Ah, it’s that time of the year again. The change of a single digit wreaks havoc on everyone’s paperwork. We collectively question our conception of time, and martech specialists crawl from beneath whatever stack they’ve been hiding under to make their guesses about what’s to come.
Incidentally, we’ve already tackled why you should build a martech stack in 2022, so it’s only right we also tell you what trends to look out for, while you do that. But first…
A Reflection on the Year Past
Last year, just as we were unsuspectingly heading into the warm quarantine embrace of Pandemic 2.0, several industry experts felt brave enough to make their predictions. Some have aged better than others.
For example, plans for the Cookie-pocalypse, which was pushed back to 2023, fell through and had to be adapted for Apple’s limitations on data collection. On the other hand, privacy and personalization boomed, just like we expected them to — a trend which shows no signs of stopping at all.
And as you’ll soon see, that’s just one of many here to stay in 2022.
A Personable Pandemic
Unsurprisingly, limiting person-to-person interaction has affected customer behavior immensely. People’s tastes in content have changed, and they no longer consume it the way they did before. Virtual conferences, videos, podcasts, and interactive experiences are now more desirable than ever, and companies have had to account for that in their marketing.
This has had a knock-on effect on marketing technologies, which always seek to satisfy the needs and wants of their company customers. So, how will that look in the upcoming year?
Well, without further ado, let’s have a look.
Our 7 Predictions for Martech in 2022
1) IoT, Big Data, Big Ops, and Analytics
It’s said that by the end of 2022, nearly 80 billion devices will be connected to the IoT. Suffice to say, that’s a lot of data! Each year the number of data touchpoints and amount of data itself balloons in size. And although we’ve mostly solved the issue of how to store all of it, a new problem reared its ugly head — now that you’ve got it, what should you do with it?
And as Scott Brinker himself said in our webinar on Building the Ultimate Martech Stack for 2022, that’s where analytics and Big Ops come into play. Marketers who want to thrive in this data-saturated space need to understand the data they possess and have a strategy on how to use it efficiently.
With that being said, there’s one more data-related issue that you need to consider…
Let’s be frank here, the shift from 3rd party cookies towards 1st party customer data has thrown a french in the works for plenty of companies. Although the transition isn’t fast per se, marketers are still frantically looking for new strategies to account for the change.
Today’s customers are increasingly well-aware of the value their data holds and aren’t going to part with it without a fight if they don’t get something for it. That’s why going forward, the ability to compensate customers appropriately for their consent will separate the winners from the losers.
3) Employee & Stack Growth Intertwined
A fairly recent development in the business world was the ascension of Marketing Ops onto the corporate role ladder. And we’ve been discovering new use-cases for it ever since. And this year, we can foresee two new fruits born from the marketing ops tree.
It may be obvious, but marketing ops are more than just your martech stack. They are (ideally) the symbiotic relationship between your technology and the people working with it, which breeds the best results.
And it seems more companies are coming to realize this truth. Time and time again, we’ve seen that finding a happy medium between investment into refining your stack and growing the talent behind it can have immense value for RoI. With the proper strategy in place and the ability to monitor and vet results obtained from marketing efforts help immensely in getting the most bang for your content buck.
We can also see these changes reflected in how big martech players are repositioning their brands:
- HubSpot changed its branding from marketing automation to CRM
- Salesforce and Adobe are pushing their function above any department
Judging by these facts alone, going forward, we can see these consolidation efforts spreading into the rest of the martech world too.
4) Extended Reality (AR, MR, VR)
Extended reality (XR) technology is currently experiencing something that can only be described as a perfect storm. Due to technological advancements and increasing accessibility of associated peripherals, the commercial viability of XR-fueled experiences is greater than ever.
Not only that, but the desire for such experiences has grown significantly too. While gaming and other forms of immersive entertainment are still at the forefront, we’ve seen people tentatively dip their toes educational and medicine-related use-cases in 2021.
From a marketing standpoint, companies have an excellent opportunity to utilize these technologies on several fronts, including virtual events, 360° video ads, and virtual stores/showrooms. And that’s not evening touching the topic of Metaverse!
Speaking of which…
5) Metaverse & the Fusion of Social Media with E-commerce
When Mark Zuckerberg announced the rebranding of Facebook to Meta and announced the planned launch of their “Metaverse”, causing a lot of commotion. Most people (who weren’t screaming, “The Matrix is upon us!”) wondered what such a platform would mean for online interactions. Meanwhile, most marketers focused on the changes it could make in online shopping.
We’ve seen the growth of what Forbes called “Marketing Fortresses” – fusions of social media and online marketplaces, where users can buy anything, anywhere, anytime. Facebook’s and Instagram’s shopping capabilities and TikTok’s full-on marketplace are only signs of what’s to come. Especially when you combine these “fortresses” with the above-mentioned XR technologies and spaces like Metaverse.
6) Machine Learning, AI, and Personalization
What used to be nothing more than buzzwords is finally making its way into real-life work situations (at least to a point). With teams all over the world suffering at the hands of the “Great Resignation”, machine learning and AI can help by delivering new insights, automating repetitive tasks and assisting in personalization – for example, by delivering the right content to the right customer at the right time.
The technology can be somewhat limited by the vast data sets necessary for it to work efficiently, but it can provide immense benefits for those who can leverage it.
The evolution of marketing technologies and marketing practices goes hand-in-hand.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-stop solution that can reliably produce good results. Instead, marketers need to diversify their marketing means to get what they want.
And personalization has been a winning formula to that end — omni-channel personalization, to be specific. People like to be catered to. And not just on one messaging channel but across all their brand-related communications.
Okay, hear us out. Storytelling might not be a marketing technology in itself, but it’s certainly martech-enabled. It’ll have a significant role in the upcoming years of online marketing, so we’ll let it slide.
Nowadays we live in the era of the “Identity Consumer”. Customers form deep connections with the products they consume and can be fiercely brand-loyal. But that’s only the case if they like your company identity. If they don’t, they’re likely to avoid your company outright.
That’s why you need to be authentic and likable and tell a compelling story with your media. And currently, there’s no better way to do that than through video and audio — more specifically, live-streaming and podcasts.
Whether you use these means for live shopping à la new-age infomercials or use them to provide your customers with valuable information and entertainment is up to you. Just remember to take full advantage of available martech solutions to make the most of it.
Like every year, 2022 will be a tough year to navigate the martech sphere efficiently. But hopefully, now you have a better idea of what to keep an eye out for.
As the name would suggest, Marmind (short for Marketing Mastermind) was built with marketing in mind. We suppose you could call it a Marketing Resource Management (MRM) tool if you were to be bland, but in truth, Marmind is much more than that — joining the dots between parts of your martech stack into something grand!
You can wave communication silos goodbye as Marmind enables team members to trade information instantaneously, regardless of what department they belong to. Meanwhile, our intelligent AI system ensures you always have access to relevant insights. And to top it off, you can rest easy knowing your customers will always get a consistent story when it comes to your company. With Marmind, your storytellers will always have access to all the content they need, whenever and wherever they need it.