Category: Marketing

High-Growth Tech Companies Prioritize Customer Insight and Analytics

By Donna Thach,  ITSMA, dthach@itsma.com

How is marketing different in faster-growing B2B tech companies? According to ITSMA’s 2016 Services Marketing Budget Allocations and Trends Study, marketing leaders from high-performing companies based on relative revenue growth ranked customer insight as their top priority while all others ranked it 20th.

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Perhaps not surprisingly, high-growth companies are also investing substantially in data-driven decision making. This is another area in which ITSMA research shows dramatic differences between high-growth companies and others: eighty percent of the high-growth companies are increasing their investment in marketing-performance management and reporting compared to only 22% of the low- and no-growth companies. Similarly, 64% of the high-growth companies are increasing spending on marketing analytics in 2016 compared to only 25% of the other companies.

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In particular, investments in customer intelligence, data mining, predictive and marketing analytics, and marketing automation enable marketing leaders to optimize programs across the board, from developing more precise value propositions to executing more personalized and account-specific campaigns.

With greater investment, marketers can go far beyond the basics of tracking activities and leads. Most importantly, marketers now have the tools, data, and analytical skills to connect initiatives with outcomes. Being able to show the link between marketing activities and business outcomes can be a game changer for marketers.

B2B Marketers Are Being Asked to Do More, but not Necessarily with Less

By Julie Schwartz, ITSMA, jschwartz@itsma.com

ITSMA’s Annual 2015 Services Marketing Budget Allocations and Trends results are out! The bottom line? B2B service and solutions marketers are optimistic about both their budget and staff growth.

Marketing Budget and Staff Are on the Rise

Marketing budgets will increase, on average, 4.4% in 2015. Nearly half the marketers in our survey expect to see budget increases, while one-third expect no change. Only 17% anticipate a decrease in their budgets. We see a similar pattern when it comes to the marketing staff. On average, marketing staff in 2015 will grow 3.8%. 44% expect to see growth in their staff. Another 44% expect the number of staff to remain the same. And just 13% foresee a staff decease.

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At the Same Time, Marketing’s Scope Is Increasing

Marketing budget growth is a positive sign, but at 4.4%, the growth is best described as modest. Consequently, we have a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that senior management’s perception of marketing is improving as marketers sharpen their ability to demonstrate business impact. The not so good news is that marketers are expected to do more—and those expectations far exceed the budget increases. 65% of marketers in our study say that marketing’s scope has expanded.

For example, in the area of revenue contribution study participants told us:

  • “We are closer to sales, working with account manager, following the ABM approach.”
  • “The Marketing team is taking over the full funnel for sales and driving salesforce implementation mechanics to enable accurate reporting.”
  • “New marketing leadership has been hired to provide more strategic input.”
  • “The services marketing team’s scope now includes solutions marketing for all Internet of Everything and Cloud solutions plus all thought leadership across corporate marketing.”

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Additional Funds Needed

How will marketing cope with escalating expectations? In the past, marketers were known to wander the proverbial halls with a tin cup. Not so today.

Other organizations are ponying up with money to supplement marketing’s budget. ITSMA asked, in addition to the official marketing budget, are there other sources of money that you can access or apply to use? A whopping 79% of the indicated that they have access to additional funds. Not only are more marketers able to tap addition funds (up from 58% of marketers in 2014), but the size of the pool is also increasing. In 2014, marketers received an additional 7.2%. This year that amount has grown to 12.9% of the overall money spent by marketing.

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Where is this money coming from?  Who’s funding marketing? The top sources are:

  • Business units/lines of business
  • Partners
  • Sales
  • Business development

This is marketing’s ultimate vote of confidence.