Marketo, Inc., the leading provider of marketing software and solutions, today released the results of its global survey on the future of technology and its effect on marketers. Respondents from Australia, France, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom identify the internet of things (IoT), machine learning, predictive analytics, and virtual reality as the top technologies they and their customers will leverage in 2017, but disagree on which to prioritize first.

Additional top insights from the survey include:

  • Over half (57 percent) of all respondents in the U.S. believe predictive analytics will be the primary technology they leverage in order to best engage with their customers, compared to only 11 percent of international marketers
  • Half of U.S. marketers (50 percent) believe their customers will be utilizing machine learning next year, while only a quarter (25 percent) of international marketers believe their customers will be using machine learning
  • As marketers continue to prove demonstrable value and ROI, they cite reporting and analytics as a critical need, with 37 percent of everyone surveyed listing it as a top priority; interestingly, however, U.S. marketers feel more strongly about this need than their international counterparts (42 percent vs. 34 percent)
  • 31 percent of international marketers believe IoT would be the primary channel for interacting with customers in 2017, while only 16 percent of U.S. marketers believe the same

With a complex digital landscape, marketers are challenged with staying above the noise and making sense of an unprecedented amount of data, so it’s no surprise that predictive analytics top their list for 2017,” said Chandar Pattabhiram, CMO, Marketo. “As emerging technologies like IoT and virtual reality are increasingly adopted by consumers and businesses – bringing massive data volumes with them – we’ll see the need for behavior-driven analytics continue to grow.”

While marketers at large recognize the opportunity these new touchpoints present, respondents identify the need for new tools and technologies to manage these relationships, instead of new training, as essential for success. The report finds that 37 percent of marketers feel better reporting and analytics to make sense of all the data would be the key to successfully maintaining customer relationships, while 33 percent say they require a platform to keep up with the speed and volume of interactions. Only 12 percent of respondents think digital training or education would be required for success.

U.S. vs. International Marketers

The survey also identifies where American marketers’ priorities overlapped with their global counterparts and where they diverged. Overall, American marketers are more pessimistic about the impact of new touchpoints on their engagement with customers, with only 48 percent saying they are excited compared to 62 percent of marketers around the world. More than a quarter (26 percent) of U.S. respondents feel they don’t have a handle on existing touch points, juxtaposed with only 14 percent of international marketers reporting the same concern. This is likely due to the fact that 26 percent of U.S. marketers report a need for better cross-channel communication, critical to managing a multitude of touchpoints, compared with only 15 percent of international marketers.