Half of marketers feel disconnected with the c-suite

Squiz’s annual State of Marketing Technology report reveals the gap between marketers and the rest of the c-suite, as marketers realise they need to do more to communicate the value of martech at a business level.

Today digital transformation company, Squiz, reveals new research which proves marketers must speak the language of the boardroom if they are to demonstrate the value of martech to the bottom line. For the 2017 State of Marketing Tech report, over 600 senior marketing professionals were surveyed globally to uncover their goals, challenges and digital vision.

The findings reveal that although 78 per cent of senior marketers feel confident in explaining the value of technology investments, they believe there is a disconnect with the rest of the boardroom.

Marketers say they see 47 per cent of the c-suite outside of their department use some marketing technology in their roles, however they still do not believe that other functions understand martech’s potential impact on revenues in the way that they do.


Over half of global marketers (52 per cent) think that other C-level execs don’t understand marketing and only 35 per cent think that their CEO strongly realises the potential revenue uplift and saving of martech investment. It’s a similar story with the CIO; marketers think that just a third (33 per cent) understand the value of martech at a financial level.

Squiz’s research suggests that marketers still need to develop closer relationships with the CEO. Currently they are most closely aligned with the CTO (52 per cent) or CIO (47 per cent), but only 27 per cent say that their marketing team is working closely with the CEO.

As a result, stakeholder buy in is still a challenge for 32 per cent of marketers and over a quarter (28 per cent) still don’t feel they are able to confidently set goals that the whole business can support.

Most (97 per cent) of global marketers believe that marketing technology has allowed the marketing department to become more strategic in its approach and 43 per cent say they’ve been able to develop more data-driven KPIs since investing in it.

Neil Davis, managing director UK and Europe at Squiz comments, ‘Our research highlights that digital has a firm place in the boardroom. However as martech is being used by the rest of the business, marketers need to be more confident that its value is being communicated. They must ensure that they are using technology beyond its basic capabilities so that they can make maximum impact at a business level.’

Increased investment

Last year there was increased investment in platforms such as CMS (83 per cent) and CRM (62 per cent), but this year 97 per cent of business have invested in some form of marketing technology in the past 12 months. Breaking this down, 60 per cent were adding to their existing stack, whilst 31 per cent didn’t have any in place last year.

Looking at the UK specifically, 26 per cent of marketers invested in martech because they didn’t have any in place last year. In contrast in Australia it was 51 per cent suggesting this region has been slower to adopt martech and in the US it was just 15 per cent highlighting that these marketers implemented martech in their organisations earlier.

Marketers are investing in these products for numerous reasons. Two thirds (62 per cent) want to better understand customers, 37 per cent are doing it to remain competitive, 55 per cent want to be able to take a data-driven approach to marketing and 57 per cent need to automate processes and reduce time on admin.

Davis continues, ‘Marketers have realised the importance of martech for solving many of their challenges. The ability to be a more strategic marketing department means investment in technology has sky rocketed. Now marketers need to take that conversation to the next level and prove that martech can be used to drive growth across the entire organisation.’

Further reading on marketers

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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