Top 10 Martech Trends that will shape 2016

Ajay Kelkar,  India Infoline News Service | Mumbai | December 28, 2015 16:20 IST

The year 2015 saw brands grapple with the fact that consumers are now using an increasing range of tools and technologies—from social media to smartphones—to make informed purchasing decisions. That evolution, in turn, has transformed marketing into an increasingly technical function.
 
While marketers are still in the nascent stages of understanding marketing technology, what is encouraging to witness is CMO’s today are willing to embed technology into marketing operations. In fact, the global spending on marketing technology is expected to touch $32 billion by 2018.
 
And while 2015 laid the foundation of the martech, 2016 is expected to usher in trends – some which already existed but will see further traction, and others which would be novel and gradual moments in the space. Here are ten trends for martech that I believe will be prominent in 2016.
 
Marketing will become a Math factory: With open API’s and a lot of technology powered by algorithms marketing will essentially turn more technical with marketers factoring in multiple correlations and pre-empting messages that would engage their target customers.
 
Marketers will personalise at scale: In continuance the aforementioned trend marketers will now gradually scale-up the degree of personalisation in their messages. However, for this they would need assistance of technology. API’s will allow data to flow where it’s needed and decisions would effectively happen in real-time.
 
Changing relation between creative folk and analysts: The creative geniuses and the analysts who previously used to work in silos will work far more deeply together to deliver customisation at scale.
 
Marketing-as-a-Service (MaaS) to gain traction: Internal marketing department have been trying to catch-up and sync their messages with the changing dynamics of its customer. Consequently, CMOs will unequivocally vote in favour of outsourcing parts of the marketing technology and services. This is not just a trend for the coming year, but for the next five years. By 2020, 33% of CMOs will outsource some digital marketing activities under marketing-as-a-service model.
 
Martech complexity will only increase: Martech now has 1876 companies working in 43 diverse categories. Based on Y-o-Y estimates, that means the market nearly doubled from 2014-2015. And the market will only get denser. Over the past couple of years, Oracle has spent $3 billion on a martech acquisition spree averaging a company a month. Oracle, once the great advocate of the CIO, now has designs on wooing the CMO directly.
 
Cloud will become more important: Over the last few years, marketing cloud has gained prominence in its value. While a large number of players have entered the domain, it now promises consolidation and distribution of new capabilities such as predictive analytics and omni-channel marketing. This also indicates that major public cloud providers will gain strength, with Amazon, IBM SoftLayer and Microsoft capturing a greater share of the business cloud services market. Maybe, Amazon might become a CMO’s best friend!
 
New roles will get created: HSBC global head of marketing for commercial banking and global banking and markets, Amanda Rendle, has called out an interesting new role: customer engineers or customer journey engineers. The quandary with new roles and designations will continue.

CIO & CMO’s will talk more & find common ground: Three years ago, Gartner predicted that by 2017 CMOs will spend more money on IT than CIOs. All signs indicate that shift is well underway.The good news is that marketing has become more digital and data-driven than ever before -- a natural fit for the CIO. In fact, as pointed out by Sherrie Haynie, organizational development consultant at CPP, publisher of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicators: CMO and CIO now share more similarities than differences.

CMO budgets will see movement from Opex to Capex: Traditionally, the CMO's budget is OPEX (operating expense), not CAPEX (capital expense) but that will now change with CMOs investing in buying more servers and other hardware to drive martech. Marketers need to make technology decisions not only on infrastructure, tools, and techniques, but on the right delivery and engagement mechanisms. 

 
Programmatic media buying:  With the huge explosion of data in the ecosystem, marketers would make incessant moves towards programmatic media buying – an instance whereby technology would automatically bid on online display advertising. While marketers could make use of third-party data, and combine it with first-party customer data, and inform marketing messages and content; advertisers would use predictive modelling and lifetime value to display ad content and engage with the customers.
 
The author is Ajay Kelkar, COO, Hansa Cequity