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SharpSpringAscend2 Number of Tools Used by Marketers Oct2021

With a large majority of marketers asserting that marketing will be more technology-driven than it was before the pandemic, many companies are increasing their investment in new marketing technology. As it is, marketers are already using a multitude of marketing tools, with more than two-fifths (44%) of marketing professionals surveyed for a report [download page] from SharpSpring and Ascend2 saying they use 4 or more marketing tools to run and measure a campaign.

While marketers have set many priorities for their marketing campaigns, most surveyed for this report have set their sights on acquiring more customers (59%) and growing revenue (59%). Alongside these priorities, some respondents are also focused on building a strong brand (42%) and generating quality traffic and leads (32%).

Nevertheless, their digital marketing strategies are stifled by challenges such as generating quality leads (37%), attributing results to marketing (26%), generating enough leads (25%) and retaining customers (22%). Moreover, three-quarters (76%) of respondents say that the challenges they are facing have resulted in missed opportunities for revenue growth.

Is Technology the Problem?

Only 3 in 10 respondents say that a lack of tools or technology has prevented them from achieving success in the past. However, the report suggests that the marketing tools marketing teams are utilizing may not be quite up to par.

When asked to rank their current marketing tools (based on a scale of 1 to 10; 10 = highest rating) on how well they enable them to: use data between sales and marketing teams to manage and convert leads; track customer demographic, firmographic, and behavioral data across the entire lifecycle; achieve a single centralized view of the customer; and work with customer data seamlessly across all tools, the average score for each objective was a 6.

However, technology is not the only issue for marketers. Some 6 in 10 (59%) think they do not have the data they need to feel confident about which marketing campaigns are working. And, while research from Altimeter shows a lack of skills to operate martech has been a deterrent to using martech effectively, SharpSpring and Ascend2’s study suggests that marketers also lack the skills needed to personalize the customer experience. While a little more than half (52%) are able to personalize the customer experience based on demographic data, fewer have the skills to do so based on behavioral data (41%) or firmographic data (37%).

Areas of Improvement for Martech

Among the top areas where marketers feel the most improvement is needed for marketing tools are integration with technologies tools (27%) and sales and marketing alignment (25%). 

While companies have strived to align sales and marketing, it remains a challenge for digital marketing strategies. This report highlights that the integration of marketing and sales technology has room for improvement. Only 1 in 10 (11% of) respondents say their tech stack is fully integrated into a single platform. Instead, about half say their tech stack is either partially integrated with many siloed tools and data (29%) or is mostly standalone tools and data is manually integrated (22%).

The full report can be found here

About the Data: Findings are based on a July survey of 187 marketing professionals, 52% of whom are at companies with at least 50 employees.

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