New research highlights the ongoing challenges many marketers face in understanding the role of technology in driving wider business and media goals.

A study by media consultancy ID Comms reveals that only a quarter of brands claim to be using media technology to best effect. While that is an increase of 10% from 2017, when the last such survey was conducted, no advertisers claim they are using tech “very effectively”.

Agencies, on the other hand, have a far more optimistic view – 41% believe advertisers are using technology “effectively”, which is an increase of 17% from 2017.

Just 14% of advertisers say they understand “extremely well or very well” how each technology platform in the marketing stack contributes to the value chain. The remainder say their understanding is moderate or worse. The worst scores were among media professionals, with a mere 9% saying they understood “extremely well, or very well”.

Researchers for The 2020 Global Media Technology Report surveyed 190 senior executives at brands and agencies around the world. Advertiser respondents were from at least 10 different categories and represent more than $20 billion in global ad spend.

This latest report, the authors say, highlights the fact that the most successful advertisers appreciate and understand the importance of marketing tech in driving business growth, not only in normal times, but especially during the abnormal environment created by the coronavirus pandemic. An overwhelming 94% of respondents agreed with this view, and the fact that the most successful advertisers have a clear strategy for making sure tech adds value and doesn’t just create more complexity.

A variety of reasons were cited by respondents for why media technology is not being used to its full potential; among them were excessive marketplace fragmentation, lack of access to specialist knowledge and capabilities, challenges around integration and limited resources.

Commenting on the research, Paul Stringer, a consultant at ID Comms, said “We are seeing improvements in the understanding of marketing technology but with this area moving at such a fast pace, advertisers are struggling to commit the necessary time and resources to take advantage of the business benefits that a smartly designed tech stack can deliver.

“This really is a critical area for marketers, media professionals and procurement teams to get to grips with,” he added.

One difficulty, the report reveals, is the difficulty of finding good advice. Advertisers tend to believe that specialist technology consultants are the best people to advise on tech (25%), followed by management consultants (14%). Agencies score just 10% on this question, and yet 86% of advertisers think that their own lack of knowledge about tech has made them overdependent on agency solutions.

Sourced rom ID Comms