Madtech, Analytics, Chatbots, AI, Microservices... Martech trends in 2018

Netcore Solutions has released a comprehensive guide to winning the marketing battle in 2018, bringing together result-focused Martech trends that are immediately actionable

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 5, 2018 8:52 AM

Today’s marketers need to get better and faster at reacting to changes in customer behaviour and respond in real-time. In keeping with this, Netcore Solutions has released a comprehensive guide to winning the marketing battle in 2018, bringing together result-focused Martech trends that are immediately actionable. The following paradigm shifts have been indicated:
Customers now have many avatars: Today, a single customer acts in very different ways depending on the channel or platform he uses. So on LinkedIn, he might be following influencers and building his professional network, while he uses Facebook to stay in touch with his friends and family. While using Google at work, his searches can be related to learning new skills but while at home, his searches can be specific to his child’s school project. Martech needs to understand this trend of ‘consumer parallelism’ and address it with advanced data analytics.

Customers interact with brands in many ways: Customer interact with your brand through a dizzying variety of channels, platforms and devices. Now, more than ever, it’s critical for marketers to invest resources into creating unmatched customer experiences across the ecosystem that complement each other.
Technology innovations dominate marketing: As technology continues to expand at breakneck speed, marketers can adopt and leverage high-tech developments to maximise their marketing ROI. Artificial Intelligence can perform a wide range of data-intensive tasks, thus assisting marketers to focus on strategy. Advanced analytics also helps marketers deal with the vast amounts of data now at their disposal. This data explosion and the focus on customer experience has led to a convergence of Martech and Adtech.
AI enabled marketing: Artificial Intelligence can enable marketers to analyse hundreds of data points about users and use those insights to segment customers effectively. Through AI-driven segmentation, you can then create the most personalised, targeted and appealing messages and offers for customers, which naturally, sees higher CTR, engagement and conversion rates. Further, ML algorithms can provide intelligence on your most priced segments. So you can focus on them and really boost your ROI.
With AI, you can automate the marketing channel selected for each campaign. Essentially, AI uses your campaign objectives and historical data from previous campaigns to select the right marketing channel for the best results. AI also uses the results of your campaign’s performance to continually optimise and fine-tune future campaigns.
AI helps marketers optimise subject lines by using Natural Language Processing (NLP), which is a subset of ML. NLP can conduct sentiment analysis to analyse customer behaviour and expressions, even in their most conversational and casual form and then use that to make decisions.
AI-powered machine learning algorithms can also help decide on “Best time” to send messages by analysing recipients past behaviour. AI helps to detect malicious bots in real-time by monitoring location, conversion rate, IP addresses, and other demographic information to identify and mitigate fraudulent clicks on ads 24*7.
Conversational Bots: By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human, as per Gartner's predictions back in 2011. Customers are also comfortable interacting with businesses through digital assistants, such as Cortana, Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant and through connected devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Today conversational bots are getting to a stage where seamless and error-free human communication is possible due to advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing and understanding. Marketers have no option but to think how conversational bots can become an integrated part of the interface offered by their brand to enable customers interact with them across platform and channels.
Intelligent bots can respond to a large variety of queries where solutions are well-known and predictable and the number of request are very high thus enabling human agents to deal with more complex issues. Chatbots, by acting like a virtual pre-sales partner who is always there to supply the necessary information, can help optimise presale process operations.
Analytics enabled marketing: Recommendation engine are the result of powerful analytics that can process and compute a customer’s behaviour in real time, and then provide the right recommendations.
Madtech- Combining Martech and Adtech: MadTech has the potential to help marketers and advertisers increase conversions and reduce ad spend. An effective and synergetic media execution strategy could result in improved customer satisfaction.
Microservices and API: Microservices comprises of small software components that excel in highly specialised tasks. With Microservices, every change is absorbed automatically across all the digital platforms. As the number of Microservices increase, it becomes critical for them to work in synergy. Multiple micro apps can be integrated with APIs so that they continually ‘talk’ to each other, exchanging data, rules, and workflows, etc. for a seamless performance. The intricate integrations of multiple APIs is taken care of by cloud-based solutions such as iPaaS (integration-platform-as-a-service), that enables you to deploy, manage, govern and integrate applications and services. Microservices and APIs ensure seamless, automated operations between different vendors and functions to deliver a better ROI and superior customer experience to end users.
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a great example of this. GTM manages various JavaScript and HTML tags used for tracking and analytics on websites and mobile. Zapier, a web-based service also automates tasks between web apps so marketers aren’t tracking several things simultaneously while ensuring nothing falls through the gaps.
This trend could prove to be extremely beneficial for the e-commerce sector. E-commerce brands can easily integrate all their apps, whether they’re for vendor managements, logistics, website analytics, etc. through APIs.
Convergence of Semantics SEO and Content Marketing: Marketers now need to optimize their content online to the real intent of users. But to achieve this, they first need to understand how their target audience thinks. This is the essence of semantic SEO. Latent semantic indexing keywords and contextual clues are replacing standalone keywords, to make content more relevant. Semantic search has the potential to generate meaningful results even if the inputs are fragmented and semantic.
Augmented Reality: By creating an interactive and exciting customer experience, AR-based marketing can heighten the anticipation, drama and narrative of new products and services. In fact, increased adoption of AR by marketers has blown up the demands for this technology.
The way things are, e-commerce still suffers from an ‘experience gap’, with customer still going to physical stores to ‘experience’ products. AR can bridge this gap by giving customers that experience.
Virtual Reality: The possibilities that VR offers are staggering, with the industry set to exceed USD $80 billion by 2025. Where AR simply ‘augments’ or adds to a customer’s reality, VR can create whole worlds and ecosystems for you to experience from the comfort of your own home.
As VR hardware becomes more accessible to the masses, it will have a strong effect on how companies market their products. The gold standard will be completely customizable VR content.
Marketers can create simulated worlds where focus groups and even customers can be subjected to future campaigns or product ideas, even without the actual product. By monitoring real-life reactions and responses, marketers will have completely unbiased data about their campaigns and products and can predict the ROI better.

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