It looks as though the havoc caused by the pandemic this year has not discouraged investment in marketing technology in 2021. A report from Ascend2 found that 7 in 10 marketing professionals anticipate that, in the year ahead, their budget for implementing new marketing technology will increase either significantly (19%) or moderately (50%).
The survey of 270 B2B and B2C marketing professionals shows that when considering new marketing technology, 9 in 10 (87%) agree that they find martech that consolidates multiple tools into a single platform appealing. Likewise, they either strongly agree (45%) or agree (44%) that it is essential for new martech to be easily implemented into their existing stack.
Ease of implementation is not the only consideration marketing professionals use when appraising new martech. When asked what their top considerations were when evaluating new marketing technology, more than half (55%) cited ease of use. Marketers also cited associated costs (37%), the ability to customize (36%), insights and analysis provided (35%) and the ability to automate (30%) as top considerations in their evaluation of new martech.
Somewhat surprisingly, fewer than 3 in 10 (28%) marketing professionals listed the ability to integrate new martech with their existing stack as a top consideration. This is somewhat contrary to a survey by Ascend2 fielded in January 2020 that found nearly half (46%) of marketers believed that systems integration was one of the most important features for implementing a martech stack.
Budgets Remain an Obstacle
Integration comes up again when looking at the challenges marketers have faced when implementing marketing technology. Some 28% say it is one of their top challenges. However, it ranks lower than other challenges that have presented themselves.
For example, despite the majority of marketers expecting to see some level of increase in their martech budget next year, budget constraints represented one of the top challenges faced in implementing marketing technology, as cited by 45% of respondents. This might be due, at least in part, to the pandemic. Chief Marketer found at the start of the pandemic that fewer than 1 in 10 marketers said that their martech budget was one of their top areas to receive additional funding in 2020.
A fair share of marketers also say that executing a strategy (43%) poses a challenge, while almost 4 in 10 have found determining the appropriate technologies (38%) and training staff (35%) to be obstacles.
Improving Efficiency a Top Goal
For half of the marketers surveyed, improving marketing efficiencies is considered one of the most important goals for implementing martech. And, as more companies are putting emphasis on a cohesive customer journey, 45% have made improving the customer journey a goal.
Other goals marketers hope to achieve with technology include improving data quality (38%), increasing ROI (31%), streamlining workflows (26%) and accommodating a new product or service (26%).
Lastly, when it comes to evaluating the performance of these technologies, while more than one-quarter (29%) undergo evaluations at least monthly, the largest share (43%) say they are doing so at least quarterly, but not monthly.
The full report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a November 2020 survey of 270 B2B and B2C marketing professionals from various company sizes.