Global martech spend is estimated at $100bn, according to WARC

Global marketing spend is booming, according to a new study by marketing intelligence firm Warc, and traditional media is “paying the price”.

According to the group’s Martech: 2019 and Beyond survey based on responses from more than 800 brands and agencies in the UK, North America, Asia Pacific (APAC) and continental Europe, spend on martech is now worth an estimated $99.9bn (£76bn).

In the UK and North America, brands upped their budgets on marketing technology - email and social media marketing automation tools, in particular - by 44% over the past year to $52bn (£40bn).

It represents just shy of a quarter (23%) of total marketing budgets, up from 16% last year and, according to the report, media spend is getting shouldered out as a result.

“Our research finds that this budget is coming from media spend and will have a resounding impact on the value of media-centric agencies,” said Damian Ryan, a partner at accountancy firm and research partner Moore Stephens.

Instead, spend is being pushed towards technologies such as email marketing (79%) and social media (77%), while the report says the most established technology currently in use is Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices.

Voice tech follows, and it’s especially popular in the UK, where over a third (36%) of respondents say they use tools for voice-based search, while a further 11% plan to do so in the next few months.

In North America and UK markets, 75% of marketers use martech for analytics, measurement and insights - a year-on-year increase of 19%. SEO, meanwhile, is the “most planned-for tactic” for the year ahead, owed to its ever-changing nature as algorithms develop.

“There has been no discernible sign that the rate of growth within the martech space is slackening,” commented Amy Rodgers, research editor at WARC.

“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.”

But while data-driven marketing automation technology is fuelling a need for data and analytics skills among brands, marketers are realising a need to place creativity on a par when recruiting for marketing functions, in order to avoid being “bogged down” in the volume of data and technology on the market.

Moving spend in-house

Another key trend identified in the study was brands increasing spend on in-house technology. In the UK and North America, nearly two-thirds (63%) of media budgets are now spent in-house, compared to 44% last year.

While understanding of the technology available continues to be an issue for brands, Rodgers commented, with more companies bringing their martech in-house, agencies will have to shift towards a “changing, advisory role” in the martech strategies of their clients.

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Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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