Six Unstoppable Disruptions in Marketing Technology

The Biggest Disruptions in Marketing Technology You Should Be Expecting This Year

Speaking to top marketing leaders in the industry led us to believe that the buzzing ecosystem of marketing technologies would have more disruptions in 2018 than ever before. Most disruptions in marketing technology are likely to shape the way marketers use automation, programmatic systems, and AI/ML capabilities for account-based targeting, customer experience management, and content marketing.

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For this part of our Predictions Series 2018, we spoke to the senior executives at leading martech companies — Amobee, Adobe, Epsilon, Contently, Thunder, and Indicative.

Brand Safety and Measurability Keys to Achieve Hyper-Growth in Connected TV and Digital OOH Experiences

Katie Ford, Chief Client Officer at Amobee, said, “We will see the industry continue to advance to a state where all media becomes programmable, driven by marketer’s demand to better understand data and metrics, and desire for increasing the control over their media investments. The innovations and possibilities surrounding advanced TV and digital-out-of-home are particularly exciting. Transparency and brand safety will continue to remain key priorities in the industry.”

Katie added, “Brands and agencies are seeking a full picture and the ability to derive actionable, data-driven insights for their brand and customers. Marketers want the ability to create smarter connections leveraging data across walled gardens to fuel omnichannel engagement. The ad tech players best suited to provide this type of programmatic buying are going to win the day in 2018 and beyond.”

Identity Management: An IT Problem Set to Rock the Marketer’s Boat

According to Kevin Mabley, SVP of Epsilon’s Strategic Consulting Group, Identity Management would serve a bigger challenge to IT teams as well as the marketing groups. In 2018, CEOs and CMOs would have to take on the mantle of the Chief Customer Officer, owning accountability of customer data is managed across the value chain.

Kevin Mabley said, “Customer data is a critical component to delivering the brand experiences customers expect today and in turn, marketing is increasingly becoming responsible for collecting, managing and securing that data.  As a result, many of the implications and purchase decisions around marketing technology will start with requirements coming from the CMO, rather than from the back office.”

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So, how would Identity Management become a marketer’s problem in 2018?

Kevin explained, “Across all devices and channels, consumers have one identity. It is up to marketing organizations to make sure individual customer profiles are as complete as possible so brands can reach those consumers with the right content at moments of interest.”

Kevin added, “A unified system for managing customers as individuals, across devices, and over time, is the next step in the evolution of marketing technology. And it’s critical marketer’s own this issue to ensure their identity management solution provides the granularity, accuracy and persistent connectivity required to see ROI on their marketing spend. Today we think about systems and infrastructure to support transactions and inventory, tomorrow we will use back-end transactions as profiles that can be used to enrich our front-end customer experiences.”

Moving towards how Identity Management can offer simplify the customer experience, Kevin said, “According to recent Epsilon research, consumers who believe companies are doing well on offering personalized experiences shop more than three times more frequently. Marketers no longer need to make the business case for personalization, there is no doubt it has a revenue impact.  Instead, 2018 will be about making attribution more accurate through machine learning and identity management to fuel better marketing investment decisions.”

Would AI Work Under the Hood Just to Mystify Marketers?

Kevin Lindsay, Director of Product Marketing, Adobe Target, “Whether marketers are new to personalization and optimization or run a highly mature, sophisticated program around it, 2018 should be all about exploring AI-driven personalization. But it’s not just enough to have AI running in the background; marketers need visibility into what the machine learning algorithm that’s powering the AI, is doing under the hood.”

Kevin added, “Having this insight answers questions about why the algorithm decided to deliver the experience it did, what attributes of the visitor it deemed most predictive, what experience resonated best with what audience, and so on. This information can guide marketers in determining the types of experiences they create and what specific audiences to target in an effort to drive the most accurate personalized experiences at scale.”

