One hour can keep you ahead of marketing technology trends.
Scott Brinker explains how digital marketers can take an hour to stay relevant to your market in a changing landscape. As a martech thought leader and VP platform ecosystem at HubSpot, Scott imparts his genius on this week’s podcast.
Immersed in this rapidly evolving industry, Scott has a deep understanding (and enthusiasm!) for martech. He took a step back to survey what is happening in marketing technology, not just in 2018 but in the next 3 to 5 years. His analysis produced five major trends that are changing the way digital marketing and technology interact in the marketplace:
1. Digital Transformation
This transformation goes beyond digital marketing. Customers are having a digital connection directly with the products and services themselves. Now, marketing, sales, and customer services must be connected, and this connection is smooth and digital.
‘Traditional’ digital marketing tactics, like email newsletters, may no longer be relevant to an audience who prefers their information from an Alexa skill.
2. Microservices And APIs
Marketers are no longer dealing with one or two pieces of software. In the cloud, there are dozens of software programs in play and interacting with one another. And each department has their own group of programs.
Microservices and APIs are solutions that allow open services and deeper connectivity. Businesses are starting to change the way we build interconnections between them, which will impact the way businesses operate in marketing and company-wide.
3. Vertical Competition
Traditionally, competitors are businesses that offer the same product or service.
Today, vertical competition exists with any business which has influence or power on how you reach your audience.
In the channel from the marketer to the consumer, there is now a developing series of competitors. For example, in martech and advertising technology, internet services like Google and Facebook have their own rules and mediation on your interactions. On the client side, home conversation-bots like Alexa allow businesses like Amazon to control what you’re allowed to do on their platform.
4. Digital Everything
Every part of our lives is becoming digital. Far beyond mobile apps, the Internet of Things, AR/VR, and the explosion of conversational interfaces is changing how people interact with their devices. It’s changing the way that people interact with the world.
“There are so many digital touchpoints that we as marketers have to think about.” These touchpoints each present an opportunity and challenge. You can’t just put an advertisement on a refrigerator. Digital everything changes the way we market.
5. Artificial Intelligence
“One of the best uses of AI that we’re seeing in marketing is natural language processing.” In these interactions, AI creates a friendly experience. And that example is just one of the forerunners of AI marketing tools.
Machine learning and AI capabilities are changing the possibilities for marketers. We are capable of executing at a much larger scale in the digital environment.
Navigating Marketing And Technology Strategies
You’re not alone. “There is so much change happening around us, it isn’t possible for any one person to keep up.” Know that none of your competitors will be able to master all of it, either.
Scott advises digital marketers to take an hour to see what other businesses are doing to engage their customers on new platforms, like Amazon Alexa. Not every martech disruption is appropriate for every business: “I’m not going to buy a car through Alexa”.
To stay abreast of trends, you need to scan the environment and find the subset of changes that have the most relevance to your market. Find the one or two martech strategies that make sense to your audience and be ruthless in adopting only those tactics.
- Every aspect of a customer experience will be digitally linked.
- Microservices and APIs will increase internal connectivity, and will shape how software is built and used.
- There are new, vertical competitors in the channel between you and your audience.
- Everything will be digital. New platforms mean new ways of marketing.
- Artificial Intelligence is about to change the scale of marketing.
- Conversational interfaces are really taking off. Website chats are being replaced by Facebook Messenger, Slack, and other tools. In 2018, your company’s interface needs to be on your agenda.
- If you don’t already who’s in charge of your marketing technology stack, you want to work hard to fill that role in 2018. There are too many moving parts now, and one person needs to fit the pieces together to extract the most value.