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Forrester Revealed Top Emerging Technologies for Marketers

Marketers have made up so much ground through advanced technology tools in recent years. The evolving marketing technology landscape, on the other hand, puts marketers in a position where they have to navigate through a sea of thousands of vendors, capabilities, and tech trends. However, if B2B and B2C marketers want to position themselves to remain with or ahead of the curve over the next 3 to 5 years, they need to look out for a series of emerging tech, new research from Forrester found.

There are a couple of primary reasons why customer-obsessed firms like Amazon, GE, and Netflix are reinventing the way of doing business in their industries, however, arguably the most important one is that they consistently rethink how value is being created for customers when it comes to utilizing emerging technologies to captivate a customer loyalty and maximize their margin. According to Forrester’s reports, Top Emerging Technologies for B2B Marketers, Top Emerging Technologies for B2C Marketers and The Top Emerging Technologies For Digital Predators, today, content intelligence technologies will help marketers become insights-driven. Besides this, Forrester recommends B2B marketers embracing advocacy platforms, intelligent agents, personalized video, programmatic advertising solutions, and virtual and augmented reality to drive customer engagement. When it comes to B2C marketers, the market research firm emphasizes the importance of virtual and augmented reality, which can deliver more effective customer experiences, as well as creative advertising technology, embedded advertising, intelligent agents, and mobile engagement automation. In this article, we will touch upon the top three emerging technologies for both B2B and B2C marketers to help our readers solidify or adjust their marketing plans.

Personal Identity and Data Management

The Personal Identity Management market size is estimated to grow from USD 7.37 Billion in 2016 to USD 12.76 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.61%, according to MarketsandMarkets.

As being one of the most important systems of engagement technologies, personal identity and data management technologies mostly include personal data lockers and authorization management tools, and they provide complete measurement, accurate targeting, relevant personalization, and channel/device-appropriate interactions on the right channel and device. In other words, the system integrates identifiers across available touchpoints and devices along with behavior, transaction, and contextual information into an addressable customer profile.

Forrester also sees personal identity and data management (PIDM) as the next evolution of contextual privacy as it gives consumers control over their own data. The research firm can’t stress the importance of this enough as it is so critical not only in customer relationship and engagement but also in reducing the risk of violation of consumer privacy. The reason is that consumer concerns about privacy and personal data sharing are on the rise due to the amplification in high-profile data breaches and the recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settlements that hold Facebook, Google, and Twitter accountable to strict privacy audit guidelines.

Personal identity and data management link systems of insight and engagement bolster seamless and relevant cross-channel customer experiences.  For example, if a customer is researching an electronics item on a website, the retailer can take advantage of this identity intelligence to increase relevance and continue the interaction in the physical store by offering a personalized in-store coupon for the item that the shopper is looking for.

Artificial Intelligence/Cognitive

In one of my recent articles entitled Google, Apple, Facebook, and Intel Battle for AI Supremacy, I discussed why AI is not a short-lived fad, rather a revolution like mobile by analyzing the latest acquisitions that tech titans made in recent years, and the over 30 AI acquisitions that took place in q1 2017 alone. When you really think about it, this level of commitment from venture capitalists tells us that artificial intelligence will become immersive for all enterprises soon. However, as stated in the beginning, organizations that focus on improving or evolving customer experiences and business outcomes make a difference. So the AI technology is evolving, and software companies have been baking AI capabilities throughout their platforms and user experiences. For marketers who focus on long-term technology investment strategies and want to speed past their competitors, it is a good time to consider how to transform their organizations from data-rich to insights-driven, especially now that B2B marketing solution providers have already started integrating AI technologies into their offerings to provide a wide range of use cases, from natural language generation, account selection to content personalization, content analysis, and ad placement.

