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.
IBM unveiled new software for managing and analyzing big data to the workplace. The new offerings span a wide variety of big data and business analytics technologies across multiple platforms from mobile devices to the data center to IBM’s SmartCloud. Now employees from any department inside an organization can explore unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, log files, genomic data and video, and make sense of it as part of their everyday work experience. IBM is also placing the power of mobile analytics into the hands of iPad users with a free download in Apple’s iTunes Store. The new software is designed to help employees in industries such as financial services, healthcare, government, communications, retail, and travel and transportation use and benefit from business analytics on the go. IBM is delivering new analytics and information management offerings: New Hadoop-based analytics software on the cloud, which helps employees tap into massive amounts of unstructured data from a variety of sources including social networks, mobile devices and sensors; New mobile analytics software for iPad users; and new predictive analytics software with a mapping feature that can be used across industries for marketing campaigns, retail store allocation, crime prevention, and academic assessment. http://www.ibm.com/
IBM has announced a cloud-based Web analytics and digital marketing suite aimed at helping its business customers automate online marketing campaigns across digital channels, such as Websites, social media networks and mobile phones. The new IBM offering combines software from the acquisitions of Coremetrics and Unica and provides analytics that help companies fine-tune marketing campaigns and create personalised offers in real-time across online channels. For example, businesses would be able to evaluate Facebook or Twitter activity, and offer tailored promotions delivered to their mobile devices on the fly. IBM’s suite also enables businesses to deliver and fine-tune digital marketing programmes based on what customers are doing offline. For instance, a consumer who purchased a new tablet in a brick-and-mortar store would receive special offers via email to purchase tablet accessories. http://www.ibm.com
IBM announced the acquisition of Datacap Inc., a privately-held company based in Tarrytown, NY. Datacap is a provider of software that enables organizations to transform the way they capture, manage and automate the flow of business information to improve business processes, reduce paper costs or manual errors and meet compliance mandates. Financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisition strengthens IBM’s ability to help organizations digitize, manage and automate their information assets, particularly in paper-intensive industries such as healthcare, insurance, government and finance. Additionally, regulations such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley have demanded new standards and now legislation is encouraging the adoption of new records management solutions, including scanning and capture to increase accuracy, lower costs and speed business processes to meet these regulations. http://ibm.com http://www.datacap.com/
Ephox announced the latest version of the company’s rich text editor, EditLive! V7. Integrated with IBM Lotus Web Content Management and IBM Lotus Quickr software, EditLive! allows business users to create content in a desktop word processing environment. With new features to increase user productivity, team collaboration and web site quality, EditLive! V7 is designed to help non-technical users keep company web sites, blogs and wikis up-to-date with relevant online content. EditLive! V7 supports Autosave to preserve content, even if the web browser crashes, or the server session times out. V7 also includes templating functionality, giving content administrators the ability to create reusable content templates for consistent web site styles and standards that can be employed by business users. The HTML editor also improves collaboration for online documents with new context-based commenting capabilities, in which users can comment directly on any text or object in a document and track conversations related to specific comments. For increased quality of content in web sites and wikis, EditLive! adds broken hyperlink reporting. The new version of EditLive! includes enhanced integration with IBM Lotus Web Content Management and now deploys as an application in the portal environment. In addition, performance improvements have been achieved through a series of optimizations to caching, configuration and compression mechanisms. In addition to new functionality in EditLive!, the OEM version now includes several features that were previously only available in the Enterprise Edition. These capabilities include Auto-Correct for automatically correcting spelling errors, the ability to import Word documents, and Thesaurus. EditLive! 7 is available immediately in OEM, Professional and Enterprise Editions. http://www.ephox.com/
IBM has unveiled IBM Project Vulcan, which they claim will be the blueprint for the future of collaboration. Building on a company’s existing investments, IBM Project Vulcan enables approaches to reduce personal information overload and improve business agility. IBM Project Vulcan is designed to exploit the convergence of Cloud and on-premise systems; Collaborative Services business applications and social networks; and Desktops, netbooks and mobile devices. Social analytics, by IBM Research, will provide recommendations to locate expertise, relevant content, and critical business events. Designed as a loosely coupled architecture, it is meant to provide flexibility and responsiveness to rapidly changing business requirements and personal preferences. IBM Project Vulcan is designed to allow developers to create new generations of applications powered by collaboration. The capabilities of IBM Project Vulcan will be delivered in future releases of products such as LotusLive, Lotus Notes and Domino, Lotus Connections, Quickr and WebSphere Portal. IBM plans to deliver a beta of a development environment in the second half of 2010 on LotusLive Labs. http://www.ibm.com
Just in from Information Week is this article (Exclusive: IBM Reorganizes Software Group ) that prompted me to launch 2010 with some thoughts on where we are heading with enterprise search this year. When IBM does something dramatic it impacts the industry because it makes others react.
I don’t make forecasts or try to guess whether strategic changes will succeed or fail but a couple of years ago, I blogged on IBM‘s introduction of Yahoo OmniFind, a free offering and then followed up with these comments just a few months ago. IBM makes their competitors change, try to outsmart, outguess, or copy, just as Microsoft or Google changes cause ripples in the industry.
Meanwhile, OpenText, another large software company with search offerings, is not going to offer search outside of its other product suites. [More is likely to come out after the scheduled analyst meetings today but I’m not there and can’t brief you on deeper intent.] We have recently seen an announcement about FAST being delivered with new SharePoint offerings, the first major release of FAST announced since Microsoft acquired them almost two years ago. While FAST is still available as a standalone product from MS, it and other search engines may be steadily moving into being embedded in suites by their acquirers.
Certainly IBM has a lot of search components that they have acquired, so continuing to bind with other content offerings is a probable strategy. Oracle and Autonomy may soon come up with similar suite offerings embedding search once again. Oracle SES (Secure Enterprise Search) does not appear to have a lot of traction and it’s possible that supporting pure search offerings may be a burden for Autonomy with its stable of many acquired content products.
All of this leads me to think that, since enterprise search has gotten such a bad reputation as a failed technology, the big software houses are going to bury it in point solutions. Personally, I believe that enterprise search is a failed strategy and SMBs can still find search engines that will serve the majority of their enterprise needs for several years to come. The same holds true for divisions or groups within large corporations.
Guidance: select and adopt one or more search solutions that fit your budget for small scale needs, point solutions and enterprise content that everyone in the organization needs to access on a regular basis. Learn how these products work, what they can and cannot deliver, making incremental adjustments as needs change and evolve. Do not install and think you are done because you will never be done. Cultivate a few search experts to stick with the evolving landscape and give them the means to keep up with changes in the search landscape. It is going to keep morphing for a long time to come.