MarTech Now Up to 30% of North American Marketers’ Budgets

October 28, 2019

The global marketing technology market has increased by 22% year-on-year to reach an estimated $121.5 billion. And, at $65.9 billion (up from $52 billion in 2018), the combined spending in North America and the UK accounts for more than half (54.2%) of the global total, per new research by WARC and BDO.

While together these two markets account for a high concentration of the overall martech market, the largest growth this year can be seen in North America, where brands have allocated almost one-third (30%) of their budgets to martech, up from 24% share last year. Brands in the UK, however, have actually slightly decreased how much they allocate to martech, falling from 23% in 2018 to 22% in 2019.

In the North American market, the increase in martech budgets appears to come from outsourced marketing technology spend, which accounts for 14% share of budgets this year compared to 9% last year. According to the research, “a driver of the need for outsourcing marketing technology functions to agencies is a lack of expertise on the brand side, particularly in an era of rapidly diversifying technology and media options.”

Because of this growth in outsourced martech, there is a more even split in the North American markets between in-house and outsourced, where last year there appeared to be a shift towards in-housing.

(For the purposes of the report, marketing technology was defined as “a tool that you use to assist with marketing workflows; customer acquisition and retention; brand and communications; content and social; or data and analytics.”)

Although more than half (53%) of marketers across the globe say that they expect their martech budget to remain the same in the next year, some 43% believe their budgets will increase.

Despite the number of available martech solutions seeming to have plateaued after several years of steady growth, research from Ascend2 found that nearly two-fifths of marketers are adding to their martech stack on a quarterly basis. Indeed, WARC and BDO’s research finds that three-quarters (76%) of global marketers and an even larger percentage of North American marketers (85%) feel they do not have all the martech tools they need.

Data Skills and CX a Priority

A survey from Dun & Bradstreet found that executives are struggling with a skills gap that has hampered getting everything out of their data, while 3 in 10 marketers from an Econsultancy survey are staking their futures on data analysis skills. The majority of brands (68%) and agencies (83%) from WARC and BDO’s research also say they have seen an increased need for data skills fueled by the use of martech.

That being said, only 21% of brands identified data and strategy as a top priority, with 49% of them prioritizing creativity higher.

In addition, less than half of the brands surveyed say they are using martech to track customers between channels, even though nearly three-quarters (73%) say they believe they have the technology in place to optimize CX across most or all channels.

A further summary of findings can be viewed online here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of more than 750 brands and agencies in North America, UK, Europe and Asia-Pacific.


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