Marketing technology can help to improve decision making and performance, but many companies see web analytics, CRM and other tools as resource-intensive.
For example, 72% of companies believe that multichannel campaign management is resource intensive, which may explain why only 42% are using this.
Here are a few highlights from the survey of more than 900 business respondents in the US and Europe...
'Resource-intensive' marketing technologies
The chart below shows which marketing technologies companies are using, and the extent to which companies feel they are a drain on resources.
It's significant that, for several of the technologies mentioned, more respondents consider them to be resource-intensive than are actually using them.
The example of conversion and optimisation is an interesting one. Two thirds (68%) of respondents feel these tools are resource intensive, yet just 26% of companies are using MVT or A/B testing tools.
However, 48% of companies report that multivariate testing (MVT) has a positively impact on the bottom line, so there is clearly a case to be made for conversion optimisation. You'll also find plenty of advocates for conversion optimisation and tools such as MVT on this blog.
This suggests that vendors face a challenge to convince potential users that their technology can deliver ROI, and that an investment in time and resources is worth the effort.
Which marketing technologies does your business use and how resource-intensive are they?
For companies considering the use of marketing technology, it's important to make the most of investment in new tools.
This means that training needs to be valued and rewarded, so that staff have the skills to make the most of new tools. Also, there is little point in making an investment in tech without having the personnel and resources in place to take full advantage.
Getting senior management 'buy-in'
Many organisations are failing to supplement their technology spending with an adequate investment in strategic thinking and analysis. Unfortunately, you can't just typically plug in marketing technology and then sit back. Serious thinking and effort are needed to ensure that marketing tools are aligned with KPIs and business objectives.
Our 2011 Online Measurement and Strategy Report, carried out in association with Lynchpin, found that less than a quarter of organisations have a company-wide strategy in place that ties data collection and analysis to business objectives, while only 28% of respondents say that web analytics definitely drive actionable recommendations that make a difference to their organisation.
Making the most of marketing technology requires not only the resources to implement the technology, but also the will to act upon the insights it delivers. Even marketing automation technology, which is explicitly aimed at reducing workload, requires significant resourcing and work on processes before companies can reap a significant dividend.The attitude of senior managers is one reason many companies experience a gap between the potential offered by tech and the actual results it delivers.
Companies are as likely to disagree as agree with the statement that their executives understand the importance of marketing technology.
Do you agree or disagree with the statement “Our most senior executives understand importance of marketing technology”?
The fact that a particular marketing technology is resource-intensive should not be a barrier to its usage. Companies need to consider the total cost of ownership, without underestimating the time required internally. Investment in training and resources is paramount for getting value out of any given technology, but the effort and expense is typically worth it.