IT vendor marketing budgets will increase by 6.4 per cent in 2005, equating to the fastest rate of increase in the past four years, industry experts predicted today.
IDC's recently completed Technology Marketing Benchmarks survey expects that marketing investment will to continue to show strong growth over the next 12 months and will increase by seven per cent in 2006.
According to the analyst firm, tech vendors are beginning to realise that revenue and share gains are harder to come by in the slower IT economy, and that sustained marketing investment is required to make progress in revenue and gain market share.
"This is the dawn of tech marketing," said Rich Vancil, vice president of IDC's Chief Marketing Officer Advisory Service.
"The only tech vendors to survive and thrive will be those whose marketing organisation is highly skilled for internal and external execution."
IDC found that as technology marketers seek to build capabilities, many are turning their attention inside the marketing organisation to improve the back office, including improvements in processes, people development and organisational alignment.
"Leading marketers are focusing on developing their infrastructure and organisation because the job of marketing is getting harder," explained Vancil.
"These executives understand that their ability to make significant future contributions will require greater marketing proficiencies than they have today. "
To accomplish these goals, IDC expects to see a renewed investment in marketing hiring and professional development. Key areas for new marketing staff include product marketing, direct marketing and marketing operations.
In IDC's analysis, the rise of the marketing operations function is one of the most significant new trends for 2005.
Approximately 75 per cent of tech vendors now have some level of formalised marketing operations staff in place, while the average tech vendor has three marketing operations staff for every 100 full-time marketing staff.
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