2020 was hailed as the start of a new decade — an era driven by technology. However, the global Covid pandemic and the ‘new normal’ brought about a sea of change, specifically consumer behaviour.
Today, marketing technology — or MarTech — has risen in response to the crowded digital media marketplace. Simply put, MarTech refers to the initiatives, efforts, and tools that implement technology to achieve marketing goals and objectives.
As the competition increases, more and more premium brands are looking to derive greater ad spends, views, and revenue with the help of marketing technologies. In fact, according to industry estimates, over 60% of marketing leaders in the world are now using at least one marketing automation platform.
In such a scenario, what can we look forward to in 2021 and beyond? Should your organisation implement MarTech to stay ahead of competition? Which major trends and technological drivers will impact how businesses win customers? Let’s dive deeper.
DID YOU KNOW?49% of users say they use Google to discover or find a new item or product
Source: Think with Google, 2019
Design for change and growth
If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to adapt and design for change and growth. And Scott Brinker’s ‘Martec’s Law’ talks precisely about that.
Scott Brinker, a leading figure in the Martech space, believes that though technology changes in the blink of an eye, organisations, unfortunately, do not. Marketing technology or MarTech can bridge this gap by allowing organisations to keep up with the ever-changing expectations of customers while equipping marketers to get work done.
If you know where to start and what the right approach is, then there’s no stopping you. In fact, Brinker goes on to say that the Covid pandemic has been one of the biggest drivers of innovation because over 74% of organisations surveyed are now altering their marketing tactics to keep up with the changing tides.
The key here is in understanding that continuous change and growth is something that we should all anticipate and plan for. Embracing this idea allows businesses to make it through to the other side, irrespective of any unprecedented events, as in the case of the pandemic.
Where is marketing technology headed?
Marketing technology is a robust and diverse landscape, one that is slowly but surely growing.
If your content marketing solution is not designed to anticipate future demand, you may be forced to sacrifice quality and accuracy in the interest of speed and simplicity.
With businesses across the globe going digital, building software, and establishing an online presence, a significant number of organisations are now leaning towards best-of-breed solutions over integrated suites. This means that enterprise suite vendors must either replace parts of their suite or merge them with other MarTech software to provide interoperability across platforms.
Emerging marketing technology trends for 2021
‘Out with the old, in with the new’ is the motto of the MarTech world, as evolved versions of technology push their legacy counterparts off the map. With the speed at which new technologies are developed, marketers need to stay on top of their game to stay relevant. Here are some marketing technology trends to look out for in 2021 and beyond.
1. Voice search
Voice Search Optimisation (VSO) is taking the digital marketing world by storm, with over 27% of the online global population using voice search on their smartphones. In fact, a Gartner study predicted that 30% of all browsing sessions would include voice search by the end of 2020.
Further, according to PwC, over 65% of people between the ages of 25 and 49 speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once every day. However, on the flip side, only 4% of businesses were ‘voice search ready’ at the end of 2019.
This means that if companies wish to sell voice search-related ads and generate revenue, they have no choice but to implement some form of marketing technology. Meanwhile, the structure of the content they produce will also play a critical role, with many businesses drawing from ‘position zero’ search snippets.
2. AI and Machine Learning
Investments in the Artificial Intelligence space are bearing fruit like never before, in turn, accelerating the process of developing marketing strategies to keep up with the changing times.
For starters, over 64% of marketers believe that real-time, personalised ads will become a norm by the end of 2020. This, in turn, allows organisations to deliver personalised experiences to their customers. An extreme example of this is Replika AI — a MarTech software that allows you to ‘recreate’ conversations with your loved ones who have passed on, using chat patterns and behaviours.
In 2021 and beyond, you can expect to see the applications of AI in marketing to understand and improve customer service, enhance customer engagement, and provide personalised data insights.
3. Video consumption
Studies have indicated that by 2021, the average online viewing time in the world will increase to 100 minutes per day. This means that more and more users will spend time online consuming video content.
DID YOU KNOW?
More than half (56%) of US consumers prefer video ads which are relevant to the videos they are watching as opposed to ads that are relevant to their browsing behavior or their mindset.
Source: Marketing Charts
This shift creates a long-overdue marketing technology growth opportunity in video quality, streaming speeds, and video analytics. In fact, video analytics is predicted to grow to a €2.5 billion business by 2022. This means that there will be a rapid development of technology in that area.
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