The martech divide: How much should you invest in tech versus marketing talent?

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

What does your organisation prefer: talent, or tech? According to a new report the majority of companies say marketing talent is more important – but they’re not putting their money where their mouth is.

The study, The State of Martech 2020/21 by Clevertouch Marketing, polled 200 senior marketers across the UK, US and EMEA. Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents said talent was more essential than technology, but more than half (53%) said they spent more money on their stack. Alongside this, only 28% of those polled said their in-house talent and tech was trained and working well.

The coming 12 months are set to be difficult as the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Seven in 10 (69%) marketers polled said they expect to have fewer resources available to them in 2021. Yet current tools are not providing a good enough insight into marketing teams’ effectiveness. Less than a third of respondents (30%) believed their use of martech completely aligned to their marketing strategy.

Clevertouch argued that ‘it is perhaps unsurprising to see a lack of cohesion and alignment in resources and processes moving into the new year.’

The need for greater martech utilisation going forward, however, is apparent. 84% of marketers polled said they either already prioritised marketing technology, or have more appetite to use it across the business going into 2021. In spite of the percentage of marketers looking to do more with less, 77% of respondents said they will be increasing their investment in martech services over the next 12 months.

Ultimately, around half of participants said they were either not passionate about martech or actively disliked it – one in five described it as an ‘unnecessary evil that we have to try and embrace.’ For Clevertouch, their goal is evidently to advocate martech and convert the naysayers.

“The immediate and exponential success and growth of marketing technology as an industry, fast replacing traditional marketing processes, may be partly to blame for the negativity towards it,” the report noted. “However, martech does not signal the end of marketing; rather, the advent of a new, modern marketers that embraces technology to support their overall marketing strategy, rather than to be led by the technology itself.”

You can read the full report here (56 pages, email required).

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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