Report: Marketing automation major investment area yet marketers still don't get it

Latest Squiz State of ANZ Marketing Technology report also shows better collaboration between marketing and IT to achieve digital strategy goals

Marketers are ramping up investment into marketing automation software in 2016 yet half are still struggling to comprehend its impact.

According to new The State of ANZ Marketing Technology report by digital strategy vendor and consulting group, Squiz, marketers will invest 70 per cent more into marketing automation platforms this year, even though 52 per cent of marketers admit they still struggle to understand marketing automation solutions.

The report also found 80 per cent of marketers think their marketing technology platforms are less than 50 per cent integrated, and just 3 per cent said their systems were totally integrated. Other areas marketers feel they should better understand include customer experience (46 per cent) and content marketing (41 per cent).

Top marketing technologies currently being used by marketers are analytics (70 per cent), CMS (74 per cent), CRM (57 per cent) and search (50 per cent). Just 21 per cent of those surveyed were found to be using marketing automation.

Read more: Marketing automation lessons: What CMOs would do differently next time

Another interesting result from the report was the similarities and differences in priorities between marketing and IT respondents. Across the marketers, integration came up as the most important digital goal (28 per cent), followed by improving the 360-degree customer experience (26 per cent). Demonstrating ROI was down to 8 per cent.

For IT respondents, improving the 360-degree customer experience was by far the most important digital goal for 2016 (60 per cent), followed by integrating all platforms and channels (18 per cent).

Sixty per cent of people across the board also identified marketing managers as key stakeholders when purchasing new marketing software. This is despite the fact that 64 per cent of respondents believed such technologies should come out of both marketing and IT’s budgets.

“The end goal is becoming more and more the same for both the marketing and IT teams – customer experience. Siloed approaches will no longer get you to this end point,” Squiz group CEO, John-Paul Syriatowicz, said in response to the findings.

“As customer satisfaction increasingly puts more pressure on the organisation as a whole, open communication between these two teams will become essential for success.”

Just under half of marketers (46 per cent) described their relationship with IT as either ‘awesome’ or ‘collaborative’, compared with 55 per cent of IT respondents. This was a marked improvement compared to last year’s survey results, where the majority saw room for improvement in their relationship with their IT or marketing counterpart.

Overall, 15 per cent of respondents said they’d describe their organisation’s digital strategy as ‘visionary’, down from 20 per cent in 2015.

The greatest obstacle for both sides to achieving their digital goals was budget, followed by stakeholder buy-in.

The Squiz report was based on a survey of 645 marketing and IT professionals including 453 in Australia and New Zealand.

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