Most marketers today are working on implementing necessary marketing technologies at their organization, according to a new Ascend2 report [download page], which finds that their martech strategies revolve primarily around increasing ROI and improving marketing efficiency. But while marketers are confident that their strategies will put them on the path to success, they are facing several barriers.
The 145 marketing influencers surveyed – of whom 80% were primarily B2B-focused (63%) or equally focused on B2B and B2C (17%) – said that the biggest barrier to marketing technology success is integrating disparate systems. A new study from Econsultancy and Sitecore also finds challenges in this area, with close to half of respondents saying that their understanding of the costs of connecting disparate systems is “poor.”
Beyond the strategic difficulties inherent in integrating various systems – which has long been a problem in this area – the Ascend2 report also identifies certain specific technologies which are proving more difficult to implement than others.
There are two that stand out among the rest as being among the most difficult to implement, each cited by more than half of the respondents. One is data management (56%), and the other is marketing analytics (55%).
The struggles to implement marketing analytics technologies in particular are concerning as these tools are considered more effective by respondents than data management solutions.
But B2B firms seem to be having a more difficult time implementing analytics than their B2C counterparts. Consider that in the most recent edition of The CMO Survey, B2B firms estimated using analytics in fewer than one-third of their decisions, compared to being used in more than 4 in 10 decisions for B2C companies. CMOs responding to that survey [pdf] (B2B and B2C combined) said that the biggest factors preventing them from using analytics more often in decision-making were a lack of process/tools to measure success through analytics and a lack of people who can link analytics to marketing practice.
Meanwhile, the most effective marketing technology to implement, according to the Ascend2 survey? Content marketing, by a narrow margin over analytics, followed closely by email marketing.