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ascend2-marketing-tech-strategy-effectiveness-oct2016Marketers’ utilization of marketing technologies – and the effectiveness of those technologies – appears to be significantly growing, according to new research [download page] from Ascend2 and its Research Partners. Almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents reported having all the tools they need, almost double the proportion (34%) from the last time Ascend2 fielded similar research.

In fact, 32% of respondents said that they not only have all the tools they need, but also fully utilize what they have. That’s a dramatic climb from just 9% in last year’s survey.

Confidence in the success of marketing technology strategies is also increasing: 30% classified themselves as “very successful,” almost double the 16% from the prior survey.

It’s worth noting that these changes may be due to the samples used in the surveys. In last year’s research, only 18% of respondents came from large companies (more than 500 employees), whereas almost half of this year’s respondents hail from companies that size. Moreover, three-quarters of the previous survey’s respondents were B2B-focused, compared to 47% in this latest edition.

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Increasing confidence may also be linked to better integration of marketing technologies. Lack of integrated marketing technology platforms has been blamed for struggles with omnichannel marketing, and research has shown that technology integration is a characteristic of top-performing marketing teams.

In the latest Ascend2 survey, 40% of respondents said that their available marketing technologies are extensively integrated, while just 5% said they are not integrated. That stands in stark contrast to the previous survey, in which respondents were almost equally as likely to say that marketing technologies were not at all integrated (22%) as extensively integrated (25%).

Interestingly, fewer marketers in this latest survey are using a combination of outsourced and in-house resources, instead choosing one or the other. That seems to align with recent research indicating that 59% of marketers expect to manage more of their martech in-house.

As a result of increased integration, this has dropped a little on the list of most significant barriers to success. Whereas the complexity of integrating technologies had been easily the biggest obstacle to marketing technology success, inadequate integration now places third on the list of hindrances, behind inadequate budgets and lack of an effective strategy.

Overall, 9 in 10 respondents believe that the effectiveness the marketing technology they use is either increasing significantly (31%) or marginally (59%).

About the Data: The Ascend2 data is based on a global survey of 261 marketing influencers fielded in October 2016. Some 47% count their primary marketing channel as B2B, with 31% focused on B2C and the remainder B2B and B2C equally. Almost half (45%) of respondents come from companies with more than 500 employees.

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