Who do marketers trust to advise them on marketing tech?

Only 14% of marketers claim to truly understand how each media technology platform in the marketing stack contributes to the value chain, according to a recent study done by consultancy ID Comms. The remainder rated their understanding of technology platforms as moderate or worse. Similarly among the agencies, 10% of respondents rated advertisers’ knowledge of platforms as above average. 

The study also found that only a quarter of advertisers believe they are utilising media at their disposal effectively. This is a 10% increase from when ID Comms first conducted this survey in 2017. However, just like in 2017, it is found that no advertisers believe they are utilising media technology very effectively.

This is despite 94% of respondents agreeing that the most successful advertisers understand the impact of marketing technology on their business and have a clear strategy for ensuring it adds value rather than complexity. For some respondents, this lack of understanding is a consequence of the "black box" of different technologies. Others highlight misalignment between marketers and agencies on common objectives and KPIs. According to the study, 11% of respondents said they trust media agencies most to advise them on what technology to use and how to deploy it within marketing. Meanwhile, most of the respondents said they would trust a specialist technology consultant most. 

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Additionally, most advertisers (86%) agree that advertisers’ inability to keep up with the rapid evolution of the tech landscape makes them overdependent on solutions provided by their agency. Similarly, while some agencies disagreed with the notion, 48% of respondents somewhat agreed that it is true. 

One advertiser said: “I don't think media agencies all understand tech stacks. I think they understand their own tech stack and what it can do for an advertiser, but the advertiser needs to have people inside who understand how to dialogue with agencies about user journeys and targeting approaches / closing the deals with customers.”

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While there is a growing consensus in the power of technology to deliver greater media effectiveness and support accelerated business growth, most organisations' role and value of technology remain unclear and ill-defined.

According to ID Comms, for marketers to break through this impasse, it is critical to align internal stakeholders behind a strategy for technology, which should be linked to the organisation’s wider business and marketing goals. Having a clear strategy facilitates smarter and more effective decision-making when selecting from the broad array of technology platforms on offer and considering how these integrate with existing technology.

The shift in marketing is clear as advertisers are rapidly moving towards a more agile, automated and data-driven environment. The quicker advertisers can catch up to this new reality, the more value they will ultimately derive from their marketing investments, the study added.

The study added that there is much work to do around education about technology platforms. Although this can be challenging given the speed at which technology is evolving, ID Comms said outside counsel from multiple sources can help, as well as focusing investment and resources on internal capability building. 

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