Branding a major challenge to ICT industry: AIIA

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Branding a major challenge to ICT industry: AIIA

The local ICT industry has flagged brand positioning as its primary marketing challenge in the year ahead.

The local ICT industry has flagged brand positioning as its primary marketing challenge in the year ahead.

That’s the finding of the Australian Information Industry Association’s (AIIA’s) inaugural Marketing Benchmarking Survey.

The report’s lead finding suggested that while the market was highly competitive, economic outlook and market restrictions were not obstacles to ICT companies gaining market share.

Rather, brand positioning was instead highlighted as their primary marketing challenge of the year.

Marketing itself was a major concern for local ICT companies, the survey found, with half of respondents ranking branding with increased competition and lead management as the top three challenges of 2006.

The survey also looked into the different approaches to marketing across a number of sectors and found that much of current ICT marketing efforts were focused on encouraging the customer to by specifically from a given organisation.

“Today, branding is not simply the focus of marketing and PR initiatives, but an integrated part of an ICT enterprise’s business strategy, customer relationship management focus and employee retention strategy,” the AIIA’s general manager marketing and business services, Kathryn Porritt, said in a statement.

Porritt said the current ICT marketing was focused on direct contact with the market in contrast to other sectors, which spent around 15 percent of budgets on supplementary tactics like events, trade shows and corporate hospitality.

“While marketers in many other industries assign a significant percentage of marketing expenditure to advertising, ICT marketers spend more of their marketing budgets on personal relationship building,” she said.

Customer retention and acquisition, increasing market share and measuring market results, were also focus points of the tech industry the survey found.

This suggested a strongly competitive market in which ICT companies were working with current products and an existing customer base, rather than focusing on developing new products or markets.

The Annual Benchmarking Survey would be used by AIIA member companies to develop marketing strategies and benchmark their activities against best practice in the industry, the AIIA said. The next survey is due in October.
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