Businesses worldwide are planning to spend more money on digital marketing over the next 18 months, according to The State of Martech 2022, a study released Tuesday by Clevertouch in partnership with the UK’s Southampton Business School.
Of the companies polled, 77% will allocate more budget to their digital marketing initiatives. And 70% are focusing on being a digital-first business, with U.S. companies more likely to do so.
Yet 47% overall feel overwhelmed by their technology, while 30% say they are not.
In addition, 71.3% have perceived a change in customer buying behavior. And they are struggling to cope with this -- especially in the U.S., where 73.2% say they have faced challenges, versus 62.8% in the U.K. and 50.3% in EMEA.
The study notes that “the U.S. is lagging behind the UK and EMEA in delivering these digital experiences that customers are now demanding.”
Despite that, North America is further ahead in its technology adoption due to the fact that “Salesforce, Adobe, Microsoft, and more are headquartered in the US. “
But European and UK marketers place greater emphasis on preference centers and responsible data management because of the tougher privacy laws, the study contends.
Meanwhile, firms are focusing more of their spend on technology than on people, by a ratio of 90% to 10%. This may be the wrong emphasis, given that 70% identify technical knowledge and skills as the biggest challenge in conducting multichannel campaigns.
Moreover, 69.1% outsource all their campaign delivery to an agency or consultancy. But many agencies are creative specialists and only touch martech platforms at an email and/or form level, the study states.
Of the marketers polled, 76% are using personalized, multi-touch email to communicate with customers. But 67% are taking a purely tactical approach to communications.
As for the technology they are using, Salesforce Marketing Cloud has been adopted by 63.5% across all regions. But many firms have more than one platform, and Adobe Experience Cloud also dominates.
In addition, Hubspot is adopted by 43.3% of all marketers, and almost 50% of B2B organizations.
On the B2C side, Marketo is utilized by 41% and Pardot by 36%. Marketo has its highest adoption in the U.S. at 43.1%, and Pardot is deployed by 30% in the UK.
Eloqua and Act-On have the lowest adoption rates, with Eloqua falling from a controlling market share, the study says.
Clevertouch and Southampton Business School surveyed 639 senior marketers across North America, Europe and the UK. The researchers required that 100% of the sample have a marketing automation or marketing cloud platform already implemented. In addition, the survey targeted enterprise and high-growth technology-led businesses.