The MarTech and Adtech (also known as madtech) industry is massive, to say the least. As a matter of fact, it’s been predicted to grow to $8.3 billion in annual revenues by 2021. And as with all industries, Adtech and MarTech trends come and go, which means that staying up-to-date will keep you a step ahead of competitors.
Although the future of Tech looks bright, it should always be grounded in data. It’s not a one size fits all and each business needs to adopt only the technology that will help achieve business outcomes and drive real results.
Here are some of the most important AdTech and MarTech trends you should be observing to keep up with the needs and demands of tomorrow’s customers.
1. Privacy regulations will make first-party data more important
Using third-party data is starting to backfire, particularly among social media sites, which have been forced to re-evaluate and change how user information is collected. A rising tide of privacy regulations, such as GDPR are making it tougher to use tracking cookies and similar tools to target and personalize ads for people based on their online habits.
So, data and analytics solutions that help companies gain single views of their customers built around first-party data are becoming more prevalent.
2. Technology will connect teams not only channels
Omnichannel marketing has been king for several years now and that isn’t likely to change.
The various teams involved in creating and disseminating ads often operate separately, only coming together around projects. The tools they use aren’t really optimized to maximize their communication and collaboration. Even more, many of the existing AdTech solutions lack the functionality to enable this level of interaction.
That could be changing, however, as vendors begin embedding features for advertising-centric collaboration within their solutions, rather than forcing marketing or advertising professionals to rely on more generic work environments.
3. Vendors will try to bring CDPs and DMPs together
Achieving a single customer view to fully understand a person’s purchase journey has been very important for marketers and advertisers for years. But getting there with current technology remains challenging.
Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) provide a solid equipment for storing information about known customers and Data Management Platforms (DMPs) do a nice job of bringing together anonymized data. While most marketers agree it would be advantageous to merge the two into a single repository of customer information, doing so is both technically and legally challenging.
That’s because these are two very different systems (with different data structures) designed for their specific purposes. Besides, because DMP data has been anonymized, merging it into a CDP with non-anonymized data would have huge privacy (and therefore regulatory) implications.
There is some data synchronization, with CDPs pushing audiences to DMPs, and DMPs pushing marketing results back to CDPs for analysis. But it’s difficult to have one integrated system that does what both CDPs and DMPs do.
4. Make user acquisition a top priority
An explosion of online ads, all aimed at securing as many customer views and acquisitions as possible, ultimately became white noise. That’s a flurry of digital content that began losing its effectiveness for most viewers because everything looked and felt roughly the same.
It is important, now more than ever, to get in front of the right users, at the right time, with the right product and there is no better way of doing this than thinking in the user first.
Users are researching, discovering and buying more online each year. While retailers are focusing their budgets more from offline advertising to online, this makes the landscape much more competitive.
5. More companies will use automation to get the most from Data
Most of the industry talk around technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has involved programmatic ad buying or bid optimization. By using programmatic ad campaigns, companies could cast a wider and more targeted net across a broader set of channels.
It’s not that marketing and advertising professionals can’t do this on their own. They can and do. But with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every day, it’s no longer humanly possible to make sense out of that information quickly and accurately enough for it to be used in a timely manner.
AI and ML can help automate that process and provide human beings with snapshots of trends and recommendations they can act on to deliver the right messages to the right customers and across the right channels.
6. The rise in voice search will overtake SEO
Voice Search Optimisation (VSO) is expected to command 50% of global search and voice-commerce will represent a USD 40 billion market by 2021.
But only 4% of businesses are ready for voice search. This changes the game for all companies on how they sell search-related ads.
For instance Burger King created a TV ad that hijacks Google voice search on most devices to get Google to advertise the Whopper for them.
7. As video consumption grows, tech surrounding will develop
For the first time users spend more time online than they do in front of TV screens and the average of online viewing time in the world will increase to 84 minutes. This means that revenue for Advertising Video On Demand (AVOD) is predicted to double over the next five years.
This shift also creates tech growth opportunities in areas such as video analytics, digital ADEX, video quality, and streaming speeds. Video analytics alone is predicted to grow to a USD 3 billion-dollar business by 2022, bringing with it rapid development of technology in this area. If video analytics can bring Salvador Dali back to life, expect more experiments and forays into this technology.
8. Investment in AR and VR will continue to grow
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology is estimated to reach a market volume of USD 150 billion by 2021. This changes how clients can deliver product experiences to their customers and how agencies propose campaigns to clients.
Progressing beyond AR and VR is combining the two into holographic technology.
The future of hologram is bright with China releasing Holobot, a holographic virtual assistant at CES.
9. AI will be used to improve all aspects of marketing
The range of uses to which AI will be applied in marketing is growing, from the use of natural language processing to understand and improve customer service and engagement, to provide deeper data insights for increased personalization.
The use of chat-bots with the capacity to understand natural language queries is just one of the most obvious examples of AdTech and MarTech trends.
10. Focus on measuring campaign attribution is key
Measuring the outcomes and impact of your campaign is critical. Marketers use campaign attribution to measure the influence of a prospect’s desired outcome. This is a vital component which proves that you need more budget and/or resources. Most marketers find campaign attribution to be very important to them but many don’t know how to accurately measure the impact.
If the right process and technology are not in place, this could be difficult to accomplish. A key feature of a content marketing platform is the ability to effectively measure the success of the content being produced across the entire marketing team.
If you struggle to measure campaign attribution, this is the tool to help you measure the impact of your campaigns.
What the future holds
These are just some of the interesting AdTech and MarTech trends for now and beyond. As expected, these trends rely on AI and its related technologies. Also, internet and data protection regulators have given businesses substantial time to change how they collect and use data.
All indications point to something changing in each of these areas in the next year: use of first-party data, more creative content, the need to better connect advertising professionals on projects, expanded use of AI and ML for influencing customers, and creating an effective central repository of customer data.
Marketers and advertising professionals will want to closely monitor these changes, adjust, and look for hidden opportunities to use AdTech and MarTech to provide maximum value to customers in the upcoming future.
Keep yourself updated with the latest trends and you’re sure to save money, help more customers, and grow into a more profitable business.