Brands and agencies are greatly increasing the budgets they allocate for marketing technology and almost a quarter of total budgets are now dedicated to this area according to a new study by WARC and Moore Stephens.

Martech: 2019 and Beyond, conducted by WARC and Moore Stephens, the international accountancy firm, is based on responses from more than 800 brands and agencies in the UK, North America, Asia-Pacific and Continental Europe.

In the UK and North America alone, brands increased their martech budgets by 44% over the past year to $52bn. Nearly a quarter (23%) of their total marketing budget now goes on martech, up from 16% a year ago.

And this trend is on course to continue, with around one-in-five marketers in North America (18%) and the UK (17%) reporting that they expect their martech budgets to increase more than 25% over the next year.

Globally, those who say their budgets for martech will increase expect to see an average increase of 13%, while as many as two-thirds (63%) of brands in Europe (excluding the UK) say they expect their martech budgets to rise.

The WARC and Moore Stephens analysis also reveals the interesting finding that brands in North America and the UK are raising their spend on in-house technology – almost two-thirds (63%) of technology budgets are now spent in-house compared with 44% last year.

“Clearly, marketers are seeking to build in-house strength and are set to spend more on martech to remain competitive,” said Damian Ryan, a partner at Moore Stephens.

“Our research finds that this budget is coming from media spend and will have a resounding impact on the value of media-centric agencies,” he added.

Looking at the specific technologies behind this burgeoning market, the research shows email is used by 79% of marketers, closely followed by social media (77%).

The most established technology currently in use is the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices, followed by voice tech, which is especially popular in the UK where 36% of respondents say they currently use a tool for voice search with another 11% planning to do so in the next few months.

Elsewhere, the report finds that search engine optimisation (SEO) is the most planned-for tactic that marketers intend to use in the year ahead. That’s because, despite being an established marketing discipline, it is one that continues to change as algorithms develop.

And in the North American and UK markets, three-quarters (75%) make use of martech for analytics, measurement and insights, a year-on-year increase of 19%.

Commenting on the findings, WARC research editor Amy Rodgers said: “There has been no discernible sign that the rate of growth within the martech space is slackening.

“With data volumes continuously increasing, this research shows that data, analytics and automation are key focuses for martech investment globally as marketers look for help with metrics and measurement.

“Understanding of the technology available continues to be an issue for brands, however, and with many planning to move tech in-house over the next year, agencies will have to adapt to a changing, advisory role in the martech strategies of their clients.”

A summary of the Martech report is available here. The full report is available to WARC subscribers.

In addition, a webinar discussing the findings of the report will be held on Tuesday 23rd October. To join in, register here.

Sourced from WARC, Moore Stephens