How Far Along Is B2B Marketing Tech Adoption? - eMarketer

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How Far Along Is B2B Marketing Tech Adoption?

B2B marketers acknowledge tech’s potential, but room for advancement remains

August 24, 2015

Marketing technology can help business-to-business (B2B) marketers with everything from content marketing to the leads process to getting the ever-desirable cross-channel customer view. However, recent research suggests that most B2Bs don’t have all of the resources they need—and even those who do struggle to make the most of them.

In August 2015 research by Ascend2, less than one-third of B2B marketing professionals worldwide said marketing technology was significantly improving marketing performance. While still impressive, this emphasizes the huge room for growth among the 55% who said it was improving marginally and 13% who said it wasn’t changing.

Expanding technology access and usage will be key to improving results. More than two-thirds of respondents said they didn’t have all the tools they needed. About half of that group was fully utilizing what they had, suggesting the talent was there, but the technology had yet to follow.

While about one-third reported having all the tools they needed, few who did were actually utilizing them all. Even when companies buy in to technology, solid integration, strategy and processes are needed for optimal usage.

Indeed, when asked about the leading obstacles to marketing technology success, respondents were most likely to cite the complexity of integrating technologies. It makes sense, then, that just one-quarter said their marketing technologies were extensively integrated, vs. 53% who said they were marginally integrated and 22% who said they weren’t integrated at all.

Lack of budget and resources, which can prevent adoption or limit usage once implemented, was a challenge for nearly four in 10, as were the lack of an effective strategy and inefficient processes and workflow—likely at least partly to blame for low usage among those who had everything they needed.

While B2Bs clearly understand the value of technology, it may be a few years before major strides are made. Fewer than one-fifth said their marketing tech budgets were increasing significantly, compared with 45% who said they were expanding marginally and 31% who said they weren’t changing at all.

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