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When you think of marketing technology (MarTech), the average Joe would probably think it has something to do with sending out newsletters and personalised product recommendations. True, but MarTech has come a long way from the mere collection and use of customer data. Recently, the MarTech Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) was projected at 14.3%, pointing to the growing interest to explore the MarTech space. Trends, however, come and go. Therefore, it is essential to keep up to date on what customers are looking forward to seeing in this coming year.
By anticipating which trends will significantly impact the market, marketers will be able to identify the best way to reach out to their target audience and rise above the dissonance of multiple ads attempting to blast the same message. Most important, they will forge an environment that also allows non-marketers to understand the value of their business.
1. Customer data platforms (CDPs)
CDPs are marketer-managed systems designed to collect customer data from all sources, normalise it and build unique, unified profiles of each customer.
Marketers frequently take charge of multiple MarTech tools, inevitably leading to possible data duplication, lack of accuracy, and integration problems. Businesses are expected to deliver personalised customer experiences, and the uptake of CDPs will be able to help them do so.
The consolidation of data allows organisations to understand how their audience targeting, customer experience, and implementation strategies are interconnected. This gives companies a better understanding of consumer decisions. CDPs also provide almost real-time updates on consumer data, allowing marketers to actively engage with them and identify opportunities to improve their experience.
2. Artificial intelligence and machine learning
In relation to CDPs, AI and machine learning are also gaining traction in the MarTech scene. AI and machine learning are heavily leveraged to optimise the collection and analyses of customer data, enabling targeted business insights at a faster pace than ever before. An increase in the use of chatbots, predictive analytics and natural language processing (NLP) is expected to be commonplace this year.
Anticipate customer behaviour. Automate internal processes. Alleviate unexpected stock shortages. These are just a few of the benefits that AI and machine learning can bring.
While there is always the talk of AI taking over jobs, ultimately, humans still need to be the ones strategising and making the decisions. Therefore, it can be said that AI is merely a tool, waiting for the right handler to make use of it.
3. Marketing automation
As suggested in the name itself, marketing automation automates repetitive tasks and improves the efficiency of a company’s marketing efforts. Businesses can adopt marketing automation platforms (MAPs) to identify and nurture potential customers. They also automate the process of using various channels, such as email, social media, web pages and display ads to guide customers to personalised landing pages, bringing them closer to a sale.
4. Omnichannel marketing
One of the most expected trends in MarTech this year would be cross-channel marketing. Using a multi-platform advertising strategy will create several touch points for a campaign to reach out to its target audience. This creates cohesive and consistent experiences across all channels to effectively reach and engage with customers.
When customers view the same business across multiple channels, it increases brand visibility. Furthermore, driving the same message across different channels gives the consumer the autonomy to decide which channel they prefer to use. Putting power in the hands of your target audience could possibly be the push they need to engage with your company.
Besides benefitting your consumers, omnichannel marketing can also lead to positive impacts within your company. By sharing insights from omnichannel marketing, businesses can enhance cross-team collaboration in various ways, such as aligning sales and marketing. Analysing how customers interact with the brand across different touchpoints can aid sales teams in enhancing the in-store experience. Additionally, keeping track of a customer’s past interactions, both online and offline, can assist customer service representatives in resolving issues and complaints more efficiently.
5. Interactive and immersive content
There was a huge buzz around Web3 and the metaverse in 2022. However, 2022 was also a bad year for the cryptocurrency market. This inadvertently impacted the uptake of the metaverse in the marketing sector.
Even though the metaverse might not have fully taken off yet, there’s no reason why you should shelve interactive and immersive MarTech. Businesses interested in creating a unique platform to reach out to their target audience can consider virtual and augmented reality, gamification, and interactive videos. Active engagement with your target audiences has proven to drive sales upward by up to 200%. Why tell your consumers what you have to offer when you can just show them?
6. Voice search optimisation
With the increasing popularity of voice assistants, businesses need to optimise their content for voice search to ensure that they are easily discovered by customers using these devices. The most important part of optimisation would be using the correct keywords that provide direct answers.
For example, someone might ask “Hey Google! What does company A specialise in?”. Hiding the information under some fancy descriptive language about how many awards the company has won probably won’t be much help. People are increasingly concerned about convenience, which is exactly what drives the demand for voice searches. Companies must recognise that direct answers are always appreciated.
7. Influencer marketing
Influencers are not new to the marketing scene. Throughout the pandemic, there have been multiple internet personalities that have risen to fame. This marketing tactic shows no sign of slowing down with the recognition of micro– and nano-influencers. Besides being cheaper than macro-influencers, micro- and nano-influencers give higher returns in terms of fanbase engagement. As such, it creates greater engagement with the target audience.
There is great potential for this tactic, but as with every other MarTech out there, it also needs to be employed wisely. Patience is key for this comparatively slower tactic. Pair that with a strategic and focused approach to find the correct influencer for your brand.
One simple rule: Influencer marketing is marketing to influencers. Only when the influencer trusts you will you start seeing returns. Therefore, it is essential to measure the effectiveness of an influencer using more than just mere popularity. Build a relationship with them, building up your credibility with their fan base in the process.
8. Video marketing
Video will continue to be a powerful marketing tool, with businesses using it to create more engaging and shareable content. Some examples of video marketing that have gained traction are live streaming and short-form videos.
Live streaming is no stranger to the MarTech world. It’s been around since 1993 and has only been gaining popularity since 2010. Connecting with the audience should be at the forefront of your business’s goal when hosting a live stream. Interacting with the audience will boost brand loyalty as they gain a sense of familiarity with your brand.
TikTok started as the pioneer of the short-form video scene, shortly followed by YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels. The continuous growth of this sector proves how lucrative this marketing tactic is. When it comes to short-form videos, there is nothing more important than authenticity and personality. No one goes to TikTok for a corporate video; that’s not where it belongs. Instead, consumers want to see what your brand represents. They want to know who are the brains that drive your company, your mission and your values.
These trends could change at any point through 2023, but the 1 thing for sure is that the MarTech sector will only continue growing. Brands need to stay on their toes to ensure that they do not get overshadowed by their competitors. Most important, businesses need to remember: You don’t need every MarTech tool out there: Pick and choose which fits your brand the best.