Survey Results: Damage Already Done to High-Tech Sector Marketing Budgets…As Fiscal Cliff Impasse in Washington Potentially Moves into New Year

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As the debate over the Fiscal Cliff rages on (or festers, depending on your point of view) we were wondering what impact this issue is having on the marketing plans of organizations that provide technology solutions to enterprise IT departments.   From December 3 to December 21 of 2012, G2Market (www.g2market.com) and BizTechReports (www.biztechreports.com) teamed up  to survey  113 marketing professionals to understand the implications of the Fiscal Cliff crisis for this sector.

Our central conclusion: Whatever ultimately happens with the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, significant damage has already been done to the marketing plans and staffs of companies in the high-tech sector.  Staffs are being slashed, plans to participate in conferences or events have been reduced, as have go-to-market relationships with partners.

The only marketing activity that appears largely unaffected are digital marketing initiatives.  Here are the top line findings of our survey:

  • Conference Cutbacks: Nearly 44 percent of respondents indicated that unresolved Fiscal Cliff negotiations are causing their organizations to cut back on conferences and show sponsorships.
  • Marketing Staff Reductions: 41 percent of respondents  state that uncertainty surrounding the Fiscal Cliff debate has contributed to reductions in internal marketing staffs for 2013 compared to 2012.
  • Joint Marketing Initiatives Compromised:  A full 39 percent report that Fiscal Cliff uncertainty has negatively affected co-marketing, alliance marketing or channel marketing relationships for 2013.
  • Marketing Budget Reductions and Uncertainty: One in four marketers  admit that marketing budgets have already been reduced because of the unresolved  Fiscal Cliff negotiation.  Uncertainty dominated a plurality of respondents on this question, with 44 percent reporting that they do not know what will happen to budgets as the Fiscal Cliff issue moves into the new year.
  • Digital Marketing  and Print Advertising Stays Strong: The one silver lining in the survey is that digital marketing and advertising initiatives appear to be least affected by uncertainty stemming from the Fiscal Cliff issue.  A solid 40 percent stated that these initiatives will move into 2013 largely untouched.