  Chief Marketing Officer ROI Matrix (see the image to the right) in an effort to give participants a look into their own return on investment from marketing and continue the conversation. There is no easy answer here (otherwise my days would not be quite as busy), but I have 3 steps senior marketers can take to move closer to measuring marketing ROI.

1. Identify what matters and what does not

This might seem obvious, but to successfully prove value, first it must be understood what is providing value.  Often when we speak with clients we remind them that tactics are important, but without strategy on the front end those tactics may be wasted energy. Before creating a substantial dashboard or reporting tool, take the time to understand which data or measurements are going to further the case and which are white noise. Once done, not only will the organization be better able to prove ROI, but it will be able increase effectiveness.

Key Fact: 27% of B2B companies report they have not yet used predictive analytics to improve any marketing activities.

2. Communicate inside and outside of your department

As transformation continues within the tech industry it is creating a ripple effect to companies and then departments within each company. This means lots of change, and change can often mean confusion. Not only are marketers pushing to prove their worth, but they have to compete with this ongoing confusion. To overcome this issue, communication is a must, both within the marketing organization and across the entire company.  It is key to receive buy-in from stakeholders and make sure the steps taken are continuously aligned with expectations. It also means communicating the actions taken (and why they were taken) to staff or superiors. Remember, over communicate, as in times of turmoil “value” can be a moving target.

Key Fact: In 2013 senior marketers expect 2/3 of the marketing technology budget will come from the marketing department – the rest from IT, Sales, and other areas. Communication across these departments is key. 

3. Benchmark your progress

Identifying what provides value and then communicating as progress is made towards measurment are two great steps. However, when it’s time to share the work, comparisons and baselines will be needed. The first step is measuring your own progress. How have the KPIs improved and what can be expected in the future? The next question will be, what is the comparison to competitors? Finding ways to benchmark and measure progress internally and externally will help tell the story of value added and improvement. It will also set standards and targets to shoot for, without these benchmarks there is a risk of flying blind.

Key Fact: Close to 100 tech companies participated (For Free) in IDC’s Chief Marketing Officer ROI Matrix and benchmarked their marketing ROI against their industry peers. To participate this year contact smelnick (at) IDC (dot) com.

What other steps would you recommend to prove marketing value or even derive that elusive marketing ROI number?

Do you think this is fools gold and there are other areas marketers should be focused on?

Let me know your thoughts!

You can follow Sam Melnick on Twitter: @SamMelnick 

Slide Deck – 2013 Cloud Marketing Trends

There is no arguments that the cloud software industry is currently top of mind for many, in fact enterprise companies are even receiving their share of love. While the industry as a whole has our attention, what about marketing departments at these companies. 
How are CMOs at these fast growing cloud organizations managing their marketing budget? What are they worried about? and what are their priorities for the rest of the year?
Within IDC’s 2013 Marketing Barometer survey we received answers from marketing leaders within cloud organizations. In this presentation you will see the high level findings comparing these cloud marketing departments to more traditional 2nd platform companies.
I would love to hear your thoughts on these initial findings and how your marketing organization is working to compete in this fast growing market (whether as a pure play or just one of many product lines).  
For an extended deck with further analysis please contact me directly at smelnick (at) idc (dot) com or reach out to me on twitter: @SamMelnick

Why Participate in IDC’s Marketing Barometer Survey

The CMO Advisory Service at IDC is conducting its annual barometer survey. This is the 10th year of the survey.  All respondents will receive a free copy of the report produced from the results of the survey and an invitation to IDC’s exclusive Client Telebriefing.

During The CMO Advisory’s 2012 Marketing Benchmarks survey we collected data from ~100 of the largest and most influential tech companies, their combined revenue totaled nearly $750 Billion.  The barometer survey provides a “finger in the wind” follow up to the Benchmark Survey providing detailed guidance to senior marketers. Areas of focus include: budget ratios, program spend, headcount allocation, and in-depth insights into key trends in the industry and forward looking roles and programs.   
If you are interested in participating: contact Sam Melnick at smelnick (at) idc (dot) com
Below are some answers to questions you might have:

Q: A free report and webinar, cool! Wait what type of information will they contain?
A: The results of the survey will be used to analyze the direction of marketing resource expenditures and priorities during the next 6-12 months. So questions like the following will be answered:
  • How aggressively are marketing budgets increasing or decreasing in my sector this year?
  • What marketing staff positions or programs should I look to invest in?
  • What up and coming areas should I be looking into this year to create a world class marketing organization?
  •  What are next week’s Powerball numbers? (Ok we won’t answer that question, if we knew we probably wouldn’t tell you…sorry).
Q: Who should take the survey?
A: Marketing executives who are in a position of responsibility for worldwide marketing practices.
Q: How long will it take?
A: Depending on several factors, as quick as 15 minutes!
Q: I can’t get this done today, when do you need to have it completed by?
A:  To receive the report and an invitation to IDC’s exclusive Client Telebriefing participants need to complete the survey by Wed Feb 13, 2013. Also, all of the information must be accurately provided in order to be included in the study and receive the free deliverables.
If you are interested in participating: contact Sam Melnick at smelnick (at) idc (dot) com

Q: I can’t answer this question, I need input from my colleagues…help?
A: No worries, if you leave the webpage it will save your progress.
Q: What types of companies participate in this survey?
A: Some of the largest tech and tech related companies in the world participate (again total revenue of participants reaches upwards of $1 Trillion), but plenty of companies who may not have as many 0’s in their revenue line, but are growing quickly and have exciting products, do participate and receive great value from the deliverables!
Q: Some of this information is kind of confidential, I want to trust you, but can I?
A: As stated above, the CMO Advisory Service has been doing surveys like this for 10+ years. All answers will be kept confidential by IDC and all data will be aggregated for the purposes of trend analysis.  No client or other participant of the study will ever receive your company-specific data and there is no way that any company can “reverse-engineer” the analysis to derive your data input. Your responses will not be used for any other purpose within IDC.
Q:  Ok I completed the survey…so… when do I get the free research?
A: Heh, I knew you’d ask this one. You can expect the deliverables to begin coming out around late March. For clients who are attending our March Board Meeting we will have in depth discussion around the barometer findings (want to know more about these board meetings? Reach out to the CMO Advisory Group team or send me an email).

If you are interested in participating: contact Sam Melnick at smelnick (at) idc (dot) com