HomeBlog Summit 2015 Highlights: Lose Your Tech Blinders or Lose to the Competition

Summit 2015 Highlights: Lose Your Tech Blinders or Lose to the Competition

May 13, 2015 | By Robin Whiting

  • Growth hackers wrangle market share by creatively using data, analytics and social media
  • During the past four years, marketing tech spend for non-software orgs jumped for b-to-b orgs of all sizes and marketing budgets increased dramatically
  • Product management technologies are available, but according to our research, 87 percent of product managers don’t use them

If you want a short summary of Jay Famico’s Summit 2015 presentation “Growth Hacking Through B-to-B Technology,” it’s this: When it comes to technology, the Paul Bunyans and Goliaths of b-to-b will not be able to keep up. They may be big, strong and powerful, but growth hackers are the new heroes of b-to-b sales, marketing and product.

“Technology is going to beat out sheer brute force any day of the week,” said Jay.

In case you’ve never heard of a growth hacker (I never had until a couple months ago), this is an individual who is scrappy, nimble and smart – in the way a street fighter is smart – but in a marketing context. She or he eschews traditional (read: expensive) marketing, instead, wrangling market share by creatively using data, analytics and social media. The more you can think like a growth hacker, the more successfully you’ll outperform the competition.

So now you know what to do, but why?

In the words of Jay, SiriusDecisions’ very own growth hacker and technology practice director, “Technology powers everything in marketing, sales and product, from lead nurturing and prioritization to managing contacts and pipeline, and that’s not going away. In fact, technology is only going become more critical in the years to come.”

To be specific:

Marketing. Investment in marketing technology is exploding to keep pace with a buyer’s journey that increasingly takes place online as well as offline:

  • During each of the past four years, marketing tech spend for non-software organizations jumped for b-to-b organizations of all sizes. During the same period, marketing budgets increased dramatically. “What we’re talking about is a $500 million company spending $300,000 to $525,000 in 2010, then jumping to $400,000 to $1.2 million in just four years. That’s a lot of money, and that’s a HUGE jump!” said Jay.
  • As b-to-b marketers increase their level of technology sophistication, they have also increased their appetite for technology services, which represented 1 to 3 percent of marketing budgets in 2010 and 3 to 9 percent in 2014. To put this into perspective, that overall increase reflects a 200 percent increase in services spend for companies with under $100 million in annual revenue and a 100 percent increase for those in the $1 billion to $5 billion revenue range.

Sales. B-to-b sales organizations have also increased their tech spend in a big way to optimize efficiency and effectiveness.

  • The larger the organization’s revenue, the larger its tech spend as a percentage of sale operations spend, noted Jay. There are a few reasons for this: As a sales function grows, it adds specialist roles, which increases efficiency (the number of reps per sales ops resource stays flat or decreases), so a smaller portion of sales ops budget is allocated to headcount.
  • Although headcount trails off, technology spend per rep remains consistent, given the shift to SaaS-based licensing, which emphasizes a cost-per-seat model.

Product. “I call this group the technology laggards,” said Jay. “And this is amazing to me, because they are the ones who define the products that marketing generates demand for and sales sells. But they seem determined to do things the hard way.”

  • Despite the fact that plenty of product management technologies are available, according to SiriusDecisions research, 87 percent of product managers don’t use them. They opt, instead, for MS Project, Excel and PowerPoint. Among their reasons: They have no budget allocated for dedicated tools; they were unimpressed with one tool, so they reject all others; they believe their business processes are really unique, and no technology could help; they’re limited by the technologies used by the development function; and they don’t recognize their need. The No. 1 reason: 32 percent of product managers don’t even know these tools exist.

During Jay’s Summit talk, a live poll of Summit delegates reinforced the point that organizations are investing more in technology. When asked to finish the sentence “Next year my organization’s sales, marketing and product technology spend will…” the two largest groups of respondents answered “Slightly increase (<5%>)" or “Significantly increase (>5%).”

Robin Whiting

Robin Nicole Whiting is a senior editor at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 15 years of experience as a communications professional, covering a wide range of industries. Follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinWhiting1.

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