Two-thirds (68%) of marketers and brand professionals expect to increase the number of marketing technology providers their brand uses this year, with Marketing (31.4%) and IT (30.4%) jointly considered the most responsible for driving martech adoption. That said, a report from Bynder and OnBrand reveals that there are some trends and emerging technologies that marketers feel are overhyped.
Presented with a list of 5 trends or technologies and asked which they think is the most overhyped, more than one-quarter (26.8% share) of respondents cited chatbots. This feeling may not be unfounded. Previous research has found that consumers have been slow to adopt chatbots as a communication channel, opting instead for other such as email, online chat and the old-fashioned phone call as a means to communicate with brands. Added to that, while many businesses believe chatbots simplify customer service issues, they also acknowledge that chatbots still need to improve before customers will use them on a regular basis.
Podcasts seem to be on the lips of many advertisers, especially since podcast ads have proven to retain a higher level of attention than other channels, and about one-quarter of consumers claim to have gone on to make a purchase after hearing an ad during a podcast. However, some marketers may be weary of hearing about podcasts: 22.8% share of marketers surveyed for the Bynder/OnBrand report consider podcasts to be the most overhyped trend identified. These findings come on the heels of research from Westwood One, which found that podcast listeners are becoming less receptive to advertising during podcasts.
On almost equal footing with podcasts in the overhyped category is artificial intelligence (AI), cited by 22.5% share of respondents. Indeed, much has been written about AI though its deployment remains in its infancy.
In comparison with chatbots, podcasts and AI, fewer respondents pointed to account-based marketing (16.2% share) and purpose-centered branding (11.7% share) as being the most overhyped technologies or trends, suggesting that respondents see real value in these.
Challenges of MarTech
Hype aside, marketing and brand professionals are facing challenges as marketing becomes more technology-oriented. When asked to name their single biggest obstacle, the largest share of the more than 1,000 respondents surveyed said it was skill gaps in the marketing team (21.1%). This, coupled with data overload (the largest challenge for 19.5%), has led CMOs to cite data and analytics skills as not only one of the most needed skill sets, but also the most difficult to find.
Last year ChiefMarTec.com added more than 200 martech solutions to its annual list which, at that point, exceeded 7,000 solutions. The influx of martech, which appears to be leveling off, has led 18% share of respondents to this new report to say their biggest challenge is that there are too many technology options to choose from.
The Impact of AI and Automation
Despite AI being considered one of the most overhyped technologies, more than 1 in 5 (23.8%) believe that AI and automation has the potential to positively impact branding efforts. Nonetheless, other respondents say that branding cannot be automated (20.7%) and many feel that AI and automation will negatively impact branding by producing less brand differentiation (22.3% share), eliminating jobs (20.4%) and diminishing creativity (12.8%).
That said, about one-third (32% share) say that creating content more efficiently and faster is the best use of automation for marketing and branding purposes, while others feel that automation is best used to enable data-driven creative decision-making (27% share).
To read more, the full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 1,003 marketing and branding professionals from a range of disciplines and industries.