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Marketing is becoming more digital and because of this, it seems that technology is becoming an increasingly important part of our jobs. 

But is this true?  And if so, which technologies matter the most? 

Econsultancy, in association with IBM Marketing Cloud, surveyed over 400 marketers in Australia and New Zealand about marketing technology.

In the report, The Rise of Marketing Technologists, we investigate why marketing technology is so important, what technologies are getting more investment than others, and what we can expect for the year ahead.

The full report is packed with data and insight about the current state-of-play of marketing technology in the region, but to whet your appetite, here are three surprising findings from the survey.

1. Marketers are very upbeat about technology

In the survey, our respondents were overwhelmingly positive about technology's importance to modern-day marketing.

The vast majority of company (89%) and agency (90%) marketers agreed with the statement 'marketing technologists are becoming increasing vital to successful businesses'.

According to 81% company marketers, 'technology helps [our company] make better marketing decisions'.

The same ratio of agency marketers (81%) said this about their clients. In Australia and New Zealand, marketers are very pro-technology it seems.

But what about creativity?

The most obvious downside to a rise in marketing technology is that our jobs might become more about pushing buttons than being creative in our work.

To see what marketers in the region thought of this, we asked them whether 'technology is taking the creativity out of marketing'.

Again, surprisingly, only 18% of those from companies and 26% from agencies felt that this was the case. 

Marketers simply do not feel that technology is making their jobs less creative.

2. Companies invest more in marketing technologies that are easy-to-use

In order to find out why companies were investing in various marketing technologies, we listed 15 different systems and asked marketers to tell us, for each: 

  • Were they (or their clients) investing in it?
  • How difficult did they find it?
  • How critical was it to their business? 

We then graphed the responses as you can see below:

 

The graph, explained

The vertical access is for how hard the technology is to use. The more difficult-to-use, the higher it is on the chart.

The horizontal access is for how critical a technology is to business success. If it is more critical to business, then the technology appears more to the right.

The size of the circle corresponds with the amount of firms invested in the technology.  A bigger circle means that more companies and agency clients are invested in the technology.

What was interesting is that the large circles, meaning more investment, were more likely to be in the lower half of the graph, which meant they were easier to use. The smaller circles were more likely to be at the top, and considered harder to use.

Which makes sense as if a technology is hard to use, it may also be hard to convince the business to invest in it.

But what surprised us was that we didn't see the same variation in investment for how critical a technology was to the business.

That is, we would expect to see more critical technologies have bigger circles than less critical ones but, as you can see, this is not the case.

What this could mean, then, is that marketers will tend to invest in a non-critical technology as long as it is easy to use!

3. Marketing automation is the next big thing

Another surprise was that marketing attribution was considered 'critical' by only 29% of company marketers and 40% of agency clients. From all the hype, one might think that marketing automation had a bigger footprint.

But it seems that for our Australian and New Zealand peers, marketing automation just hasn't arrived - yet.

When we asked company marketers which technologies were they increasing their investment in over the next 12 months, 67% said marketing automation - more than any other technology.

Agencies concurred, with 70% saying that it would be an increasing investment for their clients.

It seems, then, that 2016 will be the year of marketing automation in Australia and New Zealand.

So for those in the region who are not yet looking at automation, it's time to get started!

Find out more

If you'd like to know more about the state of marketing technology in Australia and New Zealand, including:

  • How many companies are using marketing cloud solutions
  • What technologies are giving the best ROI
  • What other technologies are going to be big in 2016

then Econsultancy subscribers can download the report here.

And if you're not a subscriber, then you can find out more about subscriptions here!

Jeff Rajeck

Published 24 January, 2016 by Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck is the APAC Research Analyst for Econsultancy . You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.  

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