Report: Marketers struggle to keep up with new technology

Industry professionals are always seeking ways to make their jobs easier and more efficient—but most report having trouble keeping pace with cutting-edge innovations.

Marketing tech overload

How often do you add new tools to your marketing arsenal?

In a new report from Walker Sands, a Chicago-based business-to-business PR and digital marketing agency, marketers reported having trouble keeping up with all the new tools and technology that are available for communicators.

The report surveyed 300 marketing professionals during the first quarter of 2018. The results show that the marketing landscape has changed drastically in the last several years and that marketers are struggling to stay on the ball.

Twenty-eight percent of respondents say marketing organizations have a hard time keeping up with new technology. Though 63 percent say the marketing technology landscape has rapidly changed, only 28 percent say their organizations have kept pace.

Yet there is plenty of interest among marketers for new tools.

Marketers want to tinker, with 52 percent rejecting the “set it and forget it” philosophy and 65 percent planning to increase their spending on marketing solutions. Some plan on changing their marketing stack more frequently than others.

Most marketers will revisit their tools one or two times a year. Roughly a quarter of respondents plan on reevaluating their setup once a year, and another quarter plan on revisiting their tools every six months.

Marketers report an increased reliance on marketing technology to achieve organizational goals with 37 percent reporting a steady increase and another 20 percent reporting a rapid increase. However, most see a lack of organizational flexibility when adopting new solutions. Only 15 percent describe their organizations as highly agile when bringing on new technology.

There appears to be plenty of room to grow for PR pros and marketers when it comes to adopting many technology advances. Only 11 percent report having fully implemented machine learning or artificial intelligence solutions; the number decreases when it comes to chatbots (9 percent) and blockchain (8 percent).

However, some communicators might still need convincing that new technology has something to offer them. Fifty-eight percent of respondents report no plans to implement virtual reality or augmented reality technology, with similar numbers of skeptics staying away from chatbots (51 percent), machine learning and AI (52 percent), blockchain (58 percent) and Internet of Things (44 percent).

The report suggests that marketing solution vendors should spend more time investigating their customers’ needs.

It asserts:

To win over prospects, it’s important to better understand their needs. Acknowledge the work that goes into adopting new technologies and treat early implementation and training stages as opportunities to extend your relationships with customers. Specifically, you should hear direct from marketing professionals about their current use of martech, as well as their plans for the future.

For marketers and communicators, the study suggests a more strategic approach to selecting new technology.

It continues:

Although it’s tempting to make the easy purchasing decision, it’s always worth the effort to reflect on your ideal customer journey and let that insight guide your martech selection process.Journey mapping helps evaluate technology choices through the lens of which purchases offer the capabilities to best delight your customers. Compare the touchpoints you currently support with those your customers want to have. You should also learn what users are trying to accomplish with each interaction.

How are you using new marketing technology?

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