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Linus Gregoriadis
Linus Gregoriadis 21 February 2019

Three technology trends defining the future of marketing

There are now only six weeks to go until the MarTech West conference in San Jose, California. Here we bring you three marketing technology trends that are helping to shape the future of business. Read on to learn more about these key trends … and to find out more about the conference.

Companies embrace technology to improve the customer experience

Technology alone isn’t the solution to fixing a company’s customer experience issues, but it can go a long way towards helping. While the word ‘martech’ explicitly refers to marketing technology, much of the software in this industry is focused on improving customer engagement. 

The Content & Experience column of the Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic alone contains hundreds of vendors, all geared to a less or greater degree towards improving CX while also increasing revenues and reducing costs.

A major finding from the new Adobe Digital Trends 2019 report, produced in partnership with Econsultancy, is that successful businesses are increasingly those that are able to deliver first-class, personalised customer experiences built on a foundation of integrated marketing and CX technology.

According to the research, CX leaders are four-and-a-half times more likely than other companies to have a highly integrated, cloud-based technology stack (32% vs. 7%), and companies with a highly unified marketing and CX technology stack are 131% more likely to have significantly outperformed their top 2018 business goal (30% vs. 13%).

MarTech West will feature a fireside chat with Adobe EVP and CMO Ann Lewnes as part of the Thursday agenda.

The move to open platforms and a new wave of independent and specialist vendors

This is a trend highlighted by MarTech conference chair (and Marketing Technology Landscape creator) Scott Brinker, in an article about his vision for the Second Golden Age of MarTech.

According to Brinker, ecosystems are evolving from a competition between all-in-one marketing suites (e.g. Adobe or Salesforce) and best-of-breed point solutions, to open platforms complemented by integrated, third-party apps.

Consolidation among the major marketing platforms has helped to create a more open and stable foundation for the creation of apps that can seamlessly plug in to a marketer’s stack, while the growth of micro services and APIs in the cloud has made it easier to deliver smaller, discrete areas of functionality.

Brinker argues that reducing the challenge of integrating disparate systems could open up a whole new wave of martech innovation: “It could enable a much broader set of martech vendors who don’t need to raise large VC rounds to create profitable businesses within a platform’s ecosystem — micro-ISVs [independent software vendors] filling out a long tail of specialized and niche capabilities that are easy for marketers to add to their stacks.”

Artificial intelligence becomes business as usual

The Econsultancy/Adobe Digital Trends 2019 report found that there has been a 50% year-on-year increase in the proportion of large organizations (those with $65m+ annual revenues) stating they are already using artificial intelligence, up from 24% to 36%.

The report documents the growing interest in how AI — among other use cases — can enhance data analysis, enabling much more efficient mining and examination of the huge volume of both structured and unstructured data generated by campaigns and other customer interactions.

The ability to autonomously evaluate and learn is perceived to lend itself naturally to predictive analytics, bringing organizations new levels of intelligence and insight regarding likely future trends. 

The research also found that CX leaders are twice as likely as other companies to be using AI within their organizations, demonstrating the opportunities to deliver more relevant and personalized experiences through better insights around what content, offer or call-to-action to generate at any given moment in time.

We are fast reaching the point where AI is being harnessed behind the scenes for real-time decisioning without even marketers — let alone consumers — necessarily knowing about it.   

AI is also one of the driving forces behind the growth of voice commerce, a theme that will be covered at MarTech West by NPR Chief Marketing Officer Meg Goldthwaite in a session entitled The New Era of V-Commerce.   

MarTech West takes place in San Jose, California, from 3-5 April 2019. Beta rates expire on March 2.

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