The aforementioned Forrester research concerning B2C marketers conducted that there is a huge impact of AI-powered marketing solutions on driving efficiency as they can automate workflows through its unique way of processing, storing, sharing immutable transactional information in a distributed peer-to-peer network as well as surface consumer insights more accurately and faster. Additionally, AI-powered marketing solutions also drive lift in marketing KPIs by autonomously creating and delivering customer interactions while automating workflows through its unique way of processing, storing, sharing immutable transactional information in a distributed peer-to-peer network.

After all, there is no company that wouldn’t want the ability to connect with each and every customer on a one-to-one basis to help make the sale, and this technology makes the machines and systems smarter through consuming data to upskill algorithms that could mirror real-world scenarios so they could ultimately think like humans. AI-powered marketing solutions provide marketers a new level of productivity by benefiting people by examining the past and current consumer behavior, to then predict the future, in order to give insight on which area to focus on more or less.

IoT Software and Solutions

According to Forrester, the adoption of Internet-of-Things is more advanced among B2B enterprises than it is among consumer-facing brands. As cited in the report, IoT platforms and packages enable B2C brands to enter new territory, build new offerings and business models, and deliver increasingly contextualized experiences through more frequent and intimate consumer interactions. These all are paramount as the relations between the customer and the brand move from a one-time interaction to arm's length transaction, and IoT software and solutions support marketers throughout this journey by enabling them to listen to their customers wherever they are and analyze their ever-changing behaviors.

Again, maintaining a forward-thinking organization or becoming one requires close follow up with the emerging technologies and early adoption so you can reinvent your space or rethink how value is being created for your customers. In that regard, IoT technologies have so much to offer when it comes to engineering new business models, enhancements to business process, and faster strategic decision making. Not maybe directly related to marketing but Google, for example, now produces driverless cars to integrate with the automotive industry. A decade ago, would you think of google expanding to that industry? Highly unlikely.

Additional to the Forrester reports, a 451 Research survey disclosed that 71% of enterprises are gathering data for IoT initiatives today. The other key findings from the study:

  • 90% of enterprises will increase IoT spending over the next 12 months and 40% of respondents will raise IoT-related investment by 25% to 50% compared to 2016.

  • Enterprises are split regarding a present IoT skills shortage: 54% of respondents to this question said lack of trained IoT staff is not an issue for their organization, versus 46% who said they are having difficulty filling IoT-related positions. The latter group identified IoT security and data analytics as the areas with the greatest dearth of expertise.

  • 68% of corporations currently take advantage of IoT data to optimize operations, such as performing preventative maintenance, reducing downtime in factory equipment and fleet management.

  • 42% of enterprises use IoT data to develop new products or enhance existing products and services.

If you are struggling to find your place in the IoT-enabled landscape, discover the business case first, and then planning out the large-scale deployment around that may be wise things to do. It is also worth noting that a partial commitment to IoT isn’t enough, therefore, the network architecture must be considerably designed and capable of being upgraded to meet future needs.

My POV

According to Forrester, the biggest effects won’t start until mid-2019, because of the time needed for supporting technologies to mature, meaning that therein lies the opportunity for those marketers who want to move farther the fastest to make a difference. Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Nigel Fenwick says, “without changes in the experience, perceived value decreases.” And it is no secret that experience will overtake price and even product. So it doesn’t matter if you are in the service industry or the product industry, to maintain your business today and flourish tomorrow, you need to embrace a new way of thinking. Therefore, marketers should first be able to collect data from the website to wearables and then adopt the technologies that can translate that data into meaningful actions. Once they have a clearer idea of who their audience is and what their intentions are, they can utilize systems that can drive relevant, personalized, and channel/device-appropriate interactions, and from there, ultimately optimize a seamless omnichannel experience to captivate customer loyalty.
 

Venus Tamturk

Venus Tamturk

Venus is the Media Reporter for CMS-Connected, with one of her tasks to write thorough articles by creating the most up-to-date and engaging content using B2B digital marketing. She enjoys increasing brand equity and conversion through the strategic use of social media channels and integrated media marketing plans.