New Research Uncovers The Top Pain Point For Marketing Leaders


A marketer stands in front of a whiteboard with diagrams of the customer journey.

A new survey from DemandLab suggests that “integration” is a word that makes today’s marketing leaders want to run for the hills.

Integration was listed as the top challenge, with half of all respondents reporting that integrating data across more technologies was the most challenging barrier to marketing data and technology success. And it’s no wonder, given that the average enterprise uses an average of 91 marketing cloud services.

The DemandLab survey, 2018 Leadership Perspectives: Leveraging Data and Technology to Drive Marketing Success, asked marketing managers, directors, and VPs to share their biggest challenges and successes. While the survey covered a number of topics, integration emerged as one of the most contradictory topics.

Half of respondents identified data integration as a top challenge, and 42 percent also admitted that it’s a top priority. But despite the fact that integration is both mission-critical and a top pain point, nearly half of all marketing leaders (48 percent) are still not actively working on integrating data across marketing technologies.

What is holding them back?

Part of the problem is that integration is hard. Marketing technology has matured over the past few years, but the market is still highly fragmented. Scott Brinker’s 2018 estimate for the number of marketing technology solutions on the market nearly tops 7,000–up from 5,000 in 2017. With so many solutions jostling for space, effortless integration across the marketing stack is likely to be elusive for a while yet.

However, marketing leaders can still take action and work towards a more holistic view of the customer. Even if the solutions themselves still don’t play nicely together, workarounds such as building data warehouses and data lakes, which integrate the data across discrete solutions, can help marketers bridge the gap.

The important thing is to do something, because the longer marketers delay, the further behind they are likely to fall. Integration is possible, and it’s a prerequisite to marketing success. A 2016 Forrester study commissioned by Google found that marketers who reported that their marketing analytics platform was well integrated were more than twice as likely to exceed their revenue goals.

The DemandLab survey paints a picture of a generally cautious group of leaders who recognize the value of integration, but are hesitant to take decisive action. Integration is clearly top of mind, yet it’s equally clear that a surprising number of marketers may be underestimating how urgent the situation is and how achievable the solutions are.

For more insights into the use of data and technology among marketing leaders, download the full report.


Uncover what marketing decision-makers are thinking—and doing—about data and how this impacts martech initiatives today.

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