Predictions of Marketing Technology
In Gartner’s 2015 Data-Driven Marketing Survey we saw three new technologies entering the hype cycle, Predictive B2B Marketing, Ad Blocking, and Mobile Wallet. Further, the 2016 Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising suggested that the combination of four key data-centric marketing driving forces including personalization, real-time marketing systems, the employment of contextual clues, and the convergence of Martech and Adtech would lead to more appropriate uses of IoT devices and analytics, and machine learning and personalization bolstering data-centric marketing tactics. As Gartner’s 2016-2017 Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Spend Survey predicts higher marketing budgets in 2017, one wonders what marketing technology holds for us in the year to come.
In the second annual State of Marketing Technology report from Walker Sands, it’s suggested that marketers are becoming more comfortable with the ever increasing variety of tools at their disposal, many adopting martech devices more quickly. Unfortunately, more than half of today’s marketers aren’t managing to keep up with these changes. Though many marketers are seen jumping in with both feet, taking advantage of what one expert summed a landscape of nearly 4,000 solutions, just as many others are entirely overwhelmed by the new technology and requirements of the evolving digital marketing space. Surprisingly, this tremendous array of tools has not led the majority of companies to seek a single vendor for their marketing cloud, a solution which might offer greater ease of use and comfort. Instead, the majority of organizations both large and small are focusing on the integration of best-of-breed architecture to provide the best solution for each requirement, no matter the mix required.
Integration and Best-of-Breed
Along with the data suggesting best-of-breed architecture leads in martech selections, Walker Sands’ study finds that integrated best-of-breed marketing technology is the most popular and the majority of respondents believe their companies are well able to leverage the power of integrated best-of-breed tools. But fragmented best-of-breed stacks shouldn’t be disqualified just yet; currently, 21% of participants indicated use – just 6% less than those using integrated best-of-breed stacks. In fact, integration didn’t rank particularly high when respondents were asked what would better help them leverage the full power of their current marketing technology stack; instead 39% of respondents submitted that better strategy was key to this improved leveraging, and improved analytics and more training also ranked high on the list of ‘keys to fully leveraging martech stack.’
Virtual & Augmented Reality
Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have recently been moving toward the mainstream with a range of industries developing methods to incorporate the once ‘science fiction’ tech. The advertising and marketing industries are no different. According to the IDC’s annual tech projections, “in 2017, 30% of consumer-facing Global 2000 companies will experiment with AR/VR as part of their marketing efforts.” As marketers recognize the value of interfaces for direct customer engagement, this evolution is occurring faster than expected and the IDC expects virtual and augmented reality adoption to reach mass levels by 2021. In just five years it’s projected that over a billion people globally will regularly use a virtual or augmented reality platform to access data, content, and apps.
It appears that, despite martech concerns such as ad-blocking tools and the effectiveness of some of the digital marketing and advertising tools, the role of digital marketing advertising moves from strength to strength and the plans for spend in this area remain high. A shift of offline media spending to digital channels is also being noted, suggesting that in years to come some of the better digital marketing tools we’re just coming to grips with today will hold an important position in the martech stack. 2017 will probably only see the foundations of a few of these innovations.
By Jennifer Klostermann