Sunday, December 11, 2016

Marketers Believe They are Closing the Technology Gap

U.S. marketers are increasing their spending on marketing technologies, most say they have adopted best-of-breed solutions (as opposed to all-in-one technology suites from a single vendor), and most also say they are doing a pretty good job of extracting value from their marketing technology investments.

These are a few of the findings of the State of Marketing Technology 2017 study by Walker Sands Communications (with contributions by Scott Brinker). This study was based on an online survey of 335 U.S. marketers that was fielded during September and October 2016. Walker Sands conducted a similar survey last year, which makes some year-over-year comparisons possible. While the Walker Sands research didn't focus exclusively on B2B marketers, it's likely that many of the study findings will apply to B2B companies.

When Walker Sands surveyed marketers last year, many were frustrated with the state of marketing technology at their company. Only 50% of respondents said their company was investing the right amount in marketing technology, and only 58% said their technology was up-to-date and adequate.

This year, surveyed marketers were much more positive. Seventy-one percent of respondents now believe that their company is investing the right amount in martech, and 69% said their technology is up-to-date and sufficient to help them do their jobs more effectively.

This positive attitude is reflected in budget expectations for 2017. Fifty percent of respondents said they expect their company's martech budget to increase slightly in 2017, and another 20% said their company's martech budget would increase greatly next year.

Marketers also believe that they are now facing fewer obstacles when it comes to adopting marketing technologies. The table below shows how participants in the 2016 and 2017 studies responded when they were asked:  "What's holding your company back from implementing new marketing technology?"

Despite the progress, however, over half (56%) of the respondents in the latest survey still believe that the martech landscape is evolving faster than their companies' implementation and use of marketing technology tools.

Over the past few years, it's become clear that marketing success depends on the effective use of technology. The Walker Sands research indicates that most marketers are doing a better job of adopting new technology tools, even if they can't completely keep up with the pace of martech innovation.

Top image courtesy of Grzegorz Jereczek via Flickr CC.

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