Report: Marketers struggle to keep up with new technology

How often do you add new tools to your marketing arsenal?

In a new report from Walker Sands, a Chicago-based business-to-business PR and digital marketing agency,
marketers reported having trouble keeping up with all the new tools and
technology that are available for communicators.

The report surveyed 300 marketing professionals during the first quarter of
2018. The results show that the marketing landscape has changed drastically
in the last several years and that marketers are struggling to stay on the

Twenty-eight percent of respondents say marketing organizations have a hard
time keeping up with new technology. Though 63 percent say the marketing
technology landscape has rapidly changed, only 28 percent say their
organizations have kept pace.

Yet there is plenty of interest among marketers for new tools.

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Marketers want to tinker, with 52 percent rejecting the “set it and forget
it” philosophy and 65 percent planning to increase their spending on
marketing solutions. Some plan on changing their marketing stack more
frequently than others.

Most marketers will revisit their tools one or two times a year. Roughly a
quarter of respondents plan on reevaluating their setup once a year, and
another quarter plan on revisiting their tools every six months.

Marketers report an increased reliance on marketing technology to achieve
organizational goals with 37 percent reporting a steady increase and
another 20 percent reporting a rapid increase. However, most see a lack of
organizational flexibility when adopting new solutions. Only 15 percent
describe their organizations as highly agile when bringing on new

There appears to be plenty of room to grow for PR pros and marketers when
it comes to adopting many technology advances. Only 11 percent report
having fully implemented machine learning or artificial intelligence
solutions; the number decreases when it comes to chatbots (9 percent) and
blockchain (8 percent).

However, some communicators might still need convincing that new technology
has something to offer them. Fifty-eight percent of respondents report no
plans to implement virtual reality or augmented reality technology, with
similar numbers of skeptics staying away from chatbots (51 percent),
machine learning and AI (52 percent), blockchain (58 percent) and Internet
of Things (44 percent).

The report suggests that marketing solution vendors should spend more time
investigating their customers’ needs.

It asserts:

To win over prospects, it’s important to better understand their needs.
Acknowledge the work that goes into adopting new technologies and treat
early implementation and training stages as opportunities to extend your
relationships with customers. Specifically, you should hear direct from
marketing professionals about their current use of martech, as well as
their plans for the future.

For marketers and communicators, the study suggests a more strategic
approach to selecting new technology.

It continues:

Although it’s tempting to make the easy purchasing decision, it’s always
worth the effort to reflect on your ideal customer journey and let that
insight guide your martech selection process.

Journey mapping helps evaluate technology choices through the lens of which
purchases offer the capabilities to best delight your customers. Compare
the touchpoints you currently support with those your customers want to
have. You should also learn what users are trying to accomplish with each

How are you using new marketing technology, PR Daily readers?

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