Marketing spending among high-tech and telecom providers (HTTPs) is picking up in 2010, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. The survey found that 44 percent of 2010 HTTP marketing budgets will be flat compared with 2009, 41 percent will increase and only 15 percent are likely to decrease. This compares favorably to 2009 when more than half of providers' marketing organizations took cuts in their budgets compared to 2008.
While there are signs of growth in IT spending in 2010, Gartner analysts have predicted a "new normal" in which IT buyers who were forced to rethink the entirety of their spending approach because of the economy may never return to their prerecession ways. This will impact how HTTPs market to end users.
The survey found that some companies making marketing budget increases plan significant rises. Thirty percent of these companies expect to increase budgets by between 1 and 15 percent, while 13 percent of respondents are planning budget increases of between 16 and 30 percent or more. For those companies planning an increase in budgets, sales programs to support the direct sales force as well as programs supporting positioning and external communications are key priorities. Following those are customer segmentation, strategic marketing, management of marketing efforts and sales programs to support indirect sales.
Even though the ratio of in-house to external spending is planned to be about 1:3 in 2010, fixed and recurring costs are expected to consume the largest portion (23 percent) of the 2010 marketing budget, according to the majority of respondents. That will be followed by sales channel marketing and programs at 17 percent, and 15 percent of respondents identified positioning and external marketing communications.
When asked how they allocated their marketing communications budget, 22 percent of respondents said that events will receive the highest percentage of spending, 16 percent of those surveyed identified advertising, and 11 percent of respondents selected direct mail.
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