“Empty Software” Stifling Marketing Innovation and Widening the Technology Adoption Gap

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New study reveals the hurdles marketers need to overcome to deliver on their value and productivity demands

London, UK – The latest study from martech specialist Emarsys reveals that businesses and their marketing departments are struggling to switch on the marketing technology they’re acquiring, preventing them from achieving company-wide objectives. In fact 28% of all software deployed on PCs is unused and ‘Empty Software’ is the culprit accounting for $224 and $266 worth of vacant software sitting on the average desktop in the US and UK respectively.

‘Empty software’ is where a business purchases marketing technology based on the assumption that it will provide value quickly, but the software itself is not populated with the data or programmes to deliver that value. Equally it also reveals usability problems, as it becomes clear that practitioners are unable to make best use of all features and functions, due to the complexity of platforms and a lack of adequate training in how to use them. This experience leads to significant widening the overall technology adoption gap and having a direct impact on the productivity gains marketers should enjoy from their marketing technology platforms.



Mike Doyle, Head of Marketing at surf and street fashion retailer, City Beach says: “Many marketing teams (and businesses) suffer from a technical knowledge gap and lack of evaluation of marketing technology, opening the door to snake oil sales people pitching empty software and false promises. Things are changing, but most software still demands an unreasonably high level of technical knowledge to learn, implement and maintain. But most businesses aren’t blameless – the selection process for solutions often neglects to answer one important question… ‘what business problem does this software look to solve.’”

The study also looks at a new use case for AI in helping accelerate the return on investment offered by smart technology that marketers are struggling to attain. Aside from its role in automating and personalising communications at scale, AI can also generate the initial data marketers need to get campaigns up and running, but often don’t have. Whether it’s ‘filling up’ Empty Software, or making full use of what’s already in place, AI can deliver the scale and speed human marketing teams can’t.

Sean Brady, President at Emarsys Americas said: “For a tool to be useful, it obviously needs to be intuitive and make you more productive,” said Sean Brady, President, Emarsys Americas. “When we look at why smartphones and tablets are successful, the key lies in their usability – and the same goes for marketing tools. We need to take the technology out of the software. This study shows that the marketing technology industry is in need of software that comes pre-populated, not empty of knowledge.

Brady concludes: “Taking the complexity out of your technology requires first defining a clear objective. Once we’ve identified as marketers our objective, we need a path to follow, and a methodology so we can backtrack if need be, tracing results to the points that got us there, all the way up to the initial intended goal. A mindset leading with objectives, then strategy, and finally tactics will help marketers start evaluating their processes more clearly and better reach their intended goals.

“This approach is not necessarily about changing what you’re doing now; rather it’s about optimizing the methodology to make sure you achieve you desired results through your solutions.”

The full report is available here: https://engage.emarsys.com/empty-software-report-2019

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About Emarsys
Emarsys is the largest independent marketing platform company in the world. The company provides actionable intelligence to enterprises targeting their consumers, combining machine learning and data science with true personalization and multichannel delivery to reach consumers most effectively, maximizing engagement and results. With more than 800 employees in 15 global office locations, Emarsys serves more than 2,300 clients in 140 countries. Every month, Emarsys sends over seven billion messages — helping consumers increase revenue and ROI.



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