How are senior marketers adapting to the tech-driven state of affairs in the marketing industry today? DataXu concluded their global online survey, “Transforming Marketing Through Technology and Analytics” and has prepared some interesting insights. The purpose of the survey was to uncover the role and impact of technology on the strategy and day-to-day operations of marketing teams around the world. DataXu compiled the results from over 500 responses from marketers across the globe. Here’s what the survey found:

Adtech vs Martech

First, it’s important to understand the difference between Adtech and Martech.

  • Martech is the set of marketing tools used to target messages to known customers. These tools include marketing automation technology, social media management technologies, CRM software and ecommerce technologies.
  • Adtech is the set of marketing tools used to target audiences who are not yet known and include ad servers, data management platforms, demand-side platforms, etc.

Transforming Marketing Through Technology – Key Findings

  • Senior marketers are expected to have a strong working knowledge of marketing technology
  • The U.S. is a leader in the use of technology in general and U.S. marketers are the heaviest users of both Martech and Adtech solutions
  • Most marketers tend to use a variety of marketing technology as specific tools from multiple vendors versus a full-stack solution from one vendor offering an integrated solution
  • Marketers are expected to increase investments in customer insight analytics and programmatic marketing
  • S., UK and Italian marketers believe that the potential cost efficiencies of bringing these technologies in-house are the total justification for doing so
  • Increased transparency and improved campaign performance are the key benefits German, French and Spanish marketers attribute to bringing Martech and Adtech in-house
  • Marketers communicated that the number one marketing challenge is understanding how to create an effective marketing mix across multiple channels

The Rise of the Marketing Technologist

One key insight to come out of this survey should be a call to action for senior marketers (or anyone who aims to become one) — if you want to succeed as a senior marketer, you’d better get to know your marketing technologies.

  • An overwhelming majority of those surveyed (78% U.S. and 63% of Europeans) reported that understanding marketing technology is increasingly crucial for success in the senior marketer’s position
  • 72% of respondents reported that creativity is still the most important skill for success
  • Americans seem to place more importance on understanding digital media (72% think it’s increasingly important), compared to Europeans, of whom just over half think it’s increasingly important
  • 64% of U.S. marketers surveyed believe that understanding digital media is an important skill

Digital Experience within Marketing

  • When it comes to assessing digital expertise within the company, Europeans feel more confident in their organization’s digital skills than U.S. marketers do
  • 72% of European marketers believe their organizations to be more digitally advanced than average or vis a vis their competitors, compared to 69% of U.S. marketers

Dedicated Technology Staff

  • 76% of U.S. respondents said they have a marketing team member who manages the tech usage (as opposed to having someone from outside the marketing department making those decisions), versus 66% of European respondents

Who Owns the Marketing Technology Budget

According to U.S. respondents, marketing typically maintains responsibility over marketing technologies and all associated budgets. However in Europe, marketers tend to give up control of marketing technology budgets once a separate technology team has been established.

Emergence of the Chief Marketing Technologist

The role of Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT) has become increasingly prevalent in Europe. 73% of European survey respondents state that their organization currently has a CMT role in place. Only 53% of U.S. respondents state that their company currently has a CMT role in place.

Planned Marketing Technology Investments

Although European marketers seem to be planning a slight reduction in the utilization of marketing technologies over the next year, European marketers and U.S. marketers alike intend to increase investments in specialized customer insights/analytics software. In addition, content marketing technology usage is projected to rise by 1% in 2017 to 35% utilization by European marketers, while utilization of programmatic marketing technologies in 2017 by U.S. marketers is slated to rise 10% (year over year) to 34% utilization in 2017.


DataXu’s survey offers many more insights and data about Martech and Adtech use in global marketing companies. The overwhelming takeaway from the survey findings is that understanding marketing technology will become ever more important to senior marketing professionals. While the advantages of technology are balanced by the inherent challenges, by no means are those challenges stopping the steady, forward march of technology’s role in the marketing industry today.