Here’s a data point that my colleague Jake Sorofman noted in a blog post back in October that bears repeating:

“CMO spending on technology now rivals CIO spending … 3.24% of revenue in 2016 [compared] to the CIO’s tech budget of 3.4% of revenue… We called it right: Gartner’s now famous prediction about CMO tech spending is on track to come true” Yes, CMOs Will Likely Spend More on Technology than CIOs by 2017.

Roll around in that one for a while and ponder, if you will, the implications. IT and Marketing are very different animals. How so?

  • Different motivations. Marketers are constantly searching for an attention-grabbing, customer-delighting edge in a fiercely competitive market and they’ll look at any new tool that they think can get the job done. CIOs, in contrast, build stable, manageable, reliable and secure systems that keep the business running smoothly and at acceptable cost.
  • Different methods. CIOs have established processes, skills and experience finding, evaluating, piloting and launching new technology solutions. Marketers have historically relied on IT, but now it’s on them. Two-thirds of our survey respondents told us that the purchase of marketing technology is decided either entirely by marketing or by a marketing-led hybrid team.

So we – actually Andrew Frank and Anna Maria Virzi — set out on a journey to understand how marketers are executing on their martech strategy — deployment plans, adoption and usage, platforms versus best-of-breed, and ultimately where they plan to invest in the future. Our survey (subscription required) looked at 29 types of marketing technology across five major categories: Data and analytics solutions; web operations solutions; content and customer experience solutions; advertising solutions; and direct marketing and marketing management solutions.

Here are a few of the interesting nuggets:

  • Fragmented landscape ripe for consolidation. While there are still thousands of vendors in the martech/adtech space — Andrew Frank probably has the actual number if you feel like asking him – but the big five — Adobe, Google, IBM, Oracle and Salesforce — have the highest number of installations in place across nearly a quarter of the categories of martech in the survey. Collectively, they account for 36% of all reported installations. These vendors all have more than twice the number of reported installations as the next most widely used vendor in the study. However, some categories — mobile marketing analytics, data visualization, SEM/SEO tools, ad verification services, and retargeting — have no reported deployments completed or underway from the big five. Bottom line? This is still a bit of Wild West space, so buckle up!
  • Marketers are moving quickly from the basics to sophisticated tools. More than half of the respondents have deployed the martech staples — web analytics, web content management and email marketing top the list followed by survey/customer insight tools, data management platforms and content marketing platforms not far behind. The current action — those firms currently deploying or planning to do do – is  in digital marketing analytics, lead management and/or multichannel campaign management, where more than 70% are using or are committed to deployments. Bottom line? marketers are moving beyond the basics and into the detailed analytics and real-time experience management and that’s going to require an investment in new skills.
  • AdTech and Martech converge in the most advanced organizations. Advanced marketers use more specialized technologies that deliver improved insights and business results through increased data use. Many — multitouch attribution, dynamic creative optimization, demand-side platforms and ad verification services — have roots in advertising. They reflect the growing convergence of ad tech and martech, as well as the insourcing digital advertising functions once exclusively the domain of agencies.

For marketers, the technology decision-making process will become — if it hasn’t already – a ingrained discipline. While you know what you need to succeed in a competitive market from a marketing perspective, know that your IT team has the experience to help you build a stable, safe and extensible platform. They may even be able to help you save some money too!

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