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Opportunity from Challenge: 4 Martech Trends to Follow in 2021

New applications and sanctions related to communication and data processing make it mandatory for martech applications to be based on analytics and optimization. In this context, let’s look at 4 themes that will form the basis of the martech progress of 2021, which have emerged around analytical marketing technology and especially emphasized by SAS Global Product Manager Jonathan Moran:

  • Optimization and modernization replace full transformation

Some Martech vendors insist on creating a digital transformation agenda on purely “copying and modifying” software systems. Why not focus instead on optimizing costs, modernizing technologies and processes, and renewing marketing journeys?

Digital transformation is a process that takes years to complete. In 2021, companies will focus on optimizing and modernizing using analytics, rather than removing and reinstalling entire systems.

This will include optimizing marketing resources, marketing program costs, and customer engagement processes, as well as upgrading marketing technologies to drive new talent: Think machine learning, data collection and transformation, and channel convergence.

  • Machine learning becomes mainstream in marketing

Machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence, will become much more common in 2021.

Machine learning models will be used to better predict current and potential customer value, and the value of marketing-qualified leads across web and mobile channels.

Gradient Boosting machines and Random Forest models will be used to better segment customers based on behavior. Better value scoring and classification will result in higher levels of personalization and subsequently improved conversion rates across digital channels.

Product recommendations, loyalty programs, text and search, and digital advertising will move forward with increased and improved use of machine learning.

  • Attribution becomes mandatory

Alignment of sales and marketing departments in organizations has become critical. Because physical sales interactions are limited, sellers rely more on marketing deliverables to fuel the workflow.

Attribution is an analytical technique similar to optimization and will become commonplace as organizations refine and rebuild their strategies, while also controlling costs and processes more tightly. More brands will want to link their marketing effectiveness to channel revenue in a piecemeal way. Early-stage clicks will be more closely tied to late-stage engagement and conversion.

Attribution analytics structures are already being developed by some of the most mature marketing organizations, and most fast trackers are expected to use attribution more fully in 2021.

  • Better conversational AI emerges from improved digital engagement tactics

From the data perspective; Brands will necessarily increase the level of detail in the customer data they collect: As a result of limited interaction on physical channels, digital customer behavior data will be necessary for better interaction.

From an analytics perspective, conversational AI in the form of chatbots and other digital interaction mechanisms will be applied to assist product and service recommendations, also known as analytical “next best action/offer”.

The best conversational AI in 2021 will combine three things: enriched customer data, machine learning techniques for better forecasting, and AI and robotic automation capabilities for implementation.

The focus of analytics marketing in 2021 will be:

  • Revising and modernizing processes and Technologies
  • Controlling and correlating costs
  • Increasing conversion through better interaction and personalization
  • Reusing existing technology and processes to build on previous successes

For some companies, 2020 has been a year of turmoil and losses, while others have performed above average and will be able to enter 2021 more quickly. In any case, one thing will be consistent: Data and analytics will continue to satisfy the insight hunger brands crave.