From email marketing to automation, data analytics and innovative uses of artificial intelligence, marketing technologies are helping brands become stronger by engaging and communicating with their target audience on a whole new level.
Martech has been steadily growing in popularity and versatility in recent years, reaching an impressive 5,381 solutions this year, according to ChiefMartec.com. The figure marks a 40% increase from 2016 and translates into an average company using approximately 16 martech platforms on a regular basis.
Predictably, with a booming industry comes stronger competition and innovation. Below, 15 Forbes Agency Council members discuss notable martech innovations that are already changing the face of marketing.
Forbes Agency Council members reflect on how marketing technology is influencing their work.
Forbes Agency Council members reflect on how marketing technology is influencing their work. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF INDIVIDUAL FORBES AGENCY COUNCIL MEMBERS.
1. Custom APIs
Custom application programming interfaces (APIs) enable brands to see marketing data in real time across all channels in one place. We have found that e-commerce businesses and retailers increase their ROI by implementing custom APIs and API reporting. It allows them to implement omnichannel optimization and track what happens online, as well as offline, with a direct connection to paid ads. – Christina Baldassarre, Zebra Advertisement
2. PR Tech
Brands are starting to realize that PR is a powerful driver of top-of-funnel leads, in addition to brand equity and reputation management. Now that we have the technology to measure the effectiveness of PR, more marketers are beginning to consider how PR tech can fold into their marketing technology stack and contribute to marketing goals. The companies that embrace this early on will benefit. – Rebekah Iliff, AirPR
3. Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising doesn’t only streamline processes, it leads to more effective targeted campaigns. Simply put: Programmatic buying works hand-in-hand with artificial intelligence and real-time bidding to automate media buying, and programmatic ads target specific audiences and demographics for your campaigns. – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing
4. Marketing Automation Platforms
The adoption and advancement of marketing automation platforms has significantly impacted the field of marketing. More specifically, how brands connect with consumers and customers in new and innovative ways. What comes with this technology is a significant amount of change management, and changing up your marketing practices to be successful. – Brendon Schrader, Antenna
5. Offline Tracking
Whether it’s LiveRamp, Google Store visits, Snapchat’s recent acquisition of Placed or the increased use of beacons, there’s a huge push to tie online activity to offline buying behavior. As the measurement improves, omnichannel brands will have more accurate data that will help them make smarter decisions as they gain understanding of their digital investments beyond e-commerce. – Dan Golden, Be Found Online
6. Data Analysis
Effective marketing that generates success is based on data and results. Results from marketing should be attributable to specific campaigns using the tools available today. Data has been the biggest innovation in marketing tech. The technology available today analyzes and processes data efficiently, quickly and accurately. Businesses can now know with certainty where revenue comes from. – Andy Etemadi, EYEMAGINE
7. Celebrity Endorsement Model Going Micro
Celebrity endorsements have always been part of our lives, but with the advent of social networks, it has become easy to identify influential people who speak to various audiences on a smaller scale. Using influencers the right way generates goodwill and brand memorability without the negative impact that traditional digital ads have been suffering from. – Gil Eyal, HYPR!
8. Conversational Interfaces
Artificial intelligence chatbots are already having an impact on the customer experience. Chatbots enable companies to engage with prospects and customers using speech (natural language processing) in a seamless manner. It helps brands with deeper and more meaningful engagement and will significantly change SEO, making conversational keywords more important as the technology develops. – Lisa Allocca, Red Javelin Communications
9. The Science Of Automation
The ability to track user behaviors has exponentially augmented our precision in targeting. Marketing automation has reached staggering levels of intelligence gathering. The data collected through tracking allows us to predict a user’s likes, dislikes, interests and even buying habits. When employed to its full potential, tracking data can easily be the most powerful means of conversion. – Ricardo Casas, Fahrenheit Marketing
10. Social Media Artificial Intelligence
Mobile geotagging metadata and social media AI have significantly impacted marketing offering real-time, highly targeted market segmentation to reach the right user, at the right time, in the right place. Integrating AI into social media enables marketers to process more data, tackle mechanical tasks and spend more time on creative development and strategic implementation. – Stephen Rosa, (add)ventures
11. Peer-To-Peer Marketing Outlets
More than ever, customers rely on online reviews before making purchases (92%). Review sites and social networks have created a stronger relationship between customer and company that has improved customer experience and the quality of services and products. This is a game changer because companies can respond to customer feedback and make real changes in their company faster than ever before. – Jeff Grover, BestCompany.com
12. Voice Agents
Voice agents like Alexa are wading into the field of marketing, and combined with natural language processing, there are some exciting possibilities. In the brand experience field, this could be a potential game changer during an event. Imagine a sales team armed with a tool that lets them pull up stats and case studies on the fly with a prospective client standing right next to them. – Chris Cavanaugh, Freeman
13. Creative Optimization Tech
Brands can now optimize content to create a one-to-one marketing experience. We’re moving into a world where all consumers will receive personalized advertising experiences that were created just for them based on their demographics and historic online behaviors. – David Shadpour, Social Native
14. Account-Based Marketing
As business-to-business marketers, we’ve considered an email address or phone number as a lead. If we persuaded five people in the same buying group at the same company to opt in, we counted them as five leads generated. But it isn’t five leads. It’s one lead. Account-based marketing tools are helping B2B marketers target pipeline marketing programs at buying groups instead of individuals, working in lockstep with the sales team. – Nolin LeChasseur, Brainrider
15. The Human Side Of Martech
The most significant innovation taking place in the marketing field is the conversion of marketing “managers” into marketing “editors.” In other words, martech innovations are providing marketers with “more” but it’s still up to humans to be the buffer between technology and reality. Using machines effectively is essential for future success, and the human side strongly factors into the equation. – Brett Farmiloe, Markitors