Marketing comes third in departmental tech budget spending, DiscoverOrg survey shows

DiscoverOrg purchasing power survey
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The number and diversity of “salestech” products and services may be dwarfed by those on the martech side, but a research study from DiscoverOrg shows that’s where the bulk of budgets allocated to tech will be going this year.

In its inaugural Purchasing Power Survey, Vancouver, Wash.-based DiscoverOrg commissioned Wakefield Research to ask approximately 500 CFOs how their organizations will be managing expenses across various departments within their businesses. While no single functional area was spending even a quarter of their budget on technology, sales topped the list at 21 per cent. This was followed by manufacturing/operations/production at 19 per cent. Marketing trailed behind at 15 per cent.

The report’s authors suggested that to some extent, overall budgets for sales tend to be higher among those firms that have set revenue targets of $100 million or more. Otherwise they may be playing catch-up with better-funded competitors. Marketing budgets, on the other hand, were more constant. Tech-specific spending was even higher in sales than the IT department, which was even less than marketing at 13 per cent.

“The statistic points to the idea of decentralized technology spending — in other words, tech purchases not made by the IT department. On the positive side, such an approach puts tech decisions more in the hands of the end users,” the report said. “However, the potential risk here is that if IT teams are not involved in technology decisions by departments such as sales, the vetting may not be up to certain standards — for example, necessary cybersecurity measures.”

DiscoverOrg also said this means B2B vendors may have a more direct opportunity to offer their products and services to sales decision-makers.

According to Nancy Nardin, founder and president of Smart Selling Tools, there are already more than 600 vendors that populate the salestech landscape. Although this represents only one-tenth of Scott Brinker’s annual Martech Landscape, it shows considerable activity in everything from sales enablement tools to more traditional products like CRM.

CMOs may find themselves with more funds available to invest in technology in 2020, however. Nearly half, or 44 per cent of CFOs told DiscoverOrg they expect their marketing to have a budget surplus by the end of their company’s next full fiscal year.

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Shane Schick
Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.