Marketing technology has become an integral part of the marketing toolkit in recent years, as brands recognise how important it is to invest in the right platforms as part of their customer service efforts.
But there is no point spending a significant amount of money on collecting data if you cannot implement strategies based on the findings.
Companies understand the need for data integration if they are to be successful in today's digital environment, but don't forget the right training is also required for this to become a reality.
New research by Squiz underlines how there is definitely room for improvement when it comes to how marketing technology is being approached. The study found that only 11 per cent of marketers feel they are getting the desired returns from their marketing technology investments.
While the vast majority are aware of the methods are their disposal - including CMS, CRM and email bulk sending systems - the vast majority still have to work out a plan to help them to achieve the right results.
The lack of tech integration is also hurting the customer experience - 43 per cent of marketers said it is the largest issue preventing them from achieving customer centricity.
"Marketers think their tools are only being used in the most basic ways. They under utilise these massive investments they have made and part of that is because they're not integrated," said Joe Stanhope, vice president at Signal.
Part of the problem is the actual process that marketers are using when buying technology. Only a third are taking strategic decisions, while 52 per cent make investments as and when they are needed.
This ad hoc approach prevents long-term plans being put in place, and ensures that marketers never have enough time to properly assess their options. Considering one in five make technological investments as infrequently as possible, it is clear a shift in attitude is required. In short, businesses need to put the customer first.
Getting priorities right
There are positive signs about the future, however, as a study by the Direct Marketing Association and Winterberry Group has found that marketers are prioritising technology. While 57 per cent plan to evaluate current marketing technologies, 54 per cent will look at new options and 55 per cent are going to focus on staff training.
By taking a proactive approach to the issue of technology, companies can future proof themselves and make sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of delivering first class customer service.
But what are the other roadblocks? Over a third of organisations blamed interdepartmental alignment for their lack of customer centricity, while poor data sets are a problem for 35 per cent.
If businesses want to use innovative approaches related to marketing technology, they have to eliminate the existence of silos, as doing so will allow them to have defined goals and objectives that everyone is working towards.