Brands are getting better at integrating marketing technologies into their stacks. But they face hurdles -- especially in the areas of data management, analytics and attribution, according to Marketing Technology Trends, a study by Ascend2.
As in past studies, email marketing tools are rated as the easiest technology to implement. And paid search/ad tech is the second easiest. As in past surveys of this type, the goals and barriers did not exactly line up.
Ascend2 and its research partners surveyed 145 influencers last month.
The biggest strategic priority, cited by 65%, is increasing marketing ROI. Only 36% rank this as a challenging barrier. The biggest obstacle is integrating disparate systems, with 52% citing this challenge. Maybe that’s why only 30% see this as a strategic priority.
Improving marketing efficiency is listed as a priority by 57%, although only 28% feel it is a barrier. And attributing revenue to marketing, while pursued by 39%, is feared as an obstacle by 47%.
In addition, 26% apiece see organic search/SEO and social media marketing as barriers.
Despite the rash of breaches, improving data security is seen as a priority by only 14%. And 17% see it as a challenge.
Email, specified by 45%, is the third most-effective marketing technology. Content marketing is first, listed by 51%, and marketing analytics third, with 47%.
However, only 15% see email as a difficult technology to implement. In contrast, 56% are flummoxed by data management, 55% by analytics and 35% by content marketing.
Overall, 63% are working to implement the technology they need, and 19% have completed it. Another 15% are talking about it, and 3% are doing nothing.
How would these influencers describe their skill in implementing marketing technology? Only 6% are failing at it, while 58% say they are somewhat successful and 36% say they are very successful.
In general, 30% feel their tech effectiveness is greatly increasing, while 62% say they are moderately good at it and 6% admit they are becoming worse moderately. A mere 2% feel they are becoming significantly worse.
How are they implementing new technology? Of those polled, 49% are combining outsourced and in-house resources, 24% are outsourcing to a specialist, and 27% are using in-house resources only.