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Press Release

Two-Thirds of Enterprise Conferencing Deployments Fail to Reduce Travel Spend

Main Reasons Include Lack of Coordinated Travel Policies, Training

May 18, 2012, Washington, DC – While interest in video- and web-conferencing as travel alternatives continues to grow, only 30% of corporate travel departments report actually reducing travel expense in the year following a major conferencing technology deployment. This was the finding of a global survey of 200 corporate travel managers conducted in early 2012 by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) in collaboration with Kotler Marketing Group.

The survey found interest and investment in conferencing technologies both remain strong:

  • Penetration of all conferencing technologies – from web-conferencing to video-conferencing, and web-cams to telepresence – has increased since 2009, the study found.
  • Furthermore, travel managers are still attracted to the cost-saving potential of these technologies. To hit their 2012 cost-containment targets, 54% will rely more on the use of electronic travel alternatives.

Yet when asked about their largest deployment of electronic travel alternatives to-date, less than a third of travel managers said they were able to reduce overall travel spend in the first year of deployment.

The results are only marginally better for internal travel. This category of travel includes team meetings and internal trainings, and is often the primary target for substituting with electronic travel alternatives. Yet only half of travel managers reported reducing annual internal travel spend following their conferencing deployments.

So what accounts for this widespread failure to realize travel savings? The study looked at more than 20 company characteristics including conferencing technologies deployed, travel patterns, and managerial practices. While some factors, such as company growth, are out of the control of travel and IT managers, the study found that the biggest impacts came from factors well within managerial control. It found that the biggest drivers of travel spend reduction following conferencing deployment lie in three areas:

  • Demand-management policies;
  • Organizational and leadership issues; and
  • User training approaches.

But these success factors are often neglected. For example, the study found a pervasive lack of coordination between IT and travel departments. This is illustrated by the fact that most travel managers have no involvement in managing conferencing technology’s use as a replacement for travel.

“We often see companies build their business case for conferencing on travel savings,” noted Reuben Silvers, a study co-author and Kotler Marketing Group Practice Lead. “These ‘hard savings’ somehow seem more predictable to many managers. But our survey found that if they don’t have their managerial ducks in a row, the real-world travel savings are likely to disappoint.”

On the other hand, the study provides compelling evidence that conferencing technology can and does meet expectations for reducing corporate travel spend when it is introduced in tandem with training, internal communication and supporting travel policy.

Among those seeing travel spend reductions savings of 20% were not uncommon. With corporate travel budgets often running into the tens of millions of dollars, the payoff is huge for firms that figure out how to effectively use conferencing technologies as travel alternatives.

Further details about the study including purchase information are available at

About ACTE
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) represents the global business travel industry through its international advocacy efforts, executive level educational programs, and independent industry research. ACTE's membership consists of senior travel industry executives from 82 countries representing the €463 billion business travel industry. Our members serve more than 12 million business travellers worldwide. With the support of sponsors from every major segment of the business travel industry, ACTE develops and delivers educational programs in key business centers throughout the world. ACTE has representation in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and the United States. For more information on ACTE, please go to

About Kotler Marketing Group
Kotler Marketing Group is a global consulting, research and training firm, specializing in solving sales and marketing challenges. Our philosophy is based on the work of Philip Kotler, the world's leading strategic marketer. For more on Kotler Marketing Group, please go to

For more information, contact:

Reuben Silvers
Practice Lead
Kotler Marketing Group
Phone: 202-331-0555




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