It’s fair to say it has been a year of challenges for businesses operating across the world. From rumours of an impending US downturn through to the ongoing Brexit debate in the UK, the future is far from certain.
For businesses, there has never been a more critical time to stand out and above the crowd, but it is key to deliver the impact that counts. For CMOs, the pressure is on to explain the ‘what’ behind the ‘why’ of every marketing decision, ensuring all activity complements wider business objectives and adds value.
According to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey, 2018-2019, CMOs allocate 29 per cent of their marketing budget towards technology. Up seven per cent since 2017, ‘MarTech’ is now the single largest area of investment when it comes to marketing resource and activity. Those who invest in this wisely are rewarded with a healthy return on investment, whilst for customers, their experience with the brand becomes more rewarding.
Tools that better illustrate the needs and behaviours of customers (and prospects) are on the rise. Email marketing platforms, web content management solutions and digital marketing analytics platforms are the top considerations for CMOs according to Gartner’s 2018 Marketing Technology Survey, whilst 29 per cent of marketing leaders claimed they were looking to invest in a social media or lead management platform. The motivation? To improve knowledge, insight and awareness of how and where customers are interacting across the brand touchpoints, and to act upon the findings accordingly.
The interest for MarTech doesn’t stop there. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are making it easier for marketers to deliver specific content to their customers – allowing companies to deliver a more personalised customer experience – by learning as much as possible about the customer interacting with the brand and targeting them with the best information possible to fulfil the need of the user.
In fact, more and more companies are turning towards artificial intelligence, with future predictions pointing towards an ‘AI-enabled orchestration based on a customer’s self-directed journey rather than manually defined campaign flows’ (Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey, 2018-2019). Imagine the potential this could allow.
We’re not quite there yet, but what this does prove is there is a shifting spend and focus on how to better understand what your consumers are doing and how to better enable the customer journey across your brand touchpoints. After all, the more you enable technology to serve up a truly personalized experience in real time and provide data-driven insights to support your customers, the better equipped you are to ultimately deliver a five-star brand experience.
Author: Karen Cooper, Managing Partner at onebite