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What technologies is marketing spending on?

Spencer Ante reports in today’s Wall Street Journal that As Economy Cools, IBM Furthers Focus on Marketers. The title and the short article are focused on IBM’s well-known emphasis on marketers, but the article is of more general interest in driving home the extent of one trend in corporate technology spending – the growth of marketing spending on technology – and provoking a number of questions about what it means. At only 600 or so words the article may be useful for some of you to forward to others in your organization that would benefit by thinking more about the effects of this trend.

The article quotes some recent Gartner research that marketing budgets are roughly 3 times IT budgets as a percentage of revenue, and grew between 2011 and 2012 while IT budgets shrank. Current marketing and IT budgets are both expected to increase, but with marketing budgets increasing at twice the rate of IT budgets – 9.0% vs 4.7%. Gartner has also predicted CMOs will have more control over technology spending than CIOs by 2017. Also, “In total, Gartner says companies spent up to $25 billion worldwide on marketing software last year, up from about $20 billion the previous year. Overall corporate software expenditures totaled $115 billion…”. These are impressive numbers, and our own experience based on discussions with our conference attendees, consulting clients, and other analysts and investors, suggests a broad consensus with the trend. Certainly IBM is big believer.

But the next level of detail is even more important for technology vendors and all CMOs who want to benchmark their competitors spending and strategies – for example, what are CMOs spending money on? what should they be spending on” and how do they organize their infrastructure to learn about, purchase, and manage new marketing technologies, and work with IT?

A vocal segment of the technology press suggest that the future of marketing is all about “social”. A favorite prediction of analysts is that the “Web is dead” and the future is all about mobile. Savvy marketers are beyond such oversimplifications. As important as social and mobile are, I think it is safe to say they are still a small percentage of the $25 billion Gartner number. I would love to be enlightened by anyone who has more details on what the percentage is, and what technology categories others think will benefit most from the increase in marketing spending.

Why is this?

Part of the reason are expensive legacy systems and infrastructures. But a bigger reason is that everyone (not just marketing) is learning. Most of the new technologies have some learning curve, but are not rocket science. The really steep curve is learning how to integrate and utilize new technologies, and especially data they provide, effectively – and that is something we all: technologists, marketers, analysts, will be learning about for awhile.

Learn more at Gilbane Boston.

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Marketing, Web Content Management, and Social Software

At the industry analyst session at Gilbane Boston last December, one of the points of discussion was how well spending on web content management systems had held up during the depths of the recession compared to other parts of IT budgets. Everyone on the panel agreed, and Forrester and IDC both mentioned research showing a healthy market for WCM and expected growth (if someone remembers the numbers please comment). This was a surprise to much of the audience, but obviously not to the vendors (well, at least to those reaping the benefit).

Why has/is web content management growing? The one word answer is ‘marketing’ – not vendor marketing, although they are mostly in tune with, and encouraging, the more aggressive pro-activeness of enterprise marketers. And why are marketing executives now better at demanding, and getting,  budgets for WCM? There are a number of reasons, including the paradoxical “to save money” (system costs have come down, large system service contracts costs have not, and SaaS solutions and open source solutions are growing). Most importantly however, is that most organizations have finally figured out that ‘marketing’ means ‘multi-channel, digital, and interactive/social marketing’. This is fundamental. The companies who took advantage of the recession to invest in learning what this means, experimenting with tools, customer interactions, and system integrations, have gotten a bit of a head start, but nobody can ignore this – this is not a ‘nice to have’.

Why is the focus on ‘web content management’ and not something else? All product categories are fluid, and eventually there will be a category, buzzword/phrase TBD, for multi-channel content management that includes tools for social, mobile, tablet, channels etc. But for the foreseeable future, the corporate website(s) will be the hub, however it is accessed.

Well, all I really meant to do in this post was point to the special guide to marketing-focused sessions at Gilbane San Francisco in May, but now you know why. These sessions will also be useful for those in IT (along with our technology track) who support marketing initiatives.

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Insider’s Guide to Selecting WCM, Collaboration, and Social Software

Gilbane San Francisco 2010 pre-conference workshops are a great way to get up-to-speed quickly with a half-day deep dive. Today we would like to highlight:

Workshop A: Insider’s Guide to Selecting WCM, Collaboration, and Social Software

Instructor: Tony Byrne, Founder, CMS Watch & The Real Story Group

If you are a website or intranet manager or architect, this year may well find you looking to implement new tools or refresh dated platforms. However, you face a wide and growing array of vendors willing to address your problems. Which ones offer the best fit for your particular circumstances?

This fast-paced workshop led by CMS Watch founder Tony Byrne will help you understand the broad but converging marketplaces for Web CMS, Collaboration, Social Networking, and Web 2.0 technologies. Tony will sort out the key players and business models, and offer you a roadmap for deciding which types of technologies and vendors provide the best long-term fit for your needs.

