Brands face an “existential crisis” as the implementation of marketing technology poses various challenges ranging from wasted spend to the possible erosion of consumer trust.

That was the warning sounded by Bob Liodice, the chief executive of the Association of National Advertisers, at the trade body’s 2020 Masters of Data and Technology conference.

And marketers, he revealed, “have substantial concerns about the way that we are managing our martech investments and use of data.” (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: The give and take of martech pose “existential crisis” for American marketers.)

More specifically, some 49% of chief marketing officers in the US agree they do not have the “capabilities to maximise” the value of consumer data.

Only 13% of business-to-consumer marketers are confident in their use of martech. Moreover, added Liodice, “Thirty percent to 50% believe that martech spending can be wasteful.”

Overall, marketers cited “‘lack of time’ and ‘lack of skilled staff’ as major impediments that stand in the way of marketing making better – and smarter – use of technology” within their organisations.

“When you think about the last three years,” Liodice proposed, “what we're starting to see is that the confluence of data, analytics, and technology is taking over. That will allow marketers greater opportunity to reach their consumers.”

But just as the “existential crisis” persists among the ANA board members, so consumers are wary about the usage of technology by marketers.

“They don't trust us with their data,” Liodice said. “They don't trust us with ensuring that we are protecting them at all costs.”

It’s not just a handful of consumers who are disaffected. Fully 67% of US-based internet users do not trust social-media organizations to protect their personal and private data, Liodice noted.

“You wonder why this is taking place?” he asked. “Some of it is a function of the fact that we, as marketers, are not necessarily being responsible with the use of our capabilities with the use of our media.

“The rest of it is a level of wrongdoing that is taking place in the marketplace. We don't have the ability to control [abuses], and that requires us to put in the necessary protocols, boundaries, and guardrails.”

Sourced from WARC