Any doubt that marketing is becoming a technology-powered discipline?
The ITSMA (Information Technology Services Marketing Association) shared results from their latest survey on marketing technology at a briefing outside of Boston earlier this week. The slide above shows the big picture result: today, 21% of B2B marketers believe that marketing technology is critical to deliver on marketing’s business objectives. But in 2 years, 60% expect marketing technology will be critical to that mission.
This survey was conducted with 87 marketing technology users, mostly ITSMA members. 86% were B2B only companies, 62% of the participants were director-level or above, and 53% of the participants were firms with over $1 billion revenues.
While acknowledging the increasing criticality of marketing technology, the survey also revealed many of the challenges that marketers are facing in adapting to this new tech-heavy environment: budget and skills, planning and process, and organizational barriers. Some of the key stats that participants reported on these difficulties:
- 64% feel underinvested in marketing technology
- 45% are unable to access marketing technology skills
- 35% lack resources for training and technology adoption
- 58% have cobbled their technology together without a strategy or plan
- 35% have inefficient processes, even with technology
- 66% have no documented IT policies or governance over marketing technology integration and interoperability
- 45% report poor data quality and/or organizational data silos
- 46% have a less than satisfactory relationship with IT
So clearly we have our work cut out for us.
But an encouraging result from the survey was the recognition marketing technology frontrunners — the subset of participants who rated their organizations as approaching “industry best practices” with their marketing technology initiatives — reported that they are outperforming their peers who were marketing technology followers on many dimensions:
In reviewing the practices that were associated with those marketing technology frontrunners, the ITSMA made the following recommendations to those who want to catch up with them:
- Foster a culture that values data and analytics as much as, if not more than, marketing’s creative legacy.
- Create a marketing technology strategy and plan.
- Up the ante and invest in technology, training, and adoption.
- Don’t skimp on process design and documentation.
- Reach out and collaborate with IT to define a marketing infrastructure roadmap.
Granted, those recommendations are easier said than done. But as five goals for marketing management to target, I agree that’s right on track.