Marketing technology is becoming a bigger focus for brands in 2015 as they look to data to inform their strategies.

Marketing technology is not a competitive advantage anymore – it’s a ticket to entry. Companies are embracing a new way of making decisions, based on data and testing over gut instincts. This is why some businesses hit the nail on the head with their website content, while others fail. It’s also why 60 percent plan to spend more on marketing technology in the next two years.

Still, challenges prevail. According to the Quarterly Business Review for Q1 2015 from the Winterberry Group and the Direct Marketing Association, 61 percent of marketers find it difficult to make the changes with their current systems and 45 percent have legacy tools that are difficult to upgrade or replace.

Reliable marketing data equals more sales

The prize that’s being dangled for marketers who overcome these process and budgetary challenges? 10 percent more sales contributions, according to Forrester Research.

Marketing automation helps marketers generate 10% more sales-pipeline contributions

B2B marketers who adopt automation tools can use them to collect prospect and customer data. This information will help them build smarter campaigns that nurture interest. When you know what customers care about, you can create content that speaks to their interests, fears and challenges. Without it, you’re just making assumptions.

Data is becoming the lifeblood of brands’ success. In fact, 61 percent of marketers say it’s more important than it was six months ago. Good data makes it easy to understand:

  • Who is buying from you?

  • What are they buying?

  • When are they buying?

  • When are they dropping off?

  • What are they clicking?

  • What are they sharing?

  • How many times do they click or visit your site before they buy?

  • If they buy X, how likely are they to buy Y?

Businesses know there is a need for cold, hard insights. And they’re now focused on building marketing teams that are creative AND data-driven. Content creators must be comfortable picking up reports and applying the information immediately.

Anatomy of a marketer in 2015: 1 part professor, 1 part creative genius

A Gartner study predicts that by 2017, traditional business rules and roles will reverse. Chief marketing officers are expected to spend more on technology than chief information officers. Marketers need technology to do their jobs well, and they’re building campaigns around data:

  • 61% of marketers are increasing investments in technology solutions

  • 67% of marketing teams are spending more on tech-driven campaigns

  • 65% of marketers are building budgets for tech-related services

Technology won’t replace marketers. It will help them work smarter, not harder. It transforms big data into a snapshot of prospect and customer information. It accelerates results by reaching a broader audience and tracks the results in detail.  

Want to learn more? We’ve outlined three kinds of marketing technology to invest in this year – check out this video & script to find out where to start.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.