New research from small business recommendation engine GetApp shows that emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, and IoT platforms may be exciting for marketers, but many businesses aren’t getting the ROI they had hoped for—at least not yet.
The firm’s new survey of 301 marketers, 65 percent say emerging martech inspires them to do their best work, but nearly half (49 percent) admit they have faced challenges with these much-hyped technologies, including integration issues, governance complications, and cost.
It can be risky to invest in emerging technologies—this research unpacks how these new technologies stack up against more well-established technologies by measuring ROI and identifying benefits and challenges.
The ROI timeline can vary significantly, so businesses should plan their investments accordingly. These emerging technologies were rated the highest among marketers for generating ROI within two years: chatbots (69 percent of marketers report ROI in under two years), virtual reality/augmented reality (60 percent) and AI/machine learning (59 percent). Conversely, positive returns on blockchain technology take the longest: 42 percent of marketers using this technology say it takes 2-5 years to generate positive ROI.
Marketers are adopting emerging technologies, even if it takes time to generate ROI. The most popular emerging technologies are voice search (59 percent of marketers investing in this technology in the past 12 months), IoT platforms (53 percent), and chatbot technology (49 percent). Overall, marketers say that emerging technologies can help enhance the customer experience, offer a competitive advantage, and create improved products and services.
Despite the interest in emerging technologies, 58 percent of marketers still believe that there are realistic alternatives to new, emerging, or disruptive technologies that should be considered. Surveyed marketers say that well-established technologies like social media management, customer relationship management, and marketing automation platforms are more valuable in meeting marketing objectives compared to emerging technologies.
“Emerging martech is exciting, as it could provide marketers with a great competitive advantage,” says Meghan Bazaman, senior marketing analyst at GetApp, in a news release. “However, it’s important to take a step back, set expectations, and evaluate business priorities before jumping in. Businesses should also be prepared to play the long game as a positive ROI for these investments takes time.”