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Marketing Functional Areas

May 15, 2014

Taking one of our benchmark surveys? The following definitions and examples should help out as you categorize your marketing spend to match SiriusDecisions' definitions. Doing so will provide an apples-to-apples comparison when compared against your peer group.

CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS:  Activities might include analyst outreach, public relations, thought leadership material development and communication. Tactical spend also includes the development of the corporate social media presence, such as blogs, social accounts, online communities, as well as communications such as annual reports, corporate newsletter etc. and events that are more corporate focused. For example, an industry event where leads are not generated but participation is perceived to be essential to demonstrate a presence in a market and typically showcasing a vast array of the company’s products or solutions. In this model corporate communications also includes the cost of analyst relations including subscriptions.

MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS:  Advertising and brand marketing that does not address individuals or personas, but is instead targeted at broad segments. Examples of advertising that falls into this category are broad brand-oriented ads, and online advertising that focus on themes or brands rather than generating demand for a specific product or solution.  Program costs include creative development and placement of advertising and logos. This may also include larger re-branding initiatives or sponsorships of third party events or campaigns, such as community events, fund-raisers, sporting events etc. Other programs spend includes the website and any associated creative and centralized content development.

MARKET INTELLIGENCE:  Examples are general market, competitive or customer focused information gathering and analysis through research that is either commissioned to third parties, acquired through readily available reports or subscriptions, or through primary research.  

MARKETING OPERATIONS:  Programs spend in measurement, reporting, planning, budgeting, process identification and refinement, best practice syndication, marketing learning/education/skill improvement, marketing technology to report or guide marketing activities, marketing data analysis and optimization. Tactics include data cleansing, de-duplication and append services, marketing technology and reporting training seminars/workshops, marketing technology certification, outside data analytics projects etc.

FIELD MARKETING:  All demand creation activities from cold to close, including new lead generation, lead qualification, pipeline acceleration and retention/loyalty. This includes the development and delivery of events and assets for the purpose of demand creation. The creative and brand related expenses are not included unless they are one-time for a specific demand creation activity. Tactics include trade shows intended to meet prospective buyers, live events, webcasts, white papers, newsletters, search engine optimization, banner ads (pay-per-click), keyword purchases, contact list rental/purchase, third party teleprospecting, e-mail campaign service providers, direct mail, association marketing, content syndication, demos/trials etc.

USER CONFERENCE:  Large scale events that are company-owned and meant to attract mainly current users for purposes of driving retention and loyalty and increasing the footprint in current accounts through cross-selling and upselling. The full suite of products is often showcased. This is accounted for separately from field marketing because it tends to be a large expense and skews the field marketing spend.  

CHANNEL MARKETING:  Includes the development and delivery of events and assets around recruitment, enablement and demand creation efforts focused on marketing to or with channel partners such as systems integrators, OEMs, application developers, service providers, distributors and resellers. Tactics include channel events, channel training and certification programs, co-op advertising, MDF and other communications and field marketing tactics that are done for partners as an audience or for partners to use with their prospects or customers.  

PRODUCT/SERVICE/SOLUTION/INDUSTRY MARKETING: All marketing spend including asset development for solutions, products, service, industry and segment marketing. Tactical spend areas are typically around offering (product/solution) specific documentation and marketing materials, buyer personas development, messaging and positioning development, targeting and segmentation, marketing campaign design, market testing or focus groups, win/loss analysis etc. Many of these initiatives are either carried out directly through events or field trips or through specialized third parties and contractors.