October 13, 2011
Last week at the Four Seasons in Palo Alto, CA, a select group of senior tech marketing and strategy executives from a who’s who list of tech titans joined Forrester analysts Andy Bartels, Chris Mines, Peter Burris, Tim Harmon, Ellen Daley, Manish Bahl and Kim Celestre for our 2012 First Look event to understand the key trends and marketing best practices that they must employ in 2012 and beyond.
While I can’t deliver 4 hours of content in one blog post, I’ll start by outlining my three key takeaways. Curious about other trends or marketing best practices for 2012 not listed below? Leave a comment and we’ll do our best to address them.
Takeaway #1: Emerging markets are still emerging (aka small) compared with the largest IT market – the US.
While there has been a lot of excitement (rightfully so) in fast IT spend growth markets such as China (17% year-over-year growth), India (21% year-over-year growth), and Brazil (28% year-over-year growth), the relative size of these markets are still a small percentage compared with the US. For example, the IT spend in China is only 15% of what it is in the US, while the percentages are even smaller for Brazil at 6% and India at 4% compared with the US.[i]
WIM (what it means): Tech marketers and strategists with a global remit must keep both relative size along with growth in mind as they balance their investment, program activities, and other resources in 2012.
Takeaway #2: IT consumerization means big changes for marketers.
Forrester defines IT consumerization as, “Individuals directly choosing and implementing technology for business and personal tasks, either bypassing or influencing the IT organization.” If you don’t believe me, this statistic should change your mind: 34 million (yes, million) information workers have installed unsupported software in the past year to help them do their job.[ii]
WIM: Tech marketers who have become skilled at marketing to the needs of a centralized IT function are quickly going to need to learn how market to a distributed and tech-savvy audience outside the four walls of IT who have very different marketing consumption patterns compared with their colleagues in IT.
Takeaway #3: Tech marketers at top-performing companies use social media more during the awareness phase compared with their average performing peers
The facts speak for themselves: Tech marketers at companies with growth rates at least 10% more than their peers use community marketing (including discussion forums) at nearly twice the rate and blogging nearly 40% more often compared with marketers at average performing companies during the awareness phase.
WIM: While tech marketers should align their marketing activities with the actual marketing consumption patterns of their targets, it’s safe to say that social, when used properly, represents a great way to drive higher returns for your organization.
These takeaways are just the tip of the iceberg of what our clients learned from the day. I trust they’ll serve you as well as they will for those who joined us in Palo Alto.
[ii]Upcoming Forrester report: “Consumerization Will Erase The Boundary Between Corporate And Consumer Technology Markets”