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02 Apr 2019

Study: Half of marketers struggle with martech focused on personalization, optimization

Erica Sweeney (via Marketing Dive)
Dive Brief:
  • Marketers are adding to their marketing technology (martech) stack rapidly, with 39% saying they add new technology quarterly, 28% monthly and 33% semi-annually, annually or greater, according to Ascend2's new "Marketing Utilization Report," which was provided to Marketing Dive.
  • Fifty-three percent of marketers see marketing automation, email and CRM as the most effective types of martech, and 43% said marketing data, dashboards and analytics are. Social and search media marketing; content management system; optimization, personalization, testing; and experience/relationship marketing were cited by more than one-third of marketers as the most effective channels.
  • The most difficult types of maretch are applications used for optimization, personalization and testing, according to 50% of marketers. Forty percent find experience and relationship marketing to be the most difficult, followed by marketing data, dashboards and analytics at 39%. Increasing marketing ROI, improving marketing efficiency, attributing revenue to marketing and gaining the competitive advantage are the most challenges that marketers experience in a martech utilization strategy, but these are also some of the main objectives for martech.

Dive Insight:

Most marketers believe their martech utilization strategies are achieving desired goals, but the Ascend2 report highlights that reaching key objectives, in regards to everything from personalization to improving attribution and efficiency, remains an obstacle. More traditional digital channels, like email and CRM, also continue to be the martech offerings marketers are most comfortable with. 

Combining in-house and outsourced resources was ci

ted as the most effective method for improving the situation among respondents, and 63% of marketers will moderately increase their total budgets for martech, Ascend2 found. The report also underscores how personalization and smartly applying data remain a challenge for many in the industry despite the growing centrality of these functions in informing marketing.

Consumers are more frequently demanding relevant, customized experiences from brands, but 40% think messages only sometimes feel personal, according to Periscope by McKinsey research. At the same time, less than half of advertisers are comfortable in their ability to create insights from data

In line with the Ascend2 report, Gartner has previously forecast that more than two-thirds of CMOs will increase their marketing budgets in 2019 to accelerate innovation, but often miss the mark in tapping into martech's potential. Last year, marketing technology investments accounted for 29%of total marketing budgets, but CMOs only use 61% of their full martech capabilities, per Gartner.

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