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IT services marketing update for 2021

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IT services marketing should have an interesting year ahead. Analysts agree that the adaption of cloud computing will continue into 2021. No one will be surprised, the Cloud enables remote and mobile working, and shifts spending from capital to revenue. Although Europe is trailing North America and Asia Pacific due to the tougher regulatory environment in Europe, a large proportion of enterprise customers in Europe will increase their spend on cloud services in 2021.

Analysts agree on more cloud adoption

The increases are large. IDC’s analysts predict that Europe’s cloud computing spend will increase by 27%. European enterprises tend to prefer private clouds to the public options. They will be investing in cloud infrastructure, IT security and IT training. Key projects are likely to be in CRM, ERM, and Big Data. Forrester also agrees that the Pandemic has validated the cloud computing trend, and that the spend on cloud services will accelerate to hypergrowth in 2021. See their blog here.

Meanwhile CRN reported that 50 new partners join AWS every day, with MS Azure and Google Cloud competing hard for market share.

IT market experts Context expect the remote working trend to continue, but with a lower spend on IT networks, although projects delayed by Covid-19 should resume as vaccination programmes rebuild business confidence and the economy recovers. They agree that cloud solutions will overtake on-premises solutions and that enterprises will step up IT security as employees increasingly work from home.

Mobile computing demand to stay

Mobile working boosted demand for laptops and revived the PC market in 2020. As people rushed to equip their home offices, the demand for notebooks outstripped supply. Demand should stay strong, especially in the enterprise and education sectors, if there are no more issues with supply. See Context’s press release reporting double digit sales growth  here. PCs are considered a higher priority than IT infrastructure.

Marketing challenges?

Covid created its own challenges for marketing last year. Many UK companies had to furlough their marketing specialists. It stretched their marketing resources to the limit and increased the pressure on those remaining in the office. Even with MS Teams and Zoom, remote working has changed the daily office routine significantly. It can be lonely working from home, and collaboration with colleagues and suppliers may not be as simple as before.

The challenges for IT services marketing managers will be to facilitate sales growth and retain customers at the same time. This means that their focus will be on leads generation for customer acquisition and on customer retention at the same time. This means they will need one overall strategy for an enhanced customer experience all round.

Priorities for IT services marketing

Digital commerce and digital marketing remained strong during the Pandemic and lock-down periods of 2020. There was little choice, it was the main marketing channel available.

For 2021, analysts predict that marketing departments will increase their spend on digital advertising, webinars, email marketing, mobile, paid search, website, SEO and social media. This should apply to IT services marketing too. Websites are central to all marketing. They are increasingly replacing the old B2B sales conversations which means that new contacts are already well-informed when they make their first approach to a business.

Analysts predict that the greatest increases in marketing investment will fall in two areas: website development (12%) and content marketing (18%). With no real-world trade shows or conferences taking place in the short term, companies could be investing as much as 80% of their entire marketing budget in digital this year. PR embraces both print and digital media, and we expect the marketing spend on PR to remain stable into 2021.

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