Last year we saw the release of new technologies like Google Home and the iPhone X.
The world has become more digitized now, with the invent of smartphones and so digital marketing has made a foray into our day to day life.
While integration of traditional and digital marketing is need of the hour, technology is impacting the marketing field like never before.
This year the “MarTech” landscape has many upcoming marketing trends. MarTech is the blending of marketing and technology. So anyone involved with digital marketing is indirectly dealing with Martech since digital by its very nature is technologically-based.
Scott Brinker’s Martech landscape shows the growth of marketing technology landscape over the past 7 years. The year 2011 had 150 companies listed. In 2015, it had grown to 2,000. Last year, it nearly doubled from that to the 3,500 mark. This year, it includes 4,891 — close enough to 5000, Brinker has nicknamed this year the “Martech 5000.”
Of these companies, Brinker says:
- 9% are enterprises, with more than 1,000 employees or are public
- 2% are private businesses, less than 1,000 employees or no funding data
- 8% are investor-funded startups at any pre-exit stage
Which marketing technologies you would like to invest in 2018?
With so many options available, where should smart investors spend their MarTech budgets in 2018? Below are 10 major trends for 2018 that will impact both B2B and B2C.
To increase relevance and get more response from customers, website personalization has to be looked at. We need to think from the customer’s perspective about what their experience was when something was communicated to them digitally at different points in their journey.
If your websites and marketing channels are still delivering product-centric, similar content to all, then your efforts can go waste. Build websites that give 20 something different homepage experiences to the customer, depending on his persona and his point of contact within the website. Emails need to be dynamic. Advertising needs to be contextual and deliver the right message at the right time. Every message, every user experience needs to be personalized and relevant. If not, customers will abandon you and go somewhere else.
With the convergence of AdTech and MarTech, the marketing team can deliver contextualized messages at scale, but care has to be taken against ever-growing government regulations and customer preferences. Start with asking your customers what they want, then figure out how to give it to them in a secure way.
People want useful content, not ads. Smart marketers will have to figure out, how they can deliver useful content to the users minus the ads, or adjust their business models to offer premium content for a small subscription fee. Ad blocking will continue to be a major trend in 2018, making life difficult for advertisers to reach their audience without paying a premium.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making in-roads in multiple applications, and its subset AI and machine learning enhance our ability to consume large amounts of data and determine the best outcome. AI has the capability to put consumers’ searches into context and this is what helps it to fine tune SEO strategies. You may evaluate your technology partners in 2018 by asking them about their current and planned AI capabilities, then demonstrate multiple use cases on how it would be applied.
Customers are a smarter lot today and expect instant responses when they post a complaint or comment. Most marketing organizations are increasingly getting tied up with the sheer number of social channels, community sites, feedback mechanisms to look after and cannot manually keep up with all the customer service requests. In such cases, Chatbots can serve as a very scalable solution to effectively manage customer service, social monitoring, and customer engagement activities.
Automated Content Sourcing and Syndication
Most marketing teams have one goal – to produce meaningful content in a timely manner. Powered by AI and business rules-driven software, marketers can scour the web and get hold of meaningful content at all stages of the buying journey. These software tools can curate, tag and sort content in one cloud-based location, that can be easily accessed by the employees and through multiple marketing channels. These tools are a must-have in 2018.
Search inquiries through voice makeup 30% of all inquiries and supposed to grow further with IoT invading our homes, offices etc. IoT allows customers to engage without a traditional user interface. In the next few years, websites, applications, and channels will be integrated. Smart executives have to figure out how to integrate voice and conversation into their primary channels and applications.
Mobile and Proximity Search and Marketing
Location and proximity marketing is not just limited to B2C. Delivering the right content at the right time is need of the day. With the help of smartphones, marketers can track you and deliver specific products, services, and messages tailored to your need. Localization will continue to play a major factor in 2018, even for traditional websites.
YouTube, the leading video platform has overtaken Google in terms of search today. People are looking for more interactive ways of gathering information than before. Thus, video platforms and video marketing through multiple channels are an essential part of today’s marketing mix. Websites and marketing channels that are high on video content, will continue to outperform.
Data is growing at an exponential rate. Data lakes and data warehouses are obsolete. Smart marketers are therefore investing in Big Data which has the potential to provide ‘actionable insights’ and do predictive analysis based on huge amounts of collected data.
The Big Question
Now the big question is, are all marketers ready to adopt new technology? The convergence of these powerful trends is making most marketers wary – even leaving big brands and big agencies unprepared.
Though most marketers understand the importance of the above technology trends, very few plan to adapt their marketing strategies in response. A middle path has to be thought of if marketers want to remain part of the game and improve the consumer experience.