Cutting-edge martech? 65% of brands have no plans to invest this year

In a new survey, marketers say technologies like virtual reality and machine learning will have a huge impact in coming years, but they don't plan to invest in them just yet.

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Marketers know that change is coming, thanks to new technologies like machine learning and virtual reality. But in a recent survey, almost two-thirds said they’re not planning to invest in those cutting-edge technologies in 2017.

The data are from Bynder’s just-released “State of Branding 2017” report, which surveyed 562 “global brand managers and CMOs” in December 2016. Of those surveyed, 78 percent are based in North America, and 53 percent work at companies with more than 200 employees. Responses from B2B and B2C brands were almost evenly split.

Respondents said virtual reality (24 percent) and machine learning (23 percent) will have the biggest impact on marketing during the next five years. Augmented reality (17 percent), beacons and chatbots (12 percent each) round out the top five.

But only 43 percent of respondents called their companies early adopters when it comes to new marketing technologies. And very few of them said they’re planning to invest in these kinds of technologies despite knowing the impact they’ll have in the near future. Given a list of new martech tools and platforms, almost two-thirds said “nope” when asked their plans to invest in them this year.

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The data are similar to what we reported on in December, when a Demandbase survey showed that 77 percent of marketers think artificial intelligence is “the next big thing,” but 90 percent aren’t using it yet. The main thing that might be slowing adoption is confusion. Just last month, a Forrester report found that the vast majority of marketers like the idea of AI, but many don’t quite understand what it can do:

Forrester found that confusion and misunderstanding of AI-driven marketing is quite prevalent today. Indeed, many marketers in our study have a very narrow view of current advanced contextual marketing capabilities, much less around AI-driven marketing tools that can make these contextual programs considerably more efficient and effective …

While the new Bynder survey shows little immediate investment in many of these cutting-edge marketing technologies, respondents listed these as their top five planned martech investments this year:

  • Marketing analytics (58 percent)
  • Social media monitoring (49 percent)
  • Customer experience tools (45 percent)
  • Content management systems (43 percent)
  • DAM/branding automation (40 percent)

For now, it appears, martech budgets are sticking with the tried and true.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Matt McGee
Matt McGee joined Third Door Media as a writer/reporter/editor in September 2008. He served as Editor-In-Chief from January 2013 until his departure in July 2017. He can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee.

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