Marketers need to speak C-suite to drive tech investment

The disconnect between marketers and the top brass can block crucial martech investment, says digital transformation company Squiz.

Marketers need to speak C-suite to drive tech investment

Selling the value of marketing technology to the C-suite can only work if marketers speak the language of the boardroom, according to the 2017 State of Marketing Tech report released by digital transformation company Squiz.

There is a disconnect between marketers and the C-suite, the report says, as only 35% of marketers surveyed think that their CEOs strongly realise the potential revenue uplift and saving of martech investment. Furthermore, the marketers said that only 47% of the C-suite outside of their department use some marketing technology in their roles

In contrast, 97% of the marketers said martech has helped their department to become more strategic and another 43% said they were able to develop more data-driven KPIs from the investment.

The findings were based on a survey carried out by Morar research of 600 UK, US and Australian senior marketers from companies of 500+ employees in January this year. The report noted that investment in the CMS and CRM platforms increased by 83% and 62% respectively last year, with 61% as additions to the existing stack while 31% was new. 

Australia was singled out as being slower to adopt martech – 51% of their investments had not been in place before, compared to US (15%) and UK (26%).

In a statement, Neil Davis, managing director UK and Europe at Squiz, said: "Our research highlights that digital has a firm place in the boardroom. However as martech is being used by the rest of the business, marketers need to be more confident that its value is being communicated."

Hence, the report calls on marketers to develop a closer relationship with the C-suite and especially the chief executive. Only 27% of the marketers said their team is working closely with the chief executive.  Instead, marketers are most closely aligned with the chief technology officer (52%) followed by chief information officer (27%).

With stakeholder buy-in still a challenge for 32% of the marketers, Davis said marketers must take the conversation to the next level and prove that martech can be used to drive growth across the entire organisation.

"Marketers have realised the importance of martech for solving many of their challenges. The ability to be a more strategic marketing department means investment in technology has sky-rocketed," said Davis.

A version of this article was first published on Campaign Asia-Pacific