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What are the challenges with martech investments?

The sheer volume of martech solutions is overwhelming. This enormous landscape can lead to the purchase of unnecessary shiny new objects that businesses think will solve all known and unknown problems. With an ever-increasing long tail of martech solutions, having an overcomplicated, unwieldy stack is not uncommon.

Showing ROI and attribution is a classic, but prevalent, problem. B2B marketers use a variety of digital channels including email, social, and websites. These channels require technology that can interact and engage with audiences, report back on the effectiveness of campaigns, and provide feedback on multiple touchpoints as buyers continue their journeys. The ability to accurately measure performance and KPIs is required to optimize campaigns and show ROI in any marketing channel.

Seventy-two percent of B2B marketers reported that accurately measuring performance is essential to multichannel marketing, per a June 2022 Act-On and Ascend2 survey. But many marketers have struggled to do this successfully.

Lack of training and resources is a major concern. Budgets continue to go to more tech features and functionality, but marketers can’t or don’t know how to use them, according to Clevertouch’s 2022 The State of Martech Report.

Martech has become so much more than the staple marketing automation tool that nearly any B2B marketer can learn how to use. It has grown in size and sophistication, requiring marketers who are trained in managing and using the technology.

Fifty-seven percent of senior-level marketers worldwide reported that martech is confusing, and 64% said martech creates more internal work, according to an April 2022 survey by Netcel, Optimizely, and Siteimprove. With a lack of talent and training, martech very quickly becomes a burdensome financial drain.

The loss of third-party cookies will only create a bigger martech challenge. During this forecast period, the deprecation of third-party identifiers will fundamentally change how data is collected. Also, first-party data will become more important as marketers navigate a myriad of data privacy changes. Third-party data that enhances first-party data or provides behavioral insight will still be important. For example, when marketing to a large buying committee—many of whom have not directly engaged with a B2B firm—third-party data can provide useful information for better targeting and personalization.

US B2B marketers are prioritizing content and email strategies in response to this loss, per May 2022 findings from Wpromote and Ascend2.

However, Wpromote and Ascend2, as well as sources interviewed for this report, shared that technology investments in first-party data capabilities and CDPs are key to combating the loss of third-party cookies. Without these investments, B2B firms will find themselves at a strategic and competitive disadvantage.

Read the full report.