Martech trends in 2019 – what do marketers need to know?

Mail OpenMartech – where marketing meets technology – is an intrinsic part of today’s marketing landscape. But what exactly do people mean when they talk about martech? And what are the key trends and developments you need to be aware of?

What is martech?

According to martechtoday.com, the term refers to the blending of marketing and technology’ and ‘especially applies to major initiatives, efforts and tools that harness technology to achieve marketing goals and objectives’.

The online martech publication says that ‘Virtually anyone involved with digital marketing is dealing with martech, since digital by its very nature is technologically-based’.

A scarily-busy infographic on their website depicts the marketing technology landscape, showing the martech vendors, marketing automation and technology solutions operating in various digital marketing channels.

A survey carried out by Gartner in 2018 showed that marketing technology is now the most significant area of investment in marketing, accounting for 29% of CMO’s 2018 budgets.

What does this include? It covers things like search (taking up 11.2% of the martech budget in the same survey), email, firms’ own website development, and marketing/customer analytics platforms.

What’s happening in martech in 2019?

1. Personalisation

‘Personalisation at scale’ is cited as one of 2019’s areas of focus, according to a blog on the treasuredata website.

A Digital Doughnut article echoes this, claiming that ‘Customers are beginning to expect more personalized experiences. Speaking to customer’s individuality is important in driving loyalty.’

The treasuredata blog says that people ‘expect content to be personalized, hyper-relevant, and available just when they need it the most’. Martech that enables you to create and distribute personalised content should be a core element of your marketing toolbox.

Our blog on the trends marketers should look out for in 2019 also identified personalisation as a big thing this year. Creating this responsive, bespoke journey for your consumers and clients isn’t easy, though.

In terms of martech, this level of bespoking demands data management systems that ensure accuracy.  

And of course, you need to keep on the right side of the new data rules that came into force in 2018 – GDPR and the new Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) rules.

If you have the right technologies at your disposal – CRM systems; automated solutions for financial promotions production, approval and distribution; content distribution platforms – you have the tools to create the most effective marketing content and maximise engagement with your content marketing.

2. Machine learning and AI

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are also key elements of martech this year.

A blog on smartinsights.com praises their role in driving ‘more efficient data analysis, making it easier for marketers to deliver hyper-personalization to their customers, including content personalization and unique journeys’.

While AI may not be used to its fullest extent in B2B, there are definitely signs that things are moving in this direction. So-called robo-advice in financial services is probably the clearest example of this.

Consider whether there are ways you can adopt AI in a way that genuinely helps your customers. Remember, usability is key – introducing technologies for the sake of it is counter-productive. But with customers driving much of today’s digital disruption, if AI is something your customers truly want, look at whether you can make use of it.

Our blog on why you need quality content in the era of machine learning examines the importance of writing content that works for search engines. And you can read more here about how Google ranks your content and evaluates mobile websites.

Machine learning underpins your search engine rankings – just one area where martech can dramatically influence your visibility to potential customers.

3. Video

Another element of martech highlighted by smartinsights.com.

You might think that video is more relevant to product than service marketing. But there are many ways you can use video to engage B2B clients and prospects.

Consider whether there’s scope for your firm to produce videos that:

  • Talk through highlights from client surveys
  • Offer ‘how to’ guides for your software or tools
  • Deliver regular updates on markets or regulations
  • Give a synopsis of seminars or conferences you have run

Could you adapt your promotional materials and thought leadership to video? If your consultants, advisers or partners struggle to commit time to video, you could consider animated options.

4. Voice search

Again, smartinsights.com identified this – as did we in our January blog on the 2019 trends marketers should look out for. Our blog on the 6 SEO factors you needed to think about in 2018, published back in February, predicted how search might evolve last year, with the growth in voice search one of the key changes.

Because people ask questions differently verbally, your website may need updating to reflect the move to voice search.

  • Revisit your online content to make sure your site captures terms and questions that might be used by voice as well as written search. And don’t forget that if you’re FCA-regulated, your web content needs to follow the same struct financial promotion rules as the rest of your marketing activity.

Keeping pace with evolving marketing challenges

These are just four of the martech trends you need to know about – there are many more. And the changing nature of marketing technology shows that the challenges facing Marketing Managers never remain static.

To read more about these challenges and the ways you can tackle them, you can download a copy of our whitepaper, The changing role of the Marketing Manager. It’s free and you can download it from our resource library.

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