Martech has witnessed a massive transformation in recent years, thanks to the advancements in technology. It has also seen a significant rise in adoption owing to increasing demand for a tailor-made customer experience. Customer retention has never been more challenging since customers shift their loyalty to the brands that give them a personalized experience with convenience and comfort as their main priority. Brands and marketers are cognizant of the changing customer landscape and have turned to new-age technologies to help them to win customers.
Gartner states that in 2021, 42 percent of the entire martech stack was utilized on average. While many marketing principles remain the same, the tools and strategies to achieve marketing success have evolved over time. The standard practices in marketing have been replaced with new-age tech-led channels that drive business in direct and indirect ways.
Looking ahead at 2023, the marketing and advertising industry is expected to undergo a tectonic shift with AI and machine learning. Tech-led tools are set to revolutionize the way marketing agencies function, streamlining and automating complex tasks such as content and design creation, understanding customer behaviour in-depth, and predicting campaign outcomes. 2023 will introduce AI-powered platforms that generate original text, design assets, and even video content, allowing marketing leaders to create high-quality assets with minimum time and efforts. These tools are not meant to replace skilled resources, but assist with tasks such as copywriting and design, freeing up time to focus on more productive tasks and strategies.
Let us look at 3 martech trends that will shape how brands interact with their customers and deliver a unified and rich customer experience in 2023:
- Cookie-less Experience
2023 will see marketing leaders implement new tools to drive a first-party data strategy which will completely replace third-party data gathering that exists today. There are technologies that enable marketers to create direct touchpoints with the customer and gather data at source. The touchpoints can be achieved by myriad new and innovative experiences such as AR/VR campaigns, NFT advertising, or creating engagement in the metaverse. This could finally make cookies redundant and align with the current regulations where data privacy has been the number one concern for organizations and their customers.
It will change the way businesses collect data and what they do with it. Going forward, marketers will design experiences in a way where they only collect data that is valuable for them and leave other personal details untouched. For instance, let’s say an FMCG brand wants to know your eating habits, your preferred cereal, and meal preferences, they will only collect certain information involving keywords such as ‘food’, ‘ate’, ‘their product mention’, etc. from IoT devices such as smartphone apps, smart watches, listening devices, etc. and push marketing campaigns around those keywords to invoke interest or purchase.
- Video Content
Content will reach a new level in 2023. Forget blogs, whitepapers, and stories that go on endlessly, audio-visual content will surpass every other form of content out there. Since the advent of channels such as Instagram stories, TikTok, YouTube, etc. video consumption has grown rapidly in the last two years, and has outpaced written content, and visual graphics such as posters, image ads, etc. by a significant margin. Marketing leaders have already made video streaming as one of their ‘go-to’ channels for brand awareness and engagement. Marketers are increasingly producing bite-sized video content such as Instagram reels to enhance engagement and brand exposure among millennials and Gen Z audience. Live streaming is also gaining popularity amongst brands to deliver moment’s marketing and campaigns based on current affairs and trends.
- Conversational Chatbots
Customers expect brands to converse and interact within them to create an interactive environment which feels less transactional. Current customer engagement feels one-sided wherein the content is pushed, and the data is captured. Customers want to talk to their brands to make them feel more familiar and relate to the product or experience. Chatbots have empowered businesses to interact with their customers, understand their concerns and engage with them in a way that feels more personalized. AI-enabled chatbots help brands to provide a more immersive experience and are set to be a game-changer across industries.
Conversational marketing is picking pace and will soon be counted as a mainstream marketing activity. It will open gates to channels for conversations such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, Slack, etc. Recently, an AI-powered chatbot ‘ChatGPT’ has gained a lot of momentum due to its capabilities to answer varied customer questions without any manual intervention from the brand.
According to Gartner, B2B organizations assign approximately one-quarter of their marketing budget to technology. Innovative technologies have proven to solve myriad problems and complexities for marketing leaders. It has introduced new ways in how a brand engages with their customers and delivers unified and personalized experiences across channels. As the world moves towards digital transformation, martech will witness exponential growth and will help brands and customers to come closer to each other more than ever before.