• October 6, 2022

Marketers Use Just 42 Percent of Technology's Capabilities

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 survey by Gartner.

"CMOs reported allocating a quarter of their entire marketing expense budgets to marketing technologies in 2022," said Benjamin Bloom, a vice president analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice. "Despite turbulent budgets in previous years and current economic headwinds, tech investments are a priority for CMOs, and proving their ROI is more crucial than ever. Yet the challenges associated with martech underutilization, such as new business models and disrupted customer journeys, are making it difficult for marketers to demonstrate technology's value."

The 16 percentage point drop in overall martech use in the past two years can be attributed to a significant amount of overlap among marketing technology solutions (cited by 30 percent of respondents), difficulty identifying and recruiting talent to drive adoption (cited by 28 percent), and complexity/sprawl of the marketing technology ecosystem (cited by 27 percent).

One of the tools identified by survey respondents as seeing a lot of adoption is social commerce, with 62 percent of respondents saying they have deployed or plan to deploy such technology (see Figure 1). Technology to support advertising execution and measurement in audio and streaming/connected TV (CTV) environments has also found a base of support, with 65 percent of respondents exploring or piloting associated technologies.

Figure 1. How Marketing Leaders Are Leveraging Technology to Support Emerging Activities (% of Respondents)

Marketers also indicated interest in commercial activity within more emerging technologies, with 62 percent exploring or piloting technology to support metaverse advertising and 59 percent exploring or piloting technology to enable creation of non-fungible tokens.

"The fact that marketers are already leveraging technology to support emerging activities underscores their desire to outfox the competition and get a head start on controlling their own destinies in a world of more fallible identifiers," Bloom said.

To maximize the value of martech investments, Gartner recommends marketing leaders take the following actions:

  • Infuse marketing technology adoption and usage goals into team performance objectives to minimize wasted investments.
  • Manage the risk of expensive integrated suite investments, establishing alternatives to preserve negotiation leverage and persistently validate vendors' ability to support desired capabilities.
  • Review the approach to supporting customer journey orchestration with technology to ensure that martech and IT collaborate through 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 to agencies or service providers by default. Pursue long-term in-house capability development around these tools and include them in martech roadmaps.

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