ARPR, a tech PR agency recently released its 2nd annual data report, focused on where tech PR and digital marketing efforts are headed in 2021. The research, entitled ARPR’s 2nd Annual Tech Marketing Data Report: Marketing in a Post-COVID World, surveyed 100 tech marketers from enterprise brands, growth-stage companies and startups alike.
Why did you decide on this topic for your annual report?
COVID-19 threw a wrench in even the strongest 2020 marketing plans. As communicators, we’ve spent the last five months finding the best ways to adapt, making the most of budget decreases, understanding new buying patterns and helping our organizations communicate effectively and empathetically both internally and externally. But now it’s time to stop just treading water. We need to look ahead and answer questions like: How has the pandemic fundamentally changed how we communicate? What changing buying patterns are going to transcend COVID? Where will we re-allocate marketing dollars if trade shows and live events don’t return to normal in 2021? These are the questions ARPR’s report set out to answer.
So how are marketers feeling about events these days?
One interesting finding from the report is that more than half (56%) of respondents may opt out of the event circuit, even if it does return in full force next year. In part, that may be because marketers are driving results in other channels, according to the survey. When trade shows first canceled and outside sales reps faced travel bans, software marketers reallocated resources to digital efforts. ARPR found that an overwhelming 97% of tech marketers said they’ve “definitely” or “somewhat” been able to prove the value of digital marketing to executives during COVID. This is a vast improvement from previous surveys of marketing leaders. For example, the 2020 CMO Survey, a partnership between Deloitte, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association released in February, reported that 21.2% of respondents hadn’t been able to use quantitative metrics to demonstrate impact of marketing.
If events are taking a backseat, what’s replacing them?
This answer came through loud and clear in the survey: content marketing. Tech marketers ranked content as the #1 area where they planned to increase investment. Why? Several respondents noted anecdotally that content provides them a way to partner with customers prospects vs. a more sales or product marketing based approach, commenting that these connections were more pivotal than ever in times of crisis.
What surprised you most in the survey findings?
The resilience, optimism and creativity of marketers shined throughout the survey responses. Tech marketers clearly see this as a pivotal moment of reimagination – an opportunity to try new messaging, new mediums and new measurement techniques. As one respondent told us, “What we’ve been accustomed to do as marketers, sort of on an auto-pilot, will have to be reconsidered and reinvented.” And we’re proud to be part of a profession that’s tackling this challenge head on.
What do you want people to get out of this survey?
First and foremost, this survey shows marketers that they are not alone in this tumultuous time. There’s no playbook for how we evolve, but we’re hoping that this report will help marketing teams make smarter investments for their marketing strategies in 2021.
Download ARPR’s 2nd Annual Tech Marketing Data Report: Marketing in a Post-COVID World at https://arpr.com/resources/report-post-covid-marketing-statistics.