Although stiff competition is ubiquitous across industries, the High Tech industry has long been characterized by particularly intense competition and constant pressure. A report recently released by Adobe and Ovum reveals that the levels of competition and pressure are reaching new heights fueled by new entrants to the market, established vendors extending offerings, customer expectations evolving, and constrained budgets. High Tech organizations are responding to these pressures by investing in digital marketing. The 2017 “Digital Marketing in the High Tech Industry” report is based on telephone interviews from 200 High Tech businesses – covering the software, internet, consumer electronics, technology manufacturer, and professional/IT services subsectors. Questions spanned digital marketing priorities and challenges, the competitive landscape and investment strategies for High Tech organizations.
In this report, we highlight areas of particular pressure for High Tech companies and also note differences between sub-categories within the High Tech industry. More importantly, the report provides insight into how High Tech marketers are dealing with these pressures. The report offers a wealth of valuable information not just for High Tech practitioners, but for all players in the High Tech ecosystem.
Here is a summary of some of our key findings:
Intense competition remains a key attribute of the High Tech market-place. The breadth of concerns that troubled the respondents is evidence of the uniquely competitive pressure that shapes the High Tech industry. In the study, respondents identified factors that contribute most to the level of competition experienced in the High Tech industry. Although the results show broad distribution, “New disruptive market entrants” tied as the top-ranked contributing factor to competitive intensity, accounting for 18.5% of all “top factor” concerns (rising up from 2016). “Ease of substitution of one product or service for another” also garnered 18.5% of the responses for top contributing factor to competitive intensity, while the largest overall concern in the High Tech space was “new products and services causing market fragmentation.”
Dealing with Competition
At least as important as understanding the nature of the competition is understanding how to respond to the competitive pressures. While High Tech companies are developing a range of strategies to address these pressures, digital engagement is rated as the top strategic tactic for combatting competitive threats. “More focus on digital customer engagement” was the top strategic response, with 16.2% of respondents identifying this as the most effective counters to competitive threats and rising customer expectations. The second highest rated response, also relating to digital engagement, was “investing in improving customer experience”, with 15.5%. Interesting to note that focus on new product/service introduction slipped dramatically year over year which aligns with the general observation that the importance of product and service strategies are yielding to digital customer engagement and experiences.
Investing in Digital
So where are these investments in improving digital engagement and customer experience going? The top areas of investment in digital marketing by High Tech marketers in 2017 are account-based marketing (top choice for 16% of respondents), content management (top choice for 13.8% of respondents) and campaign management (top choice for 12.5% of respondents). Some of the most drastic shifts in budget allocation as compared to the previous year (2016) include: account-based marketing, which was not listed in the 2016 study and is now the top choice; content management, and mobile.
The full report contains many more insights with much more depth and detail than can be described in a blog post. For a comprehensive discussion on all of the technology-industry insights download the full report today.