As the number of martech solutions available grows to almost 10,000, close to half (47%) of marketers agree that they are overwhelmed with technology, according to a report [download page] from Clevertouch. This is most acutely felt by marketers in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, whereas those in the US appear to be less overwhelmed.
The authors note that marketers recognize the value of marketing technology, such that their feeling of being overwhelmed could owe more to a lack of skills than to dissatisfaction with the solutions themselves. Indeed, skills gap continues to plague martech capabilities, and elsewhere in Clevertouch’s report, 90% of respondents said they will focus their investments in technology as opposed to the 10% who will focus on talent management and organizational development. This skew towards tech over talent acquisition is likely why ease of use is commonly seen as critical for marketers when considering new platforms.
Faced with talent gaps, more than two-thirds of respondents are outsourcing all of their campaign delivery to an agency/consultancy, and more than 1 in 5 have started to keep less of their campaign delivery in-house over the past year. That’s the result of 7 in 10 saying that the technical knowledge and skills required to execute campaigns is their biggest challenge in executing multi-channel campaigns.
Acquire or Integrate?
As martech spending shows no signs of slowing and marketers make changes to their stacks, the Clevertouch report reveals that almost 7 in 10 (69% of) respondents will be buying more martech platforms over the coming year. An illustrative data point regarding purchase plans is that even among the 30% of marketers who report not being able to fully utilize their martech stacks, about one-third (34%) will buy more martech in the coming year.
And while research has found that more than 8 in 10 (83% of) marketing leaders from across the world believe their work will be more technology-driven after the pandemic than before, almost half (44%) in this latest study admit that they have martech platforms that have largely gone unused during the pandemic. Indeed, only 1 in 3 have used all of their platforms over the past 18 months.
Despite the apparent rush to acquire new platforms, there are other results in the report that suggest marketers will be also focusing on making better use of their existing technologies. Overall, while 20.8% of respondents said they will prioritize acquiring new technology, a larger portion (30.3%) will prioritize integrating existing marketing technologies over acquiring new ones. For the remaining half (48.8%), the focus will be equally be divided on acquiring new technology and integrating existing tools.
Problems with integration are having a big impact on the struggle to prove marketing’s ROI. Separately, marketing technology integration was cited as the top challenge faced in demonstrating ROI, with 29.9% of respondents pointing to this as their leading challenge. That outweighed other challenges including poor reporting and accountability (22.5% share), sales and marketing misalignment (17.6%) and lack of opportunity management within CRM (15.7%).
For more, download the report here.
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 639 senior marketers across North America, Europe and the UK. The survey required all respondents to have a Marketing Automation or Marketing Cloud platform already implemented, and was targeted to Enterprise and high-growth technology-led businesses.