Are marketers overestimating their ability to deliver MarTech ROI?

by | Jun 8, 2018 | Marketing, Public Relations

New research from digital transformation firm Wipro Digital cites the growing importance of MarTech-related skills for marketing teams across the U.S. and UK—but also indicates that despite this growing emphasis on MarTech expertise, many marketing departments are struggling to reap the full potential of their investment and deliver expected ROI.

While the survey found that 75 percent of marketing execs are confident in their own MarTech proficiency, only 6 percent believe their marketing team is MarTech conversant. Over one-third of execs believe that less than half of their team has the necessary expertise to deploy MarTech effectively, and over half (51 percent) of respondents said the lack of MarTech competency of the wider team was a potential barrier to success.

However, many marketers are focusing on addressing this issue—they have made reskilling current marketers with the skills they’ll need for MarTech success a huge priority. Most (84 percent) reported that their company already has reskilling programs in place. Training marketers at every level to become MarTech proficient reflects an industry-wide shift towards a MarTech-dominated world.

Other key findings include:

MarTech expertise needs to start at the top

Eighty-one percent of respondents indicate that it is important for CMOs to have MarTech qualifications and/or skills, with only one percent of respondents noting that MarTech is not as important as other skills for a CMO

MarTech skills overshadow strategy expertise

More respondents ranked MarTech (47 percent) among the top three most important skills for a CMO’s success than both Marketing Strategy (44 percent) and Business Strategy (37 percent) Previously high-valued skills—such as Brand Management (21 percent), Advertising (13 percent), and Sales (15 percent)—have significantly declined in importance

MarTech investments are set to increase

Sixty-two percent of CMOs plan to increase MarTech spending in 2019. And investing more heavily tends to translate into results. Overall, only 4 percent of respondents, equating to $82M in spend terms, were dissatisfied with the return on their MarTech investments.

“CMOs and marketing departments are aware that MarTech is key to creating and delivering relevant and personalized experiences to customers. However, too many marketers are struggling with implementation and changing how they work,” said Andy Coghlan, global head of MarTech at Wipro Digital. “Equipping marketing teams with the right MarTech talent and expertise is only half of the battle—the real challenge lies in determining how MarTech fits into the larger digital transformation and enterprise renovation program, and how to reinvigorate operating models, culture, and leadership, accordingly.”

Respondents noted some of the cultural and institutional challenges, beyond expertise, to adapting and integrating MarTech solutions, including:

  • Retrofitting new tech to outdated operating models: The survey found that over one-third of respondents say that their company modifies the technology to fit into existing operating models rather than exploring new ways of operating
  • Changing the way that marketing works: 64 percent of respondents noted that “changing the way that marketing works” is a major barrier to MarTech ROI
  • Fitting MarTech into the larger digital transformation picture: 43 percent of respondents noted that effectively integrating MarTech with other technology systems is a major barrier to MarTech’s overall success

In April 2018, Wipro Digital commissioned an online survey of 500 senior-level executives, employed with organisations with more than 1,000 employees, in the U.S. and UK.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter