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It’s not only a growing variety of digital marketing channels seeing more widespread adoption. Marketing technology and tools are also in abundance, with upwards of two-thirds of marketing leaders surveyed by Salesforce Research [download page] professing the use of anything from analytics to social listening tools and automation platforms.

In its latest State of Marketing report, examines the use of marketing technologies, finding that of 17 tracked, adoption is at about two-thirds of higher for all but one. In fact, marketers seem to be using, on average, upwards of 10 tools and technologies.

The most commonly-used tools and technologies are:

  • Marketing analytics/measurement tools (75% currently using, in apparent contrast to more limited usage in the US);
  • Customer relationship management (73%);
  • Email campaign management (73%);
  • Social publishing tools (72%); and
  • Content management (72%).

On the lower end of the adoption spectrum, though nevertheless close behind, sit marketing automation platforms (67%), social listening tools (67%), IoT/connected devices (66%), loyalty program platforms (66%) and lead nurturing and scoring tools (66%).

AI On the Rise

The least-used marketing technology is artificial intelligence (AI), though around half (51%) claim to already be using AI in their marketing efforts.

AI is the fastest-growing in terms of planned usage, however. Another 27% of respondents said they plan to use AI over the next 2 years. That tops all of the other tools specified, which ranged from 17-23% planning adoption, with email and analytics (among the most-used) on the lower end of planned usage and the Internet of Things on the higher end.

Were marketers to follow through on their artificial intelligence plans, adoption in marketing would jump by 53% over the next couple of years. In sum, almost 8 in 10 respondents are either using AI or plan to in the next 2 years. That would still put AI use behind the rest of the tools, but would nonetheless place it squarely in the mainstream.

For more data on how AI is being used in marketing, visit the following articles.

About the Data: The report is based on a survey conducted in April 2017 among 3,500 marketing leaders (manager or higher leadership role) in the US, Canada, Brazil, UK/Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Australia/New Zealand. Some 57% of respondents come from companies with 101-3,500 employees, while 16% come from companies with more than 3,500 employees.

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