I just received preliminary results back from my 2009 strategy professional survey, which is an annual survey of senior level technology marketers, strategists (people with “strategy” in their title) and C-level executives. This year, I decided to focus a good portion of the survey on the effects of the recession…My sense is that after the tech industry underwent a period of shock at the beginning of the year, conditions have stabilized, and tech companies have incorporated the marco-economic conditions into their strategy. We have 112 responses so far, but this may increase if we keep it in the field.
The findings were interesting. Tech firms say that their clients are cutting back on non essential spending, requesting price reductions, and (to a lesser extent) consolidating their supplier base and pushing contract flexibility. To react to the recession, the majority of tech companies are taking an aggressive approach – focusing on innovation and growth – while also trying to cut internal costs. Tech firms are also trying to provide more complete “solutions” to clients, and provide ROI proof of their products and services.
The areas I found surprising: the importance of business stakeholders in purchasing decisions continues to increase – 76% of respondents indicated that in the recession, the importance of getting input from business stakeholders has increased (as opposed to only 59% indicating IT stakeholder influence has increased). Also, tech firms had a very strong reaction to using price as a lever to combat the conditions – only 12% said that they were adjusting their marketing messages to focus on price, and only 18% said that they were reducing the price of their products and services…I hope this indicates a relative level of health for the industry.
If you’re interested in learning more about these survey results, look for my published research results to come out in the next few weeks. I will also be hosting a teleconference dedicated to these survey findings on June 9.
– Chris Andrews