In Hindsight, What Would Retail Marketers Do Differently to Maximize Their MarTech Investments?

March 12, 2019

If given the opportunity to do it all over again with marketing technology, there are at least a few things marketers would do differently to make it more effective. Coming top of that list, according to a report [download page] from Forrester and Listrak, is having set up a better strategy to measure the success of their technology, as cited by 6 in 10 retail and e-commerce marketers surveyed.

This scrutiny may at least come from the fact that martech now occupies a sizable and growing share of the CMO’s budget. As a result, one would expect that given the vast number of solutions available, marketers are looking to figure out what success they will achieve as a result of their investment – as highlighted by the 43% that said they would focus on business outcomes over functionality.

This is particularly true given the fact that implementing such technology requires skill and expertise to handle the task. Roughly half (49%) of the respondents said that if they could do things differently, they would set up a specialized or centralized team to manage the complexity of the marketing technology. This line of thinking is in line with how technology is advancing. CMOs are putting an emphasis on hiring people with martech expertise while, at the same time, marketing technology is evolving at a quicker rate than companies can use it.

With all this in mind, it seems wise that 46% of survey respondents said they would have had better discussions with their marketing technology vendors. But that doesn’t mean that efforts to please the CFO are the only factor – some 30% said that features and functionality were very important when they consider investing in marketing technology, a figure higher than the 22% who said the ability to improve business outcomes was important.

And when asked to just pick one option, features and functionality (51%) stood out as the factor with the greatest importance in the decision-making process, a proportion more than twice as high as business outcomes (20%). According to the paper, this chasing of the new and shiny is behind at least some poor performance that retailers have been seeing – especially as these same retailers feel that being better able to tie features to outcomes delivers better innovation (54%), revenue growth (48%), and improved customer satisfaction (44%), among other benefits.

About the Data: The report is based on a survey of 200 marketing and e-commerce decision makers working at retailers in the US and Canada.

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