If the 1982 film Blade runner and his dystopian portrayal of what the world would look like in 2019 was exactly what we would have lived through last year:
Needless to say, our predictions about the future state of society and the long-term development of technology are not always based on money. While certain aspects of the Blade runnerThe vision of Los Angeles may have been shockingly accurate. Los Angeles is not yet inhabited by flying cars or huge video advertisements projected across the skyscrapers.
With that in mind, today’s marketers can more easily look to 2021 – suddenly just months away – and make educated guesses about what the year will be like. Many of the marketing technologies that will transform business and drive strategies are already on the rise, if not mainstream.
Martech 2021: 5 trends for B2B marketers
Businesses and marketing departments may face spending constraints and budget cuts in the turmoil of 2020, but marketing technology is not an area that is badly affected. On the contrary, in fact: the latest Heart rate measurement from ClickZ found that marketing technology budget shares rose from 32% to 42% between May and the end of July.
Where are companies investing and which technologies will determine the quarter in the coming year? Here are five proven trends that I’ll be following:
1 – Content experiences are paramount
In ClickZ research, this was the category that drove marketing technology growth here in 2020.
“People who are indoors looking for new ways to learn about the current climate and consumer content can be seen as one of the reasons companies relentlessly strive to improve the experience of their target audiences,” wrote Kamaljeet Kalsi.
This is not such a new concept – TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden was among those who preached Experience as the future of content marketing many years ago – However, technology is continually improving our ability to deliver content in a more interactive, comprehensive and impactful way.
I think back on Last week’s blog post on storytellingand Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s claim that video games are the most promising in this regard. Technology will continue to offer more opportunities in terms of gamification, interactivity, and innovation.
The key to increased engagement is making content consumers feel like they are more participants than viewers.
2 – Relief of a socially distant world
Will there be personal events in 2021? It is possible, but not very likely at the moment – especially not on the scale of the annual conferences and summits that we have come to love. As brands continue to work to build relationships with prospects and customers remotely, technology has to do much of the heavyweight.
We’ve already seen some great new tools and features related to conference calls, live streaming, and virtual events this year. If a litany of tech companies now focus on what has suddenly become a pervasive need, what else could happen?
In a way, this development is helping to improve the playing field for smaller businesses. While it may not be possible for a startup sales enablement shop to organize a large gathering like Dreamforce, bringing people together through interactive virtual events is a different story. In fact, this format can make it easier to track, convert, and attribute results in real time.
It’s not just about technology engaging customers remotely. It’s also about technology that helps marketers collaborate and collaborate in distributed environments. And the introduction of these tools will benefit companies and agencies in the long term as the The trend towards remote working was already on the rise long before COVID struck.
In 2021, marketers will really gear up for the future of work. We are already well on our way; According to a recent study“Companies reported that responding to the new circumstances of the pandemic accelerated their digital communications strategy by an average of 6 years.”
3 – Data protection and cybersecurity are becoming more and more urgent
Data processing became a great story After the 2016 elections and I am sorry to inform you that it will probably bubble up again this fall. Cybersecurity has also been a growing problem for many years and is becoming all the more relevant as customer data is increasingly decentralized and cloud-based.
While these topics have often been the responsibility of IT in the past, marketing needs to have a seat at the table and a voice in the discussion. Send a strong message that your brand is safe to do business with – sensitive data is not shared, lost, stolen, or misused – and secure it essential to building confidence in the new business world.
4 – Simplicity and synchronicity are crucial
In its latest Marketing technology landscape visualizationChief Martech has mapped around 8,000 different solutions in the wild. Eight thousend!
The beauty of this vast landscape is that there are now marketing technologies that cover just about every need imaginable. The downside, of course, is that the sheer volume and range of options can feel completely overwhelming. The balance between too little martech and too much martech is difficult.
In the near future, rationalization will be the name of the game. How can you reduce your tech stack to the bare minimum? Which solutions can cover multiple needs for your team? How can you request a continuous feedback loop so that users can communicate openly when a tool isn’t working for them and quickly take action?
Finding the answers to these questions will help marketing organizations become more efficient and effective with Martech in 2021.
5 – Artificial intelligence continues to grow and become embedded
The craze for marketing technology seems to vary from month to month, with a new category or niche stepping into the spotlight and then leaving it. However, one that never seems to lose its luster is AI. This is because the technology is powerful and endlessly applicable.
We are already seeing that AI is widespread in modern marketing strategies – chatbots, predictive analytics, deep learning, etc. – but the potential remains much greater and I believe we will continue to realize it in the year ahead. One threadline that I’ll be watching closely is formative AI, known as the trend driver Gartner’s New Technology Hype Cycle in 2020.
“Formative AI is a type of AI that can change dynamically to respond to a situation,” said Gartner. “There are a variety of types, from AI that can dynamically adjust over time to technologies that can generate novel models to solve specific problems.”
How could formative AI for marketing come into play to create more personalized and memorable B2B marketing experiences? Go ahead and dream about it. After all, that’s what sets us apart from machines. (Or at least one of the differences that has been thought about Blade runner and be Source material.)
Marketing technology will always have its place
This chaotic year 2020 has helped build the immense value of technology in my everyday life. Without having easy access to chat apps, video conferencing platforms, shared documents and other digital tools, A day in the life of a content marketer during the pandemic would be far more challenging and inefficient. Instead, I’m basically able to get my work done seamlessly with little interruption other than not being able to see my colleagues’ faces.
I miss that very much, and with all the talk about technology that can be seen in 2021, I very much hope for a return to semi-normal human interaction and physical closeness. Until then and after that, Martech will help us keep educating, entertaining, engaging, and connecting audiences (and ourselves) about digital space.
I don’t know about flying cars or skyscraper billboards, but I can say with confidence that the future of marketing and its technologies will look much more beyond 2020 than it has been in years.
For more information about the next year, please click on our post from Lane Ellis on 8 things B2B marketers need to know about Reddit in 2021.
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