3 Big Marketing Technology Changes To Watch in 2016

Tom Kaneshige
Five2ndWindow
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Key Takeaways

What? Martech will continue to be disruptive in 2016.

So what? Falling behind the martech curve could put marketers at a significant disadvantage.

Now what? Martech and the IoT is a double-edge sword. While marketers can use these tools to gain critical and detailed consumer insights, the rapid advancement requires constant self-education. Martech can provide a significant advantage but only if you know what tools to use and how to use them.

 
If marketers thought 2016 would be the year when the disruptive impacts of advanced marketing technology would slow, they are in for a rude awaking. This year’s marketing tech will be just as chaotic as previous years and marketers will want to keep up.
 
Martech vendors continue to grow, nearly doubling the previous year with almost nearly 2,000 outlets. There is no sign of a slowdown according to Scott Brinker, creator of the popular martech vendor landscape graphic. Brinker told Five2ndWindow late last year that he expected the number of martech vendors to begin leveling off but he is still working on the 2016 version of the martech vendor landscape.
 
What’s taking him so long?
 

1. Marketing tech decisions are increasing in their complexity

 
“I underestimated the number of marketing technology companies out there today,” Brinker writes in his blog. “I won’t make a prediction as to the number that will be on the final release of my landscape graphic, as space constraints will force me to make this ‘a very large representative sample’ at best. But suffice to say, the industry has not shrunk.”

Artificial intelligence-driven, voice-based personal assistants such as Apple Siri, Amazon Echo and Google Now are evolving to predict customer needs for products and services. As personal assistants become a preferred customer interface, marketers must find ways of getting them to recommend their brands.

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Not only is the growing number of vendors complicating matters for marketers, more and more people are entering the decision-making process. Executives with fancy new titles, such as chief marketing technology officer and chief digital officer, often take a leading role bridging the needs of marketing with the requirements of IT.
 
Even within the marketing department, the number of decision makers and influencers is growing. Two-thirds of marketers get the chance to provide input into buying decisions about technology they use in their day-to-day roles, according to the Walker Sands State of Marketing Technology 2016 report. More than half of entry-level marketers have led a purchase decision in the past three years.
 

2. The rise of robots and digital personal assistants presents new challenges

 
Emerging technology, too, is going to shake things up for marketers.
 
Artificial intelligence-driven, voice-based personal assistants such as Apple Siri, Amazon Echo and Google Now are evolving to predict customer needs for products and services. As personal assistants become a preferred customer interface, marketers must find ways of getting them to recommend their brands.

“I think it will be very interesting to look at market innovations combining messaging and AI in 2016,” says David Hewitt, vice president and global lead for mobility strategy at SapientNitro, in Forrester’s 2016 Mobile and App Marketing Trends report.
 

3. The Internet of Things provides more data but also more data to process

 
Then there’s the Internet of Things (IoT) throwing off a ton of customer data for marketers to collect and act on. Gartner says 30 billion things will be connected to the Internet by 2020. IoT has the potential to be a huge competitive advantage for forward-thinking marketers or swamp ill-prepared marketers in a sea of data.



 
That’s a lot on the marketer’s plate for 2016. More vendors and decision-makers, game-changing technologies, and a frenzied market will no doubt lead to sleepless nights.
 
Perhaps Brinker sums it up best: “I have a hard time coming up with a magic bullet for how a company will ever get ahead of that change. Are we in a new reality where a company of any size is always going to be chasing something that’s moving faster than it is? That worries me.”
 
Check out Five2ndWindow for the original post.

Author Bio:

Five2ndWindow
Tom Kaneshige
Tom Kaneshige is editor of Five2ndWindow, Penton’s independent news site helping line-of-business executives get ahead of the digital disruption happening to the customer relationship. For more than two decades, Tom has been keeping an eye on the seam between business and technology. You can visit the site at www.fivesecondwindow.com and reach him at tom.kaneshige@penton.com.
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