Marketers Are Using Less Than Half of Their MarTech Stacks’ Capabilities

October 24, 2022

The number of marketing technology solutions available to marketers continues to grow. But is it all a bit much? Recent surveys suggest that for many a marketer, the technology is overwhelming, and their stacks too complex. Now, new research from Gartner indicates that marketing technology leaders aren’t leveraging anywhere near the breadth of capabilities offered by their tech stacks.

In fact, Gartner has put a number on it. Based on a survey of 324 martech leaders, the firm finds that respondents are using just 42% of the capabilities available in their overall martech stacks. That’s significantly down from estimated 58% usage in 2020, a year in which marketers were forced to quickly accelerate their martech projects.

According to the study, the main culprits in this utilization drop are overlap among martech solutions, difficulty identifying and recruiting talent to drive adoption/utilization (an ongoing issue), and complexity/sprawl of the marketing technology ecosystem.

Despite this, Gartner reports that marketers are preparing their martech stacks for a cookieless future with new advertising technology and commerce capabilities. As such, many respondents are exploring or piloting technologies to support innovative and emerging marketing channels, from the metaverse to NFTs, streaming advertising and social commerce.

Among these channels, social commerce is the capability that the largest share (32%) of respondents have already deployed technology to support. With social commerce believed by some to be the top digital commerce channel of the future, and with adults in the US increasingly making purchases directly via social media, a further 58% of respondents to Gartner’s survey are exploring (28%) or piloting (30%) technology to support the delivery of social commerce, leaving just 1 in 10 with no plans to do so in the coming 12 months.

Meanwhile, although the metaverse has been met with a lukewarm reception among US consumers thus far, marketers clearly see a future they want to be a part of, with one-quarter (26% share) already deploying technology to support advertising within the metaverse and a further 62% either piloting (37%) or exploring (25%) technology to support this. There’s slightly less enthusiasm for technology to support issuing or selling branded NFTs (also not finding too much eagerness among the general public), but nonetheless almost 1 in 4 (24%) are deploying such tech and 59% are piloting (33%) or exploring (26%) it, with fewer than 1 in 5 (17%) lacking any plans to do so in the next 12 months.

Among other emerging advertising channels, marketers are throwing their weight behind technology to support the burgeoning streaming audio/podcast advertising market. As Americans spend more and more time with digital audio, and more tune in to podcasts, 1 in 4 marketers are deploying technology to support this form of advertising, and another three-quarters are piloting (40%) or exploring (26%) the use of such tech.

Furthermore, as TV ads return – on streaming services – close to 9 in 10 marketers are either deploying (24%), piloting (38%), or exploring (27%) technology to support streaming TV/CTV advertising.

Finally, while there isn’t quite as much movement towards in-game advertising or sponsorship, 84% are deploying, piloting, or exploring such tech.

For more, check out Gartner’s results here.

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