Marketers are investing 70 per cent more on marketing automation software than last year, according to the latest State of Marketing Technology Report by Squiz, an Australian-based technology consultancy that drives digital transformation for clients.
However, despite heavier investments and swift uptake of the latest technologies, 52 per cent of marketers admit they still struggle to understand marketing automation.
The State of Marketing Technology Report is an annual pulse check on the evolving relationships and priorities of marketing and IT teams. This year, Squiz surveyed 654 marketing and IT professionals globally, with 453 from Australia and New Zealand.
The report shows marketers are often quick to jump at the latest technologies, though rarely invest enough time and planning into how the technology will be used, maintained, and measured post-purchase.
John-Paul Syriatowicz, Group CEO of Squiz, believes this sharp uptake in marketing technology platforms is indicative of the wider trend to digitally transform businesses.
“Every business has the opportunity to be truly disruptive or transformative by fundamentally changing a process, resource, or way of communicating to be digital,” Syriatowicz said.
The report also shows 80 per cent of marketers think their marketing technology platforms were less than 50 per cent integrated, with just three per cent identifying their systems as ‘totally integrated.’
While integrating all platforms and channels is still a struggle for marketers, it led as the most important digital goal for 28 per cent of respondents. This was followed by improving the 360-degree customer experience (26 per cent). Meanwhile, more traditional marketing priorities like demonstrating ROI, was down to just eight per cent.
“Customer experience will be at the core of business digital transformation. When marketers compare what they want their CX to be with the current reality, they usually find there is a gap between desired experience and reality,” added Syriatowicz.
“Through the process of getting into the mind of your consumer, you’ll uncover the real opportunities to compete for customer loyalty and advocacy.”
The State of Marketing Technology Report also reveals that across the board, 60 per cent of survey respondents identify Marketing Managers as the key stakeholders when purchasing new marketing software.
In a function that would typically be relegated to the IT team, this demonstrates the continual blurring of responsibilities between the marketing and IT departments, as cross-collaboration becomes a cornerstone of digital businesses.
“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.
“As customer satisfaction increasingly puts more pressure on the organisation as a whole, open communication between these two teams will become essential for success,” said Syriatowicz.
Other findings from the report include:
- 46 per cent of marketers described their relationship with IT as either ‘awesome’ or ‘collaborative’
- Investments in CRM technology increased by 26 per cent in comparison to 2015
- Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of all respondents indicated that purchases for marketing software should be equally drawn from both marketing and IT’s budget
- 15 per cent of respondents would describe their organisations’s digital strategy as ‘visionary’, down from 20 per cent in 2015
- One-quarter (25 per cent) of marketers do not use any type of CMS
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