The Outlook For Martech In 2020
Today’s martech stacks include core technology platforms essential to a marketer’s day-to-day operations, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation systems, with additional tools for email marketing, online or offline advertising, and the like.
But true innovation tends to happen on the fringes of these underlying systems, with the development of new technologies that enhance collaboration and facilitate interactions with customers and prospects at every stage of their respective journeys.
These innovations typically occur in response to changes in prevailing conditions. As we forge ahead into 2020, it’s worth considering the trends that are shaping the current and future environment of marketing technology.
The Trends That Will Shape Martech In 2020
For marketers, it’s essential to keep up with trends in the larger environment and changes in customer behaviour - how they search for and discover products, compare prices, consume promotional content, and make purchases. It’s also important to be able to adapt to these trends.
In the year ahead, marketers will need to keep their eyes on the following areas, in order to meet the demands and needs of consumers:
1. Omni-channel will be standard practice
Marketers will need to coordinate their activities in a more systematic manner, to cope with the proliferation of touch points and marketing avenues. An omni-channel approach will be necessary in maintaining a seamless customer journey, and in preserving brand consistency across the board.
Omni-channel will also play a role in blurring the boundaries between physical and digital retail spaces. Successful eCommerce players are already realising the value of displaying and selling goods in a physical store. At the same time, brick-and-mortar brands are turning to digital channels to extend their outreach.
2. Data management and data unification will facilitate the omni-channel customer experience
Currently, only around 47% of marketers say they have a unified view of their customer data. The rapid influx of data from multiple streams is putting pressure on marketers to somehow bring all this information together in one place, where it can be viewed as a single picture, and selectively analysed.
This need for data unification and consolidation is fuelling the rise in technologies like Data Management Platforms (DMPs), Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), and Customer Intelligence Platforms (CIPs).
3. Brands will move toward the 100% mobile experience
90% of Southeast Asia currently connects to the internet via mobile, and to keep pace, brands will be looking not merely to put mobile first, but to craft consumer experiences that are exclusively for that channel.
According to PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019, Vietnam is the fastest-growing global market in mobile payments, with 61% of its consumers tapping such services (a 24% rise from last year). Globally, China leads with 86% of its population using mobile payments, followed by Thailand at 67%. In fact, the world’s top ten mobile payments adopters are in eight Asian markets including Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines.
Retailers hoping to break into these markets will be looking to adopt the technologies and platforms that facilitate mobile outreach, promotion, and transaction processing.
4. Martech will evolve in response to increasing video consumption
By the start of this year, the average online viewing time in the world will increase to 84 minutes, as consumers move away from static TV to connected viewing screens. As a result, revenue for Advertising Video On Demand (AVOD) is expected to double into a US $47 billion industry over the next five years. This growth will create technology opportunities in areas such as video analytics, video quality, and streaming speeds.
As Millennials and Generation Z consumers move away from Facebook in favour of platforms like YouTube and Instagram, they are producing and consuming more short-form video content. Forbes analysts expect internet video traffic to have a compound annual growth rate increase of 33% from 2017 to 2022, on the back of new technologies like progressive web applications (PWA) and the emergence of 5G.
5. Innovative technologies like AI, AR, and VR will continue to grow
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies offer new ways for retailers to deliver product experiences to their customers, and for agencies to propose campaigns to their clients. Taking a step beyond the two is combining AR and VR into holographic technology. This year, the combined market volume of AR and VR is expected to reach US $150 billion.
As artificial intelligence (AI) enters its 65th year of existence, the maturity of the technology is beginning to truly manifest, changing the way that ads are served and allowing businesses to deliver truly personalised experiences. 64% of marketers believe that real-time personalised advertising will become the norm this year.
6. Demographic and behavioural shifts will demand new approaches to technology
The spending power of younger demographics like the Millennials and Generation Z is increasing, in line with their dependence on social media. The result is the rise of social commerce, whereby social platforms assist consumers in buying products and services online.
With brands and influencers selling their output on social media and targeting their respective niche markets, social commerce leads connected consumers to the sales funnel more quickly. No surprise then, that brands like Facebook and Instagram are making technological strides in this area. For example, Facebook has been developing its own proprietary cryptocurrency, to facilitate the integration of eCommerce features on its platform.
A demographic shift in Southeast Asia is seeing the rise of the region’s middle class, which is expected to hit 350 million within the next three years. As an increase in per capita income allows millions of Southeast Asians to ascend out of poverty, there’s a rising demand for modest indulgences like snack foods and ready-to-drink beverages. The demand for “affordable luxury” items such as cosmetics or high-end consumer durables is also increasing, creating new avenues of opportunity for marketers.
Markets Hungry For Martech
Six of the ten fastest-growing retail eCommerce countries in 2019 hail from APAC, with India and the Philippines experiencing more than 30% growth; and China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and South Korea trailing closely behind.
While retail eCommerce sales ranging from clothing to garden equipment are largely responsible for these gains, other areas such as food services, online restaurant orders, travel and ticket sales, and even gambling hold further potential for digital marketing.
Making The Right Technology Choices
With so many martech options available, choosing the right tool or platform is challenging. Each type of solution may be offered by multiple vendors, and the process of getting quotes from each one and comparing features or functionality can be lengthy and complex.
Among the key questions to ask prospective vendors are how the technology will support your business goals and use cases, complement your existing tech stack, ensure data integration and generate ROI. Other considerations include how the new technology will enhance your working practices, foster better understanding of your consumers, and drive revenue.
In any technology choice, it’s important to identify the top priorities depending on which stage you are at, looking at budget availability, current business needs, and other factors.
eTail Asia 2020 will feature a technology platform evaluation day - a one-day conference dedicated to helping retailers identify the perfect fit for their martech needs. This event will be a time saving opportunity to meet and compare leading new solutions in one afternoon, alongside your peers.
During this evaluation day you will have the chance to establish:
- WHO is best suited to help you keep up with constant changing customer demands?
- WHO is best suited to your investment and digital marketing strategies?
- WHO can help you reduce digital marketing costs?
- WHO can help you identify the best opportunities ?
A number of organisations are already winning in this space.