Last week I attended the IDC Directions event in San Jose to see what the anaylst community are telling technology marketers.
I guess I was hoping as always to learn something ground breaking. Sadly there was not much new, just an emphasis on the more obvious which apparently still challenges the tech market.
First in the list is the blindingly obvious disconnect between Sales and Markting. Rich Vancil reckons that only about 20% of what marketing produces is actually used by sales which sounds about right. It got me thinking. I have to say that in ten years of working on campaigns I have yet to observe a single case where a senior sales person was directly involved in meetings discussing the plans. I have to hope that my regular requests to get feedback from sales have been genuinely transmitted through the organization. I’ve always believed that Marketing efforts which are not well publicised internally fail the first test – that is to be internal promotions and motivations.
Second on the list was the requirement for tech companies to follow what is said about them in the social media environments. There is still considerable confusion about this and how it can be done. I heard one frustrated marketing professional asking whether it was sensible to respond to a blogger circulating misleading and incorrect information – the concern being that to do so would give that blogger increased credibility. Thankfully the advice given – to have a CTO/CIO respond rather than marketing or PR was spot on. However when I pressed IDC specialist Clare Gillan admitted that only 10% of IT pro’s currently use blogs when assessing tech buys.
Otherwise I found the event somewhat quiet compared to previous years. Strange given the possibility of tightening budgets and the likelyhood that marketers will be required to be even more productive in the future.