Marketers are daunted by the pace of change in technology, and only 28% feel they are keeping up with it, according to Maximizing the Value Of Martech Innovations, a study by Walker Sands Communications.
Still, 65% expect to increase their martech spend next year, with 48% planning slight hikes and 17% planning greater increases. Another 30% say their budgets will remain the same, and 5% foresee a decrease in budgets.
Last year, 47% agreed they were spending enough on martech. This year, that number has risen to 50%. But only 13% strongly agree, down from 24% in 2017.
The most widely used core solution in the martech stack is email marketing — cited by 54%. Email beats content marketing (48%), and CRM (46%) and analytics (45%).
But of the email marketing users, only 32% are pursuing experimentation (best of breed solutions), compared with 34% overall.
The study also shows that a mere 11% have fully implemented artificial intelligence /machine learning. But 12% have partially done so and 17% are getting started. Still, 52% don’t have it at all.
Blockchain is used by even fewer. Eight percent say they have fully put it in place, and 9% say it is partially in place.
The most popular new technology seems to be the Internet of Things. Twenty-six percent have implemented it, a number that is split among those who have fully completed the process and those who have only made partial progress. Another 44% have not embraced it.
Almost half of the respondents review their stacks holistically once a year or every six months, while 11% do so weekly and 17% monthly.
In addition, 26% add new tools every six months, and 27% once a year. But 13% add them every moth. Only 10% never install any.
Are the companies agile? Some 61% feel they are, and only 15% say they are very advanced.
With regard to job security, 39% worry about being replaced by technology, and 11% are strongly concerned. The remainder disagree.
Is there a perfect stack? Some 69% say no. The other answers are immodest: 16% answer “yes, because our company has it,” and 15% say “Yes, because I’ve envisioned it.”
Walker Sands surveyed 300 marketing professionals in first-quarter 2018.