The share of worldwide corporate IT spending coming from business units outside of IT will reach 47% in 2019 according to research firm, IDC. How will this affect specialist technology PR agencies and the work they do?
IDC’s data underlines the changes that many of us who work in and around IT have been witnessing over the last decade. The cloud, mobility, big data, and social media are becoming so core to the success of the business that IT departments – who have traditionally controlled technology initiatives and budgets – are losing some of their influence to other parts of the business.
According to IDC, the areas with the fastest growing spend on technology are Marketing (with a 6.4% compound annual growth rate) followed by Security and Risk (6.0%), and Customer Service (4.8%).
To my mind this is changing things for technology PRs and their clients in a number of ways…
1 The days of focusing on corporate IT media are coming to an end
The most obvious change is that clients will want any PR team they’re working with to demonstrate they really know how to target the mainstream business decision makers who now have a bigger say in what IT is bought in. To some extent tech PRs have always targeted business influencers through mainstream business and vertical media. But the lion’s share of their effort has generally been focused on the IT department and the corporate IT media that targets it. Now the balance is definitely shifting the other way.
2 We’ll see an overall improvement in the quality of tech PR content
In trying to target non-technical business audiences, PRs will have to work harder to come up with stronger content ideas and make whatever they produce easier to understand. In doing this I believe we’ll raise the overall level of quality, producing content that is more compelling all round – both for business and technical IT decision makers.
3 Tech PR agencies will face greater competition from non-tech agencies.
Corporate PR agencies who haven’t focused on technology will see an opportunity to take some business away from the tech PR agencies. If they can show a potential client that they have the contacts and expertise to target the right line of business, then why wouldn’t they be in the running?
4 There’ll be more opportunities for tech PRs to specialise
With some non-IT business units being so influential in tech spending, there will be opportunities for existing tech PR agencies to specialise further in technology that’s focused around specific business areas. For instance at CloudNine PR we’re growing our experience in in ad-tech and marketing technology.