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Technology spending one the rise, but ad spending down

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While the overall technology sector continues to take a beating, spending on marketing technology is on the upswing, according to the preliminary results of a study conducted by Forrester Research in collaboration with the Association of National Advertisers.

More than half (51%) of marketing executives reported they will spend more on marketing technology this year, while only 20% will spend less, and 29% will maintain their current budgets, according to the Forrester survey. Meanwhile, fewer than half of the respondents (44%) said they will spend more on advertising this year, and 36% said they will spend less. Forrester surveyed more than 100 senior marketing executives across a range of large and midsize companies.

Confidence in vendors

One reason marketing technology spending may be outpacing ad spending is marketers’ growing confidence in technology vendors, the research suggests. "Marketers say tech vendors have more technological expertise than ad agencies or their own IT departments," said Chris Charron, a Forrester research director who specializes in media marketing.

Survey respondents were asked to rate the competency of tech vendors, ad agencies and their own information technology departments on a scale of one to four, with one being "not at all competent" and four being "very competent." Tech vendors received an average score of 3.2, while agencies garnered a score of 2.8 and IT departments 2.7.

Control of marketing technology spending falls more often to marketing executives than to their IT counterparts. "Marketing, not IT, has the power and the purse strings," Charron said. Thirty-eight percent of marketing executives have primary authority over such purchases, compared with 31% of IT executives.

The growth of e-mail marketing is contributing to the boost in spending on marketing technology. The factors that hold spending back the most, according to respondents, are uncertain return on investment, high costs, lack of budget and unfamiliarity with technology.

The complete survey findings will be published in September.

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