The State of Technology in PR and Marketing

November 17, 2015 Matt Allison: Founder, Chief Strategy Officer

PR technology

If you have any question about the growing importance of technology for marketers and PR Pros, chew on this, Gartner has predicted that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs. Marketing has been a bit ahead of PR in terms of automation, but that is changing as PR pros are under increasing pressure to justify the investment in PR with outcome driven metrics and are operating in an increasingly complicated media landscape.

Walker Sands Communications recently released a study on the state of marketing technology in 2016. While it is focused on marketers, it provides insights that likely apply or may even be amplified when it comes to PR.

Key Findings

While 44% of marketers consider themselves innovators or early adopters when it comes to personal technology, 51% say their companies are among the last to adopt marketing technology. Only 6% of those surveyed consider their organizations innovators when it comes to technology. This indicates that there is a huge opportunity to gain a competitive advantage over PR and marketing organizations that are unwilling to take advantage of new technologies.

More than half of marketers (51%) think their companies don’t invest enough in martech solutions, and 42% say the current technology in place is out of date and insufficient for helping them do their jobs. We think that these numbers would be even higher if PR professionals were polled separately.

Marketers overwhelmingly cite budget (69%),  as the top obstacle to implementing new marketing technology at their companies. When it comes to investing in the business, “There is no budget,” is almost always code for, “We think this money could be better spent on something else.” Why is it that marketers and PR Pros have such a hard time positioning technology to support their work as a priority?

It could be the outdated belief that the practices of Marketing and PR are “soft,” meaning that they are not data-driven and don’t produce measurable business results. The rise of digital marketing has done much to put this legacy idea behind for marketers. Today’s solutions make it easy to directly tie marketing to revenue and prove ROI. Modern media monitoring, and PR impact analysis solutions like TrendKite are poised to do the same for PR.

We’d say that the state of marketing and PR technology in 2016 is strong. The speed of innovation in these areas is increasing rapidly and new tools to improve and measure results are available every day. The challenge remains proving the value of both PR work and technology. At Trendkite, we’re cracking that nut one impact report at a time.


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