The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year.
2023 has been a year of ongoing transformation for the world of marketing technology. From changes to privacy compliance to the shocking number of data breaches, the year has several key learnings we can all take into 2024 and beyond.
Here are my top seven:
Privacy compliance is non-negotiable
2023: The ripple effects of privacy regulations like GDPR and proposed changes to Australia's Privacy Act started to show.
2024: Staying ahead of regulatory changes and ensuring data privacy must be a top priority. The time has come to adapt to the evolving legal landscape. If you don’t, you’ll be left behind, or worse, risk fines and reputational damage to your business.
AI is the now
2023: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) solidified their roles as martech cornerstones. These technologies enable precise customer segmentation, predictive analytics, and personalised content delivery. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants reached new levels of sophistication in customer interactions.
2024: Embrace AI and ML for customer segmentation, personalisation, and automation. AI-driven customer service can set you apart and it is fast becoming the norm. Ignore this trend and you’re wasting precious work hours.
CX is everything
2023: With the impending loss of third-party cookies for segmentation, marketers realised that customer acquisition is only half the battle. Focusing on CX across various touchpoints became a central theme, with martech tools instrumental in ensuring a seamless, personalised, and consistent customer journey.
2024: Brands have no choice but to put customers at the heart of their strategy. Delivering seamless and personalised experiences across all touchpoints is now an expectation and one you simply can’t afford to leave for later.
2023: E-commerce maintained its momentum with martech solutions evolving to cater to growing demand. Automated customer service, AI-driven recommendations, and frictionless checkout experiences took centre stage.
2024: With the continued growth of e-commerce, brands need to invest in martech tools to enhance the online shopping experience. Your competitors are doing it, so you’ll be missing a trick if you don’t follow suit.
2023: A societal shift towards sustainability and ethics had a profound impact on martech. Tools for tracking and proving supply chain integrity, as well as environmentally friendly practices, became a differentiator in marketing strategies.
2024: Ethical and sustainable practices in marketing resonate with consumers. In the new year, this will mean more than showcasing these efforts in your campaigns. You need to walk the walk and that means being aware of the impact of your business from suppliers to programmatically served advertising and everything in between.
Virtual is here to stay
2023: The prevalence of remote work continues to impact martech, too. This year. virtual events, webinars, and online interactions became polished and interactive, replacing or augmenting traditional in-person activities.
2024: No longer a Covid trend that will fade away, virtual isn’t going anywhere. You will need to continue to invest in virtual events and online interactions as they are now integral to business operations. That means evolving these offerings to make them more sophisticated and engaging for your customers.
2023: With increased online interactions, and some high-profile data leaks, cybersecurity has become an even greater concern. Martech solutions that enhance security are imperative, especially in data storage and transmission.
2024: Protecting customer data and ensuring secure interactions is paramount. If you don’t already, next year is the year to invest in martech solutions that prioritise cybersecurity. The risk is too great to leave this one to chance.
By embracing the lessons learned and staying ahead of the trends, 2024 promises to be another year of growth and innovation in the world of marketing technology.
Ian Schafer's quote from 2021 still rings true: “Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Customers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don't catch up, we're in trouble".
If the last few years have taught us anything, it's that agility is key. Be ready to adapt swiftly to market changes supported by martech.
Richard Taylor is the Managing Director of Digital Balance.
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