Marketers are using just 42 percent of the breadth of capabilities available in their martech stacks overall, down from 58 percent in 2020, according to a new Gartner survey.
“CMOs reported that they allocated a quarter of all their marketing spend budgets to marketing technologies in 2022,” said Benjamin Bloom, analyst vice president in Gartner’s marketing practice. “Despite the turbulent budgets of previous years and current economic headwinds, technology investments are top of mind for CMOs and proving their ROI is more crucial than ever. However, the challenges associated with underutilizing martech , as new business models and disrupted customer journeys are making it difficult for marketers to demonstrate the value of technology.”
The 16 percentage point drop in overall martech usage over the past two years can be attributed to a significant amount of overlap between marketing technology solutions (cited by 30 percent of respondents), difficulty identifying and recruiting talent for driving adoption (cited by 28 percent) and complexity/expansion of the marketing technology ecosystem (cited by 27 percent).
One of the tools identified by respondents as seeing high adoption is social commerce, with 62 percent of respondents saying they have implemented or plan to implement such technology (see Figure 1). Technology to support ad execution and measurement in audio and broadcast/connected TV (CTV) environments has also found a support base, with 65 percent of respondents exploring or testing associated technologies.
Figure 1. How Marketing Leaders Leverage Technology to Support Emerging Activities (% of Respondents)
Marketers also indicated interest in commercial activity within more emerging technologies, with 62 percent exploring or testing technology to support metaverse advertising and 59 percent exploring or testing technology to enable the creation of non-fungible tokens.
“The fact that marketers are already leveraging technology to support emerging activities underscores their desire to outsmart the competition and start controlling their own destinies in a world of more fallible identifiers,” said Bloom.
To maximize the value of martech investments, Gartner recommends that marketing leaders take the following steps:
- Incorporate marketing technology adoption and usage goals into team performance goals to minimize wasted investment.
- Manage the risk of costly investments in integrated packages, establish trade-offs to preserve bargaining power, and persistently validate vendors’ ability to support desired capabilities.
- Review approach to supporting customer journey orchestration with technology to ensure martech and IT collaborate across capability-focused delivery teams using an iterative approach.
- Avoid leaving investments in tools and technologies for social commerce, podcast advertising, and connected TV/over-the-top (OTT) streaming advertising in the hands of agencies or service providers by default. Look for long-term internal capability development around these tools and include them in martech roadmaps.