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Kevin’s colleague from Adobe Experience Manager, Elliot Sedegah, elucidated how AI/ML are ‘so nice to have” options to overcome the probable disruptions in marketing technology. Elliott added, “We’ve been talking about AI and machine learning as a ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ scenario in content marketing for a while now, but 2018 will be the year it becomes a ‘required’ scenario. Consumers are no longer impressed that you’ve personalized your website based on what they’ve clicked on in the past; that’s become an expectation. They now require a holistic, consistent experience as they move from channel to channel and device to device in their journeys with your brand.”

Elliot mentioned, “Machine learning and AI technology can automatically facilitate and assist in many mundane aspects of content creation management and experience delivery, giving marketers and creatives the time they need to be more strategic and creative about delivering the most relevant experiences to customers.”

Data Savvy, Aye!

According to Jeremy Levy, CEO and Co-Founder of the behavioral analytics platform Indicative, 2018 will be the year of data-savvy marketers. Marketing teams will be expected more than ever to leverage data to optimize their activities.

However, Jeremy throws caution to the winds by adding more. He said, “This (the deluge of working with data) doesn’t mean that marketers will suddenly be required to be data scientists. It means they will be equipped with easy-to-use tools that empower them to simply perform complex analyses. With behavioral analytics platforms like Indicative, marketers will be able to input and assess their own data, without waiting on their data teams to do it for them.”

For CMOs and marketing leaders, the content transformation will continue to gain momentum as a critical aspect of digital transformation. While content is the currency of digital marketing, many companies have not prioritized transforming the content lifecycle; according to SiriusDecisions, 75 percent of B2B enterprise organizations have not formalized how they approach content creation.

Content Transformation to Manage Audiences Across Disparate Marketing Channels

Henry Bruce, SVP of Marketing, Contently, said, “There are plenty of opportunities for marketing leaders who take content transformation seriously. According to the CMO Council, ‘32 percent of a B2C organization’s budget and 28 percent of a B2B organization’s budget is spent on content’–suffice it to say, improving the efficiency and performance of content has the potential to drive significant business results. To accomplish this, senior marketers need to holistically rethink the strategy, process, and technology behind how they create content and adapt them for an always-on, digital world where audiences are increasingly dispersed across an array of disparate channels.”

According to Scott Litman, Managing Partner and Co-founder of Equals3, Content Marketing and Marketing Automation will “get married” this year!

Scott said, “Marketers have been on an ongoing journey for years to deliver better 1:1 messages. They have invested in infrastructure, they have built the journeys and simultaneously, the area of content marketing has been an area of ongoing growth and investment.  But, too often, these simultaneous areas of growth have been independent of one another. The thing is, marketing automation’s ability to deliver 1:1 is constantly limited by the quality of appropriate content that matches the needs of the “1.”  With content marketing and marketing automation both being top trends, this is or at least should be, the year that they truly get wedded. Businesses that embrace this will get significant performance gains versus those that do not.”

Condensing of the MarTech Tools and Quality Assessment

Victor Wong, CEO of Thunder, said, “Martech leaders will begin to grapple with their investment in data starting with their data management platforms. The first generation of solutions is now simultaneously facing challenges by Customer Data Platforms and questions on the real reaches of audiences because of match rates between systems. Even tougher questions will come around what exactly they are doing with this data to change the customer and brand experience when they are able to activate it since that was the whole point of the investment.”

Disruptions in Marketing Technology Will Invite More Reliance on Mobile Data

In a recent MarTech Interview Series, David Dowhan, CEO of TruSignal, had mentioned that the quality of the offline data would remain important, but the speed and transparency of the modeling would grow to become the key aspects as well. In all this, “as cookies continue to crumble, accurate mobile data is becoming the preferred digital identity currency.”

The winners who would overcome disruptions in marketing technology would be the ones that have a solid stack of data management platform, customer data analytics to deliver personalized experiences, AI-driven content marketing tools, full-funnel attribution, brand safety standards, and Customer Identity Management capabilities.

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