Marketers prioritising analytics as martech budgets recover 

Investment in martech is bouncing back after a period of cuts and uncertainty, with a clear focus on first-party data and advanced attribution, new research reveals. 

Synthetic dataAs the macroeconomic environment begins to stabilise, marketers are investing in capabilities to ensure they can defend their budgets and keep up with the rapid rollout of new tech. 

Martech budgets are on the rise as a result, having previously suffered due to delayed investments and streamlining stacks during the marketing spend slowdown. 

According to a survey of 140 marketers conducted by consultancy Plural, 63% cut technologies that did not contribute to their core marketing objectives in 2023, while 60% of technology decisions and 55% of investments were delayed by finance teams looking to conserve budgets. 

Entering the second half of 2024 as confidence builds momentum, data and analytics capabilities are emerging as key areas for investment. 

The idea is the bullet, data is the gun

Almost half (47%) of marketers cited both marketing analytics and attribution platforms – and digital commerce platforms – as priority investment areas. This was followed by social media management platforms (40%) and digital experience platforms (38%). Interestingly, just 15% of marketers see customer data platforms as a priority area. 

In this period of recovery, there is a clear focus on first-party data collection for better targeting and personalisation – no doubt in response to the phase out of third-party cookies – as well as advanced attribution models to enhance measurement of ROI and support marketing decisions.  

B2B focuses on events and digital capabilities

In B2B marketing, meanwhile, in-person events and capabilities to better capture digital footprints are becoming an increasingly important part of the marketing mix. 

Some 43% of marketers surveyed believe events will increase in importance over the next two years, with spend focusing on maximising the potential of existing events over increasing the event footprint. Obtaining more booth space at events they already participate in (62%) and investing more in booths to better engage target audiences (57%) were highlighted as key areas of future investment for B2B marketers. 

As B2B buyer journeys become more complex, ‘intent data’ is expected to take a share of spend from paid-for leads. Indeed, 14% of marketers believe the importance of intent data will significantly increase over the next two years, while 71% say it will ‘somewhat increase’. 

Audio and visual formats are also gaining in importance for B2B marketers, with 84% saying videos will increase in importance and a further 84% touting social media as a key channel for dissemination. Digital versions of print publications were the only media to record a decline in importance (-10%).