Report: Martech is too expensive and still misunderstood

new report on Australian marketers and their use and adoption of marketing technology finds adoption and support but confusion still reigns

More than half of Australian marketers are dissatisfied with marketing technology and many find these platforms extremely expensive, a new report into the state of technology adoption locally has found.

The Techmap: Why Marketing Technology Matters 2016 report, commissioned by Engage Digital from GfK and supported by ADMA, found four in 10 marketers surveyed are somewhat satisfied with marketing technology, and just 19 per cent are either “very”or “extremely” satisfied. Satisfaction was correlated to seeing tangible and measurable results, such as increased traffic, sales conversions, and improved efficiencies, making case studies vital to demonstrating ROI.

The report also showed dissatisfaction often came as a result of the lack of integration between marketing technology components as well as across the wider organisation. Similarly, nearly 80 per cent of those surveyed are considering changing their marketing technology systems to consolidate in order to find better efficiencies and cost savings, with 58 per cent activating looking to do so in the next 12 months.

The relationship with vendors supplying technology solutions also played a role in how these technologies were perceived and dissatisfaction was evident where there was a breakdown in trust, the report stated.

Not surprisingly then, 51 per cent said they can assess the benefits of martech but find it difficult, and 11 per cent struggle to assess its worth at all.

The understanding of marketing technologies also varies significantly across different types of organisations and roles in Australia, proving there’s still a gap around education, training and proving the value of investments. One in four surveyed admitted they find martech confusing and half find it hard to differentiate between the different offerings available. Many also believed these technologies were expensive.

In addition, six in 10 participants believe marketers have to push for marketing technology with limited support in the business, and only 40 per cent agreed their senior management is embracing martech.

Of those being used, email marketing, CRM, marketing automation, social media marketing and content marketing are the most important. However, the report showed respondents over-indexing on mobile marketing, customer journey design, budgeting and planning and predictive/cognitive offers, which the report suggested showed these areas as opportunities for growth.

Despite these barriers, 79 per cent of those surveyed agreed they were passionate about marketing technology. Forty-one per cent of respondents claimed to be visionaries when it comes to martech, boasting an understanding of the current trends in marketing technologies but admitting they’re not using them as well as they could. Sixteen percent admitted to not having a great understanding of martech trends or to be using these technologies as well as they could.

Launching the report at ADMA Techmix today, Engage Digital managing partner, Jeff Clark, noted the integration issues highlighted in this year’s research echoed those of last year’s research by Engage Digital focused purely on marketing automation.

“I don’t think the future will be the same as we are at now,” he said. “We will start to think about how we’re going to solve that data integration situation, and move to agile technologies where systems are not holding your data but connecting to your other systems in a real-time fashion. And those systems will be built for marketers, not for IT as it is today.”

But Clark did suggest marketers another challenge is that marketers are still too focused on tactical execution. Of those who have taken up marketing technology, most are primarily focused on lead generation (74 per cent), new customer acquisition (71 per cent) and increasing conversion (57 per cent), and the report showed technology has proven vital in surviving changing market conditions and meeting customer expectations.

“We’re still focused on lead generation and customer acquisition as opposed to listening to what our customers want," Clark commented. "The focus for our respondents on single customer view, which is not a new concept, is nowhere near as high in the list as the customer acquisition piece.

“It could be because that single customer view used to be the responsibility of IT, whereas today it’s marketing’s role but we haven’t taken that up yet.”

Better targeting and increased personalisation was cited as the greatest benefit (52 per cent), following by better reporting and use of customer insights (47 per cent) and leveraging customer data more efficiently (46 per cent).

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