Vanson Bourne Research Insight: Tech Marketing


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Vanson Bourne examines the changes in UK technology marketing from a recent survey of 59 UK Technology Vendors.

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Vanson Bourne Research Insight: Tech Marketing

  1. 1. Research Insight: Power, disruption & leads: tech marketing in the social economy SOCIAL ECONOMY Intelligent Market Research
  2. 2. 2 Cultural shifts in marketing Winds of change As the leaders of technology firms strengthen their grip on operations, management teams are increasingly bringing marcomms activities in-house. But marketers are nevertheless being required to make sense of the burgeoning choice of formal and informal communications channels. Together with the effect of leaner campaign budgets, marketing teams must meet at times seemingly impossible corporate expectations of both optimum audience reach and lead generation for the organisation. An unprecedented range of forces is intensifying the pace and complexity of technology marketing. Organisations have tightened management control, reduced marketing spend and are tipping the balance from out-sourced to in-house marketing services. A source of leads A weak economy has made companies concentrate on protecting market share while winning whatever new business they can, Although marketers use an array of communications channels to engage the customer directly, they are now expected to achieve ‘more with less’ – building brands and, crucially, driving sales demand. The rise of social media has complicated research, marketing communications and the evaluation of both. Many marketers recognise that the marketing function’s culture has changed fundamentally – with important consequences for them and their colleagues. driving fundamental change. Most respondents see the role of marketing now re-defined as a feed source for the sales team and the biggest shift in their role in cultural terms is the overwhelming use of social media. Colliding forces Tech marketing’s three biggest drivers are budget cuts, social media and a greater focus on driving sales. In this collision of forces, the data shows that existing notions of brand strategy and planned campaigns Survey conducted in May to June 2013 by Vanson Bourne. Responses of 59 tech marketers in UK-based companies. are being uprooted. As a result, marketers are adopting the direct and resourceefficient communication possibilities of digital media for dynamic, sales-driven campaigns. The next challenge is to work out effective ways to track and evaluate such campaigns. Find out more: Take a look at the headline trends in our 'Brands to Sales Leads' Infographic. Find out more: Jason Day and Martyn Turze from Vanson Bourne review the key trends in tech marketing to come out of the research.
  3. 3. 3 Lead generators not brand owners Most tech marketers say marketing communications is less about brand development and more about demand generation. With reduced budgets, rising social media use and demands of voracious sales machines, where marcomms activity could once be termed a “cookie cutting” activity, it is now defined in terms of niche segments or even individual users. Today’s acid test is sales leads. Nearly all interviewees say sales leads are a key campaign success factor against the minority that rates brand perception as important. And when marketers share their research data, it’s far more likely to be with sales colleagues than strategists or even the R&D/new product development department. I’m not listening: lack of social media evaluation Although social media is now front and centre in marcomms and customer engagement, measuring its contribution is currently beyond many marketers’ abilities or resources. Despite nearly all marketers running and tracking multi-disciplinary campaigns, only a small minority measures audience reach and still fewer track “social media chatter”. With time and budgets squeezed, marketers seem forced to settle for monitoring social networks themselves: most interviewees track social media using in-house tracking tools but far more say they don’t track social media usage than ask their retained or Find out more: specialist agency to do it. relevant audience insight" and "content creation" and “ability to cuts that have brought marketing back in house with evaluate and prove ROI/value of marcomms” are the skills valued by the expectation that social media is a low-cost panacea, most respondents, with "creativity" way down the rankings. taking the vendor’s message to individual users and OM N than ever before. Its culture is now shaped by budget IO researchers, data scientists and ‘curators’ of branded content. “Getting T Tech marketing is now expected to support sales more CUS Marketers are no longer “creatives”- they’re now expected to be ER TOM DEM US D AN Marketers to curators Step change in the marketing suite C The rise of social media, the targeting of specific audiences and the need for marcoms to have a direct impact on the revenue stream; how have these factors contributed to the changes in tech marketing? E R S ATISFAC T creating a conversation channel. 7 And while marketers’ reference point is still ‘traditional’ research – led by market data, formal customer feedback and market research, these avenues are But, as marketers manage everything from customer demand to customer satisfaction on being challenged by ‘social’ insights, such as informal customer feedback, social media/analytics, social smaller budgets, that panacea might yet prove to be a mirage that is yet to be adequately, media customer insight tools and in-house surveys. But can they manage them all? measured, interpreted and understood. Find out more: Find out more: The requirement to prove value and ROI appears to have removed the need for creativity. So what does this actually mean for marketers?  Find out more:Kevin Withnall, Director at Vanson Bourne explores this topic in more detail in his latest blog, 'From Brand Owners to Lead Generators'.
  4. 4. 4 Trying to make sense of it all The unrelenting focus on sales leads and budget constraints is stretching marketing resources. It’s also challenging the in-house team’s skill-set, particularly in analysing audiences, segmentation and campaign data. Marketers said the skills they most lack are; “data analysis”, “making sense of different data sources” and “trends analysis”. Data Analysis  Making sense of different data sources  Trends Analysis  “Creativity” was ranked much lower. Interested in using market research to help your organisation? To take the first step, download our latest White Paper 'Things to take into consideration when choosing a Market Research company' for lots of tips and advice. white paper Things to take into consideration when choosing a Market Research company Market Research; What is it? What’s it for? What do you do with it and how do you do it? Which agency should I use? 1-2 3 4-6 7-10 MR: What is it? It looks as though tech marketers are struggling to juggle the tasks of gathering, compiling and interpreting data sources, as well as driving research, demand generation and communications delivery. Download Now The clue is in the name. This is an examination or questioning of a defined market, which is usually carried out by asking carefully-constructed and replicable questions of a representative sub-set of that market (rather than everyone because that would be a census which would be very expensive, take too long and is unnecessary) which gives us a perspective on the current, past or future behaviour of the whole market. It tests the whole market by researching the responses, attitudes, understanding, of this ‘sample’ group. That’s market research. 01 | Vanson Bourne - Things to take into consideration when choosing a Market Research company Find out more: We look in more detail at what this means exactly for market research. Where next for tech marketing? Talk to Vanson Bourne to get to grips with the key questions of: • how to help identify and drive customer demand and engagement; • building continual market and audience insight channels; • building effective measurement, evaluation and understanding of marcomms within your existing market insight operation. Intelligent Market Research