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The most important goal of a marketing technology strategy is to increase marketing ROI, according to a new report [download page] from Ascend2 and its Research Partners. But how long should it take from implementation to return? For about two-thirds of survey respondents, a reasonable limit is 6 months.

The survey – fielded among 232 marketers with a B2B skew – found that one-quarter are impatient for results. These marketers feel that a reasonable time-frame from implementation to return on investment is under 3 months.

While not all agree, virtually all (93%) feel that their marketing technology investments should start to produce ROI within a year of implementation.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that estimating the ongoing costs and ROI of technologies is a common step taken by marketers before beginning the buying process, per recent research from Target Marketing.

Which MarTech Functions Will Produce ROI?

When it comes to the technology-driven marketing functions most likely to increase ROI, marketers point most to analytics or predictive modeling. While there are indications that organizational use of analytics remains immature (see the global view here and the US view here), analytics are perceived to help in determining the marketing channels providing the best ROI.

Predictive modeling, for its part, is proving very effective for conversion rate optimization and tends to be used more by digitally mature organizations. It’s also an area of growing investment for Salesforce users.

MarTech Investments Successful; Spending to Rise

On an encouraging note, marketers responding to Ascend2’s survey seem generally pleased with the results of their marketing technology strategies.

Overall, roughly half (52%) describe their strategy as “very successful” at achieving important objectives, while another 40% describe it as “somewhat successful.” That leaves just 8% somewhat disappointed with their results.

Moreover, virtually all say that ROI is increasing significantly (52%) or marginally (45%) as a result of their marketing technology investments.

Likely as a result of this success, survey respondents are enthusiastic about their future spending plans. More than 8 in 10 predict that their marketing technology budget will increase significantly (43%) or marginally (51%) in the coming year.

Research that companies are becoming more confident that they’re investing the right amount in marketing technology and that their tools are up to date and sufficient for their work.

Even so, budget availability continues to be the biggest challenge to acquiring new marketing technology, according to Ascend2’s report. On a more positive note, marketers don’t seem to be lacking executive support for their technology investments.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 232 marketing influencers around the world, 41% of whom are from companies with more than 500 employees. Some 52% count B2B as their primary marketing channel, while 27% are B2C-focused and the remaining 21% equally B2B- and B2C-focused.

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