Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Several years ago, Gartner gained notoriety for suggesting CMOs will be spending more than their IT counterparts on technology by 2017. Well, according to the research firm, that premise is set to come true, as marketers look to up spend on a host of capabilities across the martech stack.
In a research paper published in October, Gartner analysts reported marketing tech spending is on track to exceed CIO technology spend in 2017 as marketers increasingly gain responsibility for a number of customer touchpoints. The research firm noted CMO spending on technology in 2016 was 3.24 per cent of revenue in 2016, compared to the CIO’s tech budget of 3.4 per cent of revenue.
Marketing budgets were also found to be increasing for the third consecutive year, climbing to 12 per cent of company revenue, and one-quarter of marketing leaders surveyed expected their 2017 digital advertising budget to rise significantly.
In its latest report, Marketing Technology Survey 2016: How Marketers Use tech to Run, Grow and Transform Their Organisations, Gartner set out to discover how these dollars are being spent.
Across a survey of more than 200 US marketers, Gartner found basic capabilities are now in widespread use, such as Web analytics, Web content management and email marketing platforms. Just 20 per cent of marketers surveyed aren’t currently using these solutions, and about 60 per cent are fully deployed. Interestingly, email marketing platforms had the highest penetration rate in retail (83 per cent).
Intermediate capabilities reflected more specific variations around the marketing approach. As an example, Gartner highlighted digital marketing analytics, lead management and multi-channel campaign management platforms. Less than half of marketers are currently using this trio of solutions, but more than 70 per cent are committed to deployments.
Less prevalent are advanced capabilities, but they’re rapidly being adopted. This list includes multi-touch attribution (fully deployed by 21 per cent of respondents), dynamic creative optimisation (31 per cent), A/B testing (33 per cent), and tag management systems (33 per cent). In addition, nearly one-fifth of marketers have plans to roll out personalisation, customer data or mobile marketing analytics platforms in the next two years.
For the purpose of the report, Gartner looked at 29 types of martech across five major categories: Data and analytics solutions; Web operations solutions; content and customer experience solutions; advertising solutions; and direct marketing and marketing management solutions.
Gartner also found five vendors dominating the martech mix: Adobe, Oracle, Google, Salesforce and IBM. Combined, the five are supplying 36 per cent of the martech solutions in use, or 39 per cent of those deployed by enterprise marketers.
This doesn’t mean fragmentation or alternative solutions aren’t in the mix, however, and Gartner said more than 80 per cent of survey and customer insights technology deployments are being sourced from smaller vendors. Digital marketers are also often using multiple solutions per category. For instance, when it comes to marketing analytics, they’re averaging more than two platforms apiece.
The December Gartner report was based on a survey of 206 US marketers in September 2016, all of which had responsibility for making decisions or leading the selection of digital marketing technology strategies and activities and a mean annual revenue of US$5.2 billion.