The distribution of the marketing budget is changing due to digital acceleration, according to industry analysis firm IDC. In Latin America, that means a change of priorities for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs). 

Between 2019 and 2021, IDC Latin America carried out a study on Marketing Investment in Latin America, named  IDC Latin America Marketing Investment Planner. The group vice-president of IDC LatAm, Ricardo Villate, highlighted that technology marketing has had to adapt to the idea that most of the interactions in person are limited. According to the executive, “organizations have seen that the return on investment for digital campaigns is high and that the costs are usually low, while the results are comparable to those produced by physical activities.”

Digital events are in the peak

COVID-19 reshifted the marketing budget. IDC Latin America pointed out that between 2019 and 2021, spending on digital events increased fivefold. Meanwhile, the need for certified IT talent will multiply ten times between 2020 and 2030.

 The research revealed that 83% of the marketing event budget is allocated today to digital events, five times more than in 2019 when 90% of that expenditure was dedicated to face-to-face events.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Villate said, there was a significant stagnation in terms of marketing spending: between the second and third quarters of 2020, most of this drop was recorded, because companies suffered to respond to the change in consumer behavior. However, investment recovered in the last quarter of the year, and for 2021 marketing spending as a proportion of IT companies revenue is 5.4%; an all-time high in more than half a decade of IDC measurements and 60% higher than in 2019.

He also indicated that the new normal caused a slowdown in the contribution of marketing to the business: in 2020, 58% of all leads were generated by marketing and 42% by sales teams; While in 2019, 63% of the leads were generated by marketing and 37% by the sales department. “It appears that the Sales and Marketing teams are having a difficult time working as smoothly as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic,” he commented. “This is causing Tech Marketers in the region to adjust their priorities for 2021.”

Leads, the gold mine for CMOs

64% of the CMOs surveyed in the study responded that their top priority today is increasing the quantity and quality of their leads. Likewise, 39% indicated that their second challenge is to generate greater brand awareness or brand awareness (in the survey carried out in 2019, that percentage represented 20%). In this way, attention to the brand went from fifth to second in importance. Meanwhile, product marketing took a secondary role for the time being: it accounted for 44% in 2019 and just 22% in 2021.

Villate pointed out that the future of marketing and strategy will be focused on the generation of demand and the brand, as well as the need to find a balance between long and short-term objectives. The possibility that companies can take on this challenge internally will depend on their ability to be scalable.

He further stated that digital comes first in today’s marketing context and that content will continue to be king. “Multiple content and channels demand a customer acquisition model.”

In conclusion, marketing investment is looking for more leads. And digital content is a key asset in this context.

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