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The Trends Bringing MarTech & AdTech Together In 2018

As technology continues to dominate almost every aspect of our lives, it’s easy to see how the digital transformation is well underway. Advertising technology (adtech) and marketing technology (martech) have long been on a collision course.

There is an increasing need for an alignment of key performance indicators (KPIs) to remove silos. We also need to work smarter to deliver a single view of a customer and create personalised experiences. But, what trends and technology will dominate the following year to help pave the way for greater collaboration?

Data Is The New Gold

After years of capturing customer data and trying to leverage hidden value from it, it’s time to focus on the processes, practices and securing of all data. 2017 was dominated by headlines around high profile cyber-attacks, breaches, and fake news exploiting weaknesses in social media algorithms.

Gartner predicts that by 2022, “most people in mature economies will consume more false information than true information.” The distortion of data or delivery of false information will continue to highlight the vulnerabilities of emerging technology such as AI and machine learning.

However, it’s the arrival of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May that is leaving many businesses feeling anxious. Under the new regulation, Ubers data hack that exposed the details of 57 million customers and drivers in 2017 could have resulted in a 4% fine of its global annual revenue, or €20m (£17.75m).

TalkTalk also had a £400,000 penalty in 2017 but once again this would be £71 Million when GDPR is introduced. If data really is the new gold, maybe boardrooms will finally begin to see the value and ROI of adequately protecting what many will consider their most valuable asset.

"Unfortunately for stretched business owners that are already struggling to be everything to everyone, it means they need continue to evolve to meet the high demands and expectations of their customers. The harsh reality is that is no longer enough to have a presence on multiple channels and a plethora of devices."

Brands Embrace Voice Technology

As we continue to embrace the concept of a smarthome and feel comfortable rather than awkward at the prospect of talking to our devices, voice-based searches are set to explode in 2018. This shift in consumer behaviour will change the future of SEO.

Brands will need to shift towards specific keyword phrases to reflect the conversational tone that consumers use in voice searches. Gartner also predicts that early adopting businesses that redesign their websites accordingly could even grow their revenue by as much as 30 percent. In a mobile-first world, the time has come to think about supporting visual and voice search sooner rather than later.

Increased Focus on Multi Devices and Channels

Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify all provide the same experience on any device at any time and allow us to pick up where we left off seamlessly. As users, we now have a rising expectation level from brands and have very little patience for those that do not meet these high standards.

Unfortunately for stretched business owners that are already struggling to be everything to everyone, it means they need continue to evolve to meet the high demands and expectations of their customers. The harsh reality is that is no longer enough to have a presence on multiple channels and a plethora of devices.

All services and products need to be integrated with each other and provide the same personalised experience and removing any friction in the process. Although many might argue that customers have very unrealistic expectation levels from smaller businesses, the harsh reality is it has never been more critical to be competitive in a new way of doing business.

Messenger Apps and Chatbots

Many are guilty of chasing after buzzwords such as AI, machine learning, and chatbots. But delivering genuine tailor-made experiences takes a substantial commitment regarding both financial and resources.

App fatigue has ensured that most people do want to download your mobile app, but expect to reach out directly to businesses in the social messaging apps that they frequent. But, it must feel like a personalised experience. Get it wrong, and your audience will feel like they are talking to a brick wall.

However, if the investment in data and analytics initiatives is taken seriously, businesses can transform the customer experience and dramatically increase profits in the process. Sephora increased the average spend of its customers by 11 percent, and SnapTravel has seen $1 million in hotel bookings in less than a year through a Facebook Messenger bot.

Elsewhere, Tommy Hilfiger reported that more time was spent on its Messenger than any of their other digital channels. The success of early adopters should enable businesses to think bigger and what can be achieved by taking Messenger Apps and Chatbots seriously.

The race is on to reach the promised land of enhanced consumer engagement and increased revenue. But this can only be achieved by removing silos and barriers that may exist between the worlds of adtech and martech. Greater collaboration is needed to align your web personalisation strategy and deliver a genuine cross-channel platform.

If Netflix knows what we want to watch and Spotify knows what music we will like, what is your business doing to understand your customers want unique requirements?

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