2017: Where will marketing tech go next?
Here are my thoughts on what 2017 holds for marketing tech:
Better awareness with analytics and real time data will see the interaction of the customer and the brand re-imagined in 2017 as technology facilitates a more “human” customer engagement at scale. Increasingly automated CRM tools will take service to the next level by preemptively anticipating customer needs before the event takes place. Hand in hand with this, real time data streams will become the primary fuel for CRM systems. With data coming from devices, applications and even IoT appliances, real-time data streams are poised to drive real differentiation in customer experience. Think of it as an individual “customer movie”. Marketing will be centred on leveraging these data streams to address customer needs in real time and offer solutions to problems that customers didn’t even realise they had.
But, as they embrace machine learning and AI, marketers must avoid becoming overly roboticised. Automation shouldn’t replace but drive a return to the basics of what makes a customer engage emotively with a brand. You must be sure not to underestimate the value customers instil in the human connection. 2017 will see more adoption of customer decisioning hubs where marketers think carefully about strategies that balance customer needs (and what it feels like to engage with the brand) and the drive for business results.
Additionally, 2017 will usher in a change in attitude to paid media. The spray and pray model will undergo a complete rethink. At the moment, you can bet that at least 50% of your spend is wasted; ads are charged whether they’re seen or not and, even when seen, it’s often by a bot. And why do I keep receiving ads for things I just bought? Next year we’ll see much more paid media driven by better awareness. This increased awareness will see the convergence of adtech/martech around the customer, with first-party and third-party data becoming a combined data stream that marketers can leverage for a far more contextual customer engagement in and across any and all touchpoints and channels. Know me and meet me in the channel of my choice.”
2017 will see the emergence of the CInO (Chief Insight Officer) and a much-needed collaboration across departments to drive business optimisation and meaningful relationships with customers. Organisations are collecting mountains of data on customers. The old-adage of data into insight into action is being turned on its head as real-time analytics enables organisations to re-imagine the interactions with individual customers. Now it’s outcomes/actions driving insight, driving data. These ‘Insight’ roles are going to be elevated to the C-suite to form a longer lasting part of the business.