The martech landscape has rapidly expanded over the last few years, but are marketers adopting the latest tools?

Businesses plan to boost martech investment

According to the latest Walker Sands State of Martech report, two thirds (65%) of marketing organisations plan to increase their martech spend in the next year. However, it seems many are struggling to keep up. 

As MarketingTech reports, 63% of marketers feel the martech landscape has evolved at “light speed” over the last 12 months, but just 28% felt that their company’s use of marketing technologies had evolved at the same pace. 

But it seems that many no longer feel it is necessary to follow the latest martech trends, with marketers agreeing that it is “unrealistic and unhealthy” to add new products every month. Instead, they are looking to generate ROI by conducting regular reviews and adding tools when necessary. 

This could explain why over half of respondents revealed that they had no intention of implementing emerging tech such as AI, VR, IoT, and blockchain. Instead, marketers are investing in core solutions such as email marketing (54%), social media marketing (48%), content marketing (48%), customer relationship management (48%), and analytics (45%). 

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Content produces best ROI

In the B2B world, content marketing beats email when it comes to ROI. 

Research discussed by MediaPost found that 51% of marketers say content produces a good ROI. This was followed by email (47%), social media (42%), and paid search (32%). 

However, ROI is not the top business priority for the next 12 months. More than half (58%) are prioritising converting leads into customers, 45% want to improve website traffic, and a third (33%) cited proving ROI.

Whatever channel they’re using, marketers need to ensure they implement personalisation, as 58% say this will have the greatest impact on their marketing strategy over the next year. 

The top emerging trends that could sway their current marketing plans include artificial intelligence (45%), influencer marketing (45%), data protection and privacy (42%), account based targeting (38%), and chatbots (35%). 

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Two thirds of businesses advertise online

B2B buyers are increasingly going online to research and make purchases, but only two thirds (66%) of businesses currently advertise online.

Of those who do invest in online ads, nearly a quarter (24%) said their main goal for doing so was to increase sales and revenue, Small Business Trends reports. This was followed by improving brand recognition (18%), driving website traffic (16%), acquiring new leads (13%), and converting customers (11%). 

When it comes to their favourite online advertising channel, social media came out on top, cited by 86% of marketers. Meanwhile, 80% use display and banner ads and 66% opt for paid search.