Despite over $34 billion spent on marketing technology in the UK and US this year, half of marketers admit they don’t have all the necessary tools, according to a study from marketing intelligence service company WARC.

In a survey of more than 500 UK and North American brands and agencies, WARC and accountancy firm Moore Stephens published the Martech: 2018 and Beyond report to assess the state of the space in the regions.

The research has evaluated the industry to be worth between $34 billion and $40 billion this year as the number of businesses offering martech services has grown from 150 in 2011 to approximately 5,000. With budgets estimated to rise 10% over the next year, it’s expected that by the end of 2018 industry spend could fall somewhere between $36 billion and $43 billion.

ADYOULIKE’s chief digital officer and UK MD, Dale Lovell, finds the stats “really encouraging” and believes the increasing level of spend on marketing tech shows the value brands, agencies and the industry see in martech.

However, the study has revealed marketers aren’t satisfied with the current status, and half of those surveyed believe they don’t have the tools they need. Moreover, over half of agency respondents (58%) stated they don’t believe their clients have what they need and don’t fully utilise what martech tools they do currently have.

Lovell acknowledges the feedback as a challenge but he’s confident that with the potential behind new technologies such as AI – more “cutting-edge tools” – will be available to boost campaigns.

“For example, AI solutions such as IBM’s Watson, are able to crunch data at huge scale, working on thousands of pages per second and analysing everything from keywords, to IAB categories, to gauging emotions such as anger, disgust, fear, joy or sadness,” he explained.

“For our industry, brands, agencies and publishers who take the plunge and implement the technology as a matter of strategic business importance will reap huge benefits, both now and in future,” he added.