Why Martech Is the Future of Digital Marketing and How to Prepare for It?
By Arijit Banerjee
Nearly 60% of Indian marketers increased their budgets for marketing automation solutions in 2017 – predominantly for use in campaign management, email marketing, content management, and audience targeting. 2018 promises to be no different. Forrester predicts that MarTech budgets will witness double digit growth in 2018. Though modern marketers’ affinity for technology is not new, the heightened focus on MarTech stems from the increased pressure on marketing to contribute to business performance.
Which technologies will dominate MarTech in 2018 and which industries will they impact the most?
73% of marketers believe 2018 will be the year of Artificial Intelligence (AI), while 20% think voice-first technologies such as chatbots, smart assistants, and voice search will dominate. 63.5% of marketers are betting on Big Data to usher transformative results for marketing in 2018.
According to a recent Marketing Technology ROI survey, marketers using an optimized MarTech stack are witnessing measurable success - from boosting the overall marketing ROI to improving speed to market, and enabling superior decision-making.
But where are marketers using these technologies? From AI-driven content marketing, advertising to one-on-one customer engagement through chatbots, intelligent lead nurturing and segmentation – the use cases of MarTech are numerous. Indian companies across sectors such as BFSI, e-commerce, and retail are embracing MarTech.
- HDFC Bank's EVA chatbot provides a conversational experience to customers across digital platforms.
- Bajaj Allianz's Boing bot helps customers register claims, track policy status, locate insurance branches and networked hospitals.
- Tata Capital is using its Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning powered ‘myLoan’ mobile app to increase lead generation by 600%.
Which key skills will your digital marketers need to maximize value from MarTech?
Lack of internal skills and expertise, complexity of systems, and data quality issues, are the top challenges faced by Indian marketers when it comes to using Martech. To be able to select and use the right MarTech tools and solutions, today’s digital marketers must possess a diverse skill set comprising five key capabilities:
#1 Data analysis: The ability to derive, interpret, and act on data insights is primary to marketing success today. Among data analysis streams, marketing analytics is one of the most sought-after roles, after financial services and business intelligence.
#2 Content marketing: Gartner predicts that by 2018, AI will author 20% of all business content. So what will content marketers do? Their role will evolve from writing to leveraging content to create truly contextualized customer experiences. Knowledge of AI-driven tools such as Curata, Scoop.it, and AutomatedInsights will help marketers discover, curate, recommend, scale, optimize, and measure the performance of their content marketing initiatives better than ever before.
#3 Automation: The growing popularity of automation certification courses reiterates one fact: to stay ahead, marketers must update themselves on how to set up, optimise, and measure the performance of automated digital marketing campaigns.
#4 Search engine optimisation (SEO): Marketers need foundational SEO knowledge before they can maximize value from MarTech tools. A short-term SEO certification can help bridge the gap for most marketers, while those pursuing a deeper understanding of SEO can go for an in-depth course.
#5 Demand generation: MarTech helps marketers generate, segment, and nurture leads more quickly, accurately, and in a cost-effective manner. Leveraging MarTech tools for their leads lifecycle requires marketers to upgrade their digital sales and marketing knowhow through training and certifications.
As MarTech solutions increasingly envelop the entire customer lifecycle, modern marketers have both reasons to rejoice and worry. While they can leave the heavy lifting to technology, the challenge of living up to their customer experience promises is getting bigger and more real by the day. Are your digital marketers acquiring the right skills to keep pace with the evolving business demands and consumer behaviour?