Clevertouch Marketing, Europe’s leading marketing technology consulting and service provider, has revealed the results of its latest survey in its new report, The State of Martech 2020/21, providing detailed insights into the current state of the marketing technology (martech) landscape. The findings demonstrate a lack of relevant training and skillsets combined with uncertainty over marketing budgets and changing investment priorities heading into the ‘new normal’.
Growing skills gap and talent deficit
With 72% of respondents surveyed viewing marketing talent as more essential than technology, but 53% spending more money on the tech, the findings reveal a disparity between companies’ skills and capabilities and the technology they maintain. This suggested lack of resourcefulness is compounded by a widening skills gap, with only 28% of marketers viewing their in-house talent and tech as trained and working well – a talent deficit further accentuated by the fact that only 18% of senior marketers are using an external partner or agency to upskill their employees.
Expectation divide and challenges to come
Looking ahead to the challenges awaiting the martech world in 2021, a substantial 69% of marketers declared they expect to have fewer resources available to them in 2021, yet the belief is they will need to produce the same or better results. This prediction of a misalignment between expectation and reality is further enhanced by the assertion that only 29% of the respondents surveyed have a clear and set marketing budget going into 2021.
The apparent lack of clarity over budget and resources is combined with an established absence of a Marketing Return on Investment (MROI) process and strategy, with just 22.5% of marketers measuring, or able to measure, the ROI of the Marketing department as a whole. Furthermore, only 30% of marketers believe their use of marketing technology completely aligns to their marketing strategy. After such a challenging and uncertain year, it is perhaps unsurprising to see a lack of cohesion and alignment in resources and processes moving into the new year.
Shift in priorities?
Despite marketing budgets fluctuating depending on demand and a better economic outlook, there appears to be a planned shift in investment priorities, with three quarters of organisations planning to maintain or increase marketing spend in 2021. There is an even higher increase when considering services and support, with 77% of respondents stating that they will be increasing their investment in martech services over the next 12 months, and a further 53% of senior marketers planning to bring in external martech support to plug gaps in their knowledge.
84% of marketers either already prioritise marketing technology or have more appetite to use marketing technology across the business as they enter 2021. In such an uncertain and financially fragile year, it appears there is a push to implement martech technologies across business, invest in services, and bridge the talent gap.
Commenting on the report, Clevertouch CEO Adam Sharp said: “The report clearly demonstrates a striking divide between marketing talent and capability and investment in the right technology. As industry starts to move again, the war for talent has never been more relevant than now. However, the research also indicates that 2021 will see a big increase in martech investment. CMO’s must decide where to prioritise investment, whether that be on more marketing technology, or addressing the growing talent deficit in the industry.”
These figures come as a result of Clevertouch Marketing’s research and analysis of senior marketing leaders on key topics that are impacting marketing departments and their use of martech in 2020/21. The report surveyed 200 CMOs, Marketing Directors and Heads of Marketing from the UK and EMEA, and covers everything surrounding the relationship between marketing, sales and martech, ROI attribution, Sales Enablement, Marketing Automation, Marketing Cloud, and everything in between.