IDC is putting numbers around something tech marketers already know: 2009 is the worst year for vendor-side tech marketing jobs and budgets since the dot-com bust.
IDC projects that 6,000 tech vendor marketing jobs will be cut by the time the dust settles at the end of 2009. Marketing budgets will be down 8.3% over 2008 levels.
That’s the inhouse tally. Imagine the totals when you add agency and freelance personnel and reduced and canceled POs.
The 2009 vendor marketing cuts have come with changes in structure and authority as well. IDC reports more than 70% of senior marketers described their departments as experiencing “significant organizational change”. The focus tends to be sales-marketing alignment. The decisions aren’t necessarily brightening the picture for career marketers. IDC says some of the top tech companies are uniting global marketing and sales groups under one executive. And that executive comes from sales rather than marketing. Titles include Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and SVP of WW Field Operations.
Sooner or later we’ll find the bottom of this free fall and then start the recovery. This time ’round, I expect that the recovery will institutionalize some of the boot-strap adjustments taken in the face of these overwhelming cuts. More shared services, fewer heads, lower retainers, longer payment terms. More emphasis on community. Less priority on specialists the further you move away from the SEO/SEM and analytics axis.
Big hat tip to Kathleen Shaub, who blogged about IDC’s study and guidance for 2010.