Despite the hype, most marketers not investing in hot new technologies

Fear of missing out, or FOMO, apparently isn’t a concern for marketers when it comes to new marketing technologies.

According to a survey conducted as part of OnBrand Magazine’s State of Branding Report 2017, marketers are well aware of the new technologies that are expected to be important to their brands in coming years, but the majority aren’t rushing to invest in them before they’re fully-baked.

Why are marketers holding back on new tech?

Of the more than 550 marketing executives and brand managers OnBrand Magazine surveyed, 65% have no plans to invest in new technologies like 360-degree video, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), chatbots and beacons in 2017.

The reason: with marketers already citing proving ROI as their biggest challenge, fewer are willing to embrace new technologies when the ROI case isn’t clear, even if the theoretical value of the technologies themselves is.

For example, OnBrand Magazine found that of the marketers surveyed, “70 percent recognized the value of virtual and augmented reality,” but only 14% and 7% plan to invest in VR and AR, respectively, in 2017.

Put simply, marketers apparently buy into VR and AR’s coolness, but aren’t convinced that they’re going to be able to use them to drive ROI at the moment.

Virtual reality: Cool technology, but an as-yet unproven marketing channel

While it’s not surprising that most marketers aren’t yet willing to invest in technologies like VR and AR, which are still quite niche, new technologies that are more widely accessible are also, for the most part, being shunned. Take chatbots, for instance. They have been used in China for years, and Facebook began its big chatbot push in April of last year.

But despite the fact that brands like 1-800-FLOWERS, Uber and eBay have created chatbots for Facebook Messenger, just 9% of marketers polled said that they would be investing in chatbots in 2017.

So what are marketers investing in this year?

The answer: the basics, for the most part.

58% of the marketers in the survey indicated they would be investing in marketing analytics, 49% said they would invest in social media monitoring and 45% are planning to invest in customer experience tools.

Other popular areas of investment include content management systems, digital asset management systems and marketing automation.

While all of these are not without their limitations and challenges, including around ROI, it’s clear that when it comes to where they spend their money, marketers are far more confident in established markets and ecosystems, and technologies that fall into the ‘nuts and bolts’ category.

Those shiny but unproven technologies will have to wait.

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