Version 2.0 has considerable expertise in a number of fast-growing vertical markets (check out our new Disruptor Series of infographics on our website), including marketing technology (MarTech). It’s a sector close to our hearts for obvious reasons (we’re marketers ourselves) and includes some applications we use daily on behalf of all our clients. We emphasize the importance of influencers in our work with clients – even more important in these disruptive technologies.
I recently caught up with Ginger Conlon, US editor of The Drum, to find out her predictions for 2019 MarTech trends and get her advice on how best to address them with our own customized solutions.
Maura: How can marketers use technology in 2019 to better connect with customers and deliver stellar results?
Ginger: There are so many ways to use marketing technology for customer engagement, that it comes down to — no surprise here — considering technology as a support system for your marketing strategy and goals. If your strategy entails improving personalization across channels, for example, how can you use your existing technology to facilitate that? Or do you need to implement new technology? Always: strategy first. Even if you want to test a new engagement technology, there should be a business problem or opportunity that it addresses.
Maura: How will the use of content continue to evolve and change as marketers get better at leveraging this important resource?
Ginger: Right now there’s still a lot of content produced ad hoc or with a “feed the beast” approach. As more companies implement sophisticated content strategies, their emphasis will be on quality rather than quantity and will address where customers and prospects are in their life cycle and by segment or customer type.
Maura: Data has emerged as a big influence on marketing programs and campaigns. Are there trends that we should look for in 2019 as our access and use of data gets more sophisticated?
Ginger: Data quality has long been essential to marketers. It will be a top priority again in 2019 as marketers address regulations such as GDPR and as they implement or ramp up their use of AI — and, as maintaining data quality becomes more complex with the increased complexity of data management due in large part to the proliferation of data sources.
Maura: Which tools (e.g., AI, voice assistants) will be the most important for marketers to master in 2019—both from a customer retention and competitive advantage standpoint? Why are those tools the most important?
Ginger: The most important tools are the ones that will best help marketers reach their specific marketing and customer engagement goals. That said, all marketers should educate themselves on marketing technology and analytics enough to be able to have an informed conversation with the experts in their organization.
Maura: Which industry—e.g., banking, retail, travel, etc.—will be the most disrupted by marketing technologies in 2019?
Ginger: Let me answer another way: The companies that will be the marketing disruptors will be the ones that maximize their use of the marketing technologies they have, and use those tools in creative and effective ways toward meeting, and surpassing, their marketing and customer engagement goals.
Maura: What are the biggest mistakes marketers make when investing in new technology?
Ginger: Often the biggest mistake is rushing to the shiny object without a plan. Yes, test the shiny object. But make sure you have a valid reason for testing it: your customers are using it, it will help you achieve a specific goal, etc.
To learn more about the future of the MarTech industry, view our recent infographic here.