A study by Which-50’s Digital Intelligence Unit reveals almost a third of marketing leaders say their marketing technology platforms are not delivering. CMOs and other marketing executives say they are are surprised by the lack of integration both inside – and between – marketing clouds, frustrated by the paucity of skills in the market, and concerned about the impact of poor data security practices on brand trust.

The results are contained in a report called Strategy First: How marketers can avoid common technology pitfalls and drive real ROI. The study was sponsored by Cheetah Digital and involved a survey of 170 marketing leaders  as well as in-depth interviews with CMOs, and other senior executives.

According to the authors of the report, “Technology is widely recognised and understood as a central pillar of marketing — largely because marketers rely on technology to unlock the value of their consumer data assets. But lately, we have detected a growing discomfort among marketing leaders related to the value they’re extracting from their marketing technology investments.”

The key theme to emerge is the criticality of aligning marketing technology choices with the overall strategy of the business. While this might seem self evident, it was clear from the interviews with CMOs that many felt they had inherited choices that were clearly designed to solve a particular pain point rather than as part of an over arching strategy.

The report also reveals what marketers themselves say are the characteristics of the best buyers;

• They could describe clearly the strategy they wanted to pursue;
• They could articulate how they would achieve this and the role technology would play;
• They trusted the advice of their peers; and
• They made decisions quickly.

The authors call these buyers Skilled Revolutionaries and say they have “…a very clear sense of what their organisation and marketing goals are. They can link that to a clear idea of the marketing programs that will achieve their goals. The leaders we interviewed said this is where many fall short.”

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