The workshop will answer several key questions:

  • How can you quickly distinguish among the 120 major toolsets across these marketplaces?
  • How are changes in the open source landscape impacting your options today and going forward?
  • Where does Web Publishing intersect with emergent technologies?
  • What should you expect to pay for these tools?
  • What are the critical, can’t-ignore architectural distinctions you need to make?
  • How mature are the vendors?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of some key players, including Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle
  • How can you insure that your selection process meets your original business objectives?
  • Which should you pick first: Agency, Integrator, Vendor, or…?
  • What are some major pitfalls others have made that you can readily avoid?
  • How are these marketplaces likely to evolve in the coming years, and how can you best align your firm to take advantage of future innovation?

Are there other questions you want answered? Feel free to send them to Tony at, so that he can weave them into the workshop. Or, simply bring them that day. Hope to see you there. Register today!

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Conference Highlight: Collaboration Challenges 2: Sharing Content

C2. Collaboration Challenges 2: Sharing Content

Where: Gilbane Boston Conference, Westin Copley
When: Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 1:30pm – 2:30pm

An interactive discussion on challenges to effective content sharing within and outside of the firewall. The panelists and audience will exchange their experiences with business practices and technologies that have improved content sharing for their organization or customers’ businesses.

Moderator: Geoffrey Bock, Senior Analyst, Collaboration & Enterprise Social Software, Gilbane Group
Bob Lindenberg, Senior Vice President, Putnam Investments
Ginger Richards, Pew Research Center
Jason Corsello, Vice President, Knowledge Infusion

Main conference program:

Register today!

Read More, Smithsonian, and Philips to Keynote Gilbane Boston Conference

For Immediate Release:

Panel of Senior Web Executives to Discuss Online Engagement with Customers

Boston, MA – October 8, 2009 — The opening keynote at the sixth annual Gilbane Boston Conference, produced by The Gilbane Group and Lighthouse Seminars, to take place December 1- 3, 2009, in Boston, MA will be a special panel made up of practitioners discussing Content, Collaboration & Customers.  In our opening keynote panel we will have a candid conversation with senior managers that are responsible for large public web presences that are critical to their organizations’ mission:

As Director of, Susan Parker has responsibility for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ official website, actually comprised of 75 websites with different combinations of requirements dictated by agency, resident, business, and visitor needs.

Michael Edson is Director, Web and New Media Strategy, Office of the CIO, at the Smithsonian Institution. The world’s largest museum complex and research organization composed of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo, the Smithsonian is a public institution with lots of competitors, and even more types of content to manage.

Luuk de Jager, Senior Director, B2C Organizational Empowerment, Central Marketing Office Online, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, is helping marketing managers more effectively engage 100 million online consumers with 5000 new products each year in 42 languages.

How do you effectively engage online with your customers? How can you be sure to reach all your customers? How do you meet the sometimes-competing needs of different constituencies both externally and internally? How do you manage collaboration between content contributors for consistency and quality? How do you implement social software and support user generated content so that it is a valuable addition to site visitors? How much control do you exert? These are some of the questions the panel will address.

Join us for an interactive and educational opening session. Conference attendees are encouraged to come with questions, and can also suggest questions in advance via our social media channels or email. See for details.

The additional conference sessions and pre-conference workshops will offer enhanced programs tied to competitive business and productivity issues surrounding a company’s content, collaboration & customers. The conference tracks have been organized around the four major areas of how enterprises use web and content technologies as well as where they are most likely to invest, including: Managing enterprise social content; Managing enterprise mobile content; SharePoint & Office 2010 and web content management and E-government & transparency.

Attendees can also expect a world-class exhibit area, featuring the latest web content management tools, products, and services from 40+ conference sponsors and exhibitors, including: Microsoft, Alterian, atex, Coremedia, EPiServer, Jive, Just Systems, SDL Tridion, Sitecore, Across, Alcero, Backbase, Bridgeline Software, Connotate, Contextual, Day Software, dotCMS, Ephox, FatWire Software, GX Webmanager, Hippo, Inmagic, Kapow Technologies, Kentico, Magnolia, mediumbold, mindSHIFT, MultiCorpora, Nstein, Nuxeo, Open Text, Pegboard, Percussion, Plone, SDL, Telerik, and Vamosa.

Learn more about the Gilbane Boston Conference 2009 by visiting:

Receive updates and follow the conference on Twitter at

IT and business professionals involved in content creation, management, delivery or analytics wishing to attend the conference may register at:

To Exhibit
Technology solution providers wishing to exhibit or sponsor should contact Marc Goldstein at 781-821-6652 or at

About Gilbane Group Inc.
Gilbane Group Inc. is an analyst and consulting firm that has been writing and consulting about the strategic use of information technologies since 1987. We have helped organizations of all sizes from a wide variety of industries and governments. We work with the entire community of stakeholders including investors, enterprise buyers of IT, technology suppliers, and other consultant and analyst firms. We have organized over 60 educational conferences in North America and Europe. Information about our widely read newsletter, consulting & advisory services, reports, white papers, case studies and analyst blogs is available at

About Lighthouse Seminars
Lighthouse Seminars’ events cover information technologies and “content technologies” in particular. These include content management of all types, digital asset management, document management, web content management, enterprise portals, enterprise search, web and multi-channel publishing, electronic forms, authoring, content and information integration, information architecture, and e-catalogs. .

Lighthouse Seminars
Jeffrey V. Arcuri, 508-759-8180

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