While MarTech has helped enable businesses to overcome market challenges and customer engagement over the last decade, it has not been to the degree that marketing leaders had hoped for.

This was a key finding from the Marketing State of Play 2021: An Australian Study, produced by Michael Page Australia in partnership with marketing and digital advisory Arktic Fox.

According to the report, MarTech has instead created many growing pains for teams as they grapple with how to scale and embed the technology, as well as how to derive value from their investment.

“Often, marketing teams are trying to build MarTech capability in the throes of an implementation. And too often, focus and investment is skewed towards the tech itself rather than the evolving skill sets and processes that ensure MarTech is embedded as a capability,” Arktic Fox Founder and Director Teresa Sperti explained.

RELATED: How marketing teams are driving performance and agility

When it came to MarTech platforms, marketing leaders revealed their investment priorities in the next 12 to 18 months were CRM (53%), marketing automation (49%), CMS (35%) and digital analytics (26%).

Sperti noted it was interesting to see that many of the platforms listed were not new to the market.

“Whilst the industry hype has moved beyond talking about many of these tools, marketers are still grappling with how to embed and scale core foundational technology,” she said.

“In fact, four in 10 marketers say embedding and implementing technology is one of their key challenges when it comes to MarTech – and a lack of capability within marketing teams to implement and scale tech probably isn’t helping.”

RELATED: Marketing to increase headcount amid talent squeeze

Another key MarTech challenge highlighted in the report was marketing leaders finding partners they can trust and effectively support their needs.

As the MarTech industry is big business, everyone is looking to get a slice of the action when it comes to providing services, Sperti said.

“For marketers, this often means it is difficult to know who to trust and whether or not service providers have the expertise they say they do,” she warned.

“The market lacks independence – most implementation partners receive some sort of kickback from the vendors themselves. This means that often in an agency’s or consultancy’s best interest for marketers to choose certain platforms over others, which can lead marketing teams down the wrong path.”

RELATED: Data & analytics flagged as marketing’s biggest technical skills gap

Looking at marketing budgets and resources, the report found almost half of leaders spend less than 10% on MarTech, while one-third of leaders spend between 10% to 19%.

While marketing budgets had taken a bit of a battering over the past 12 months due to COVID-19, Michael Page Director Leela Lewis highlighted that the sentiment towards MarTech budgets changing in the next 12 months was encouraging.

“Only 2% of marketing leaders are expecting a slight decrease,” Lewis revealed.

“On the other hand, intention to increase investment is high: 50% are expecting their budget to slightly increase, while 20% are expecting a significant or substantial increase.

“Having a clear MarTech strategy will support marketing’s ability to scale and embed the platform – and also enable teams to focus on deriving the value they intended to deliver through the procurement of the tech.”

The study also explores the prominent skills and capacity gaps within marketing teams, talent outlook and hiring trends, the size and scale of budget cuts and budgeting approaches, plus the strategies being adopted to drive performance and agility.

It was based on a survey of 233 marketing and digital leaders, operating across a broad number of sectors across Australia, conducted from 2 January to 5 March 2021.

To access the full Marketing State of Play 2021: An Australian Study, click on the banner below.

australian marketing outlook

Join over 60,000 readers!
Receive free advice to help give you a competitive edge in your career.