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ShapedBy Tech vs Creativity in Tech Marketing Aug2021The pandemic has driven many businesses to up their digital marketing transformation efforts, which, in turn, has increased the demand for digital content and creative output. Nevertheless, a report from Shaped By suggests that many marketing teams for tech organizations are emphasizing technology over creativity.

The survey of 200 marketers from leading tech companies in the US and UK found that half (49% of US respondents; 50% of UK respondents) feel that their organization’s marketing is dominated by technology. This is not too surprising considering the emphasis and investment being put into martech for businesses, in general. By comparison, only 23% of US respondents and 31% of UK respondents believe that their organization’s marketing is dominated instead by creativity.

Does this mean that businesses are pushing creativity to the side and, instead, putting more value in using technology to leverage data in order to improve processes such as gain insights into customer behaviors? The report suggests that, despite the emphasis US and UK companies are putting on technology, they do still value creativity. A majority of respondents from both countries (US: 69%; UK 63%) report that creativity in marketing is valued more by their organization than it was a year ago.

Emphasis on Technology Greater for Smaller Organizations

Although the share of organizations that appear to have put more value in creativity in marketing over the past year is about on par between the US and UK, there is a distinct gap when looking at company size. Some 93% of respondents from enterprise-level businesses say their organization values creativity in marketing more than they did a year ago, compared to only 54% of those from SMEs.

The gap is also evident when looking at what dominates marketing for these different sized companies. Some 6 in 10 (61% of) SME respondents say their organization’s marketing is dominated by technology, with a mere 23% saying it’s dominated by creativity. However, there is an even split among enterprise businesses that are dominated by technology (37%) and creativity (37%). (The remainder say their marketing is an equal mix of creativity and technology.)

In its analysis, Shaped By suggests that this difference exists because smaller businesses have limited resources and are under greater pressure to prove ROI from their expenditure on martech. At the same time, it’s thought that enterprise businesses are more mature in their use of martech. Indeed, data from Merkle shows that companies with higher revenue rated their ROI from their martech platforms higher than those with lower revenue.

What Does the Future Hold for Tech?

Looking ahead to the next 3 to 5 years, the largest share of marketers in both the US (46%) and UK (41%) foresee their organization’s marketing becoming even more dependent on technology. However, a larger share of UK respondents (37%) than US respondents (29%) believe there will be a greater dependence on creativity.

The gap looks to be widening between enterprise organizations and SMEs, with 51% of SMEs seeing their dependence on tech growing in the future, while only 22% of enterprises believe the same. Instead, half of the enterprise respondents see their marketing becoming more dependent on creativity.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 200 marketers from leading tech companies in the US and UK.

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