Marketing technology now accounts for 29% of total marketing budgets in 2018, more than is being spent on internal staff, according to new research from Gartner. The survey among 621 UK and US-based marketing executives found that marketing technology budgets had increased 7% from 22% in 2017.
Meanwhile, staff budgets dropped from 28% in 2017 to 24% in 2018.
However, Gartner advised that the shift in budgeting was unlikely to signal a replacement of humans through automated technologies.
Ewan McIntyre, the senior research director at Gartner explained:
“While many may be quick to relate this to the start of automation reducing human capital requirements, our analysis suggests this shift in marketing spend is a result of organisations dealing with capabilities, resources and talent in increasingly complex ways.”
Among the top areas of heavy investment were email marketing technologies, online content management as well as digital analytics technologies. Meanwhile, the research firm considers artificial intelligence to be likely to see heavier investments in areas such as design marketing in the coming years. Around 14% of marketing budgets are already going toward personalisation.
At the same time, 23% of budgets are going toward external agencies and paid media spend. That marks a decline of 2% from 25% in 2017.
Innovative technologies are also seeing an increase in spending with 1 in six marketing dollars going toward such initiatives.