American Marketer


AI and analytics at the forefront of emerging marketing technologies: report

April 11, 2017

IBM Watson's marketing cloud


Artificial intelligence, the Internet of things and identity resolution technologies are three of the best ways to future-proof consumer marketing tactics in the immediate future, according to a new report from Forrester.

The report, "Top Emerging Technologies For B2C Marketers," examines the ways that technology is influencing marketing tactics in this rapidly evolving era. From this chaos, Forrester has pinned down some of the technological areas that marketers should keep an eye on to make sure they are not left behind by the marketing tech revolution.

The popular Mad Men TV series showcased marketing and advertising during the bygone days of

a simpler age," said Joe Stanhope and Mary Pilecki, co-authors of the report from Forrester. "No modern marketer wants to go back to the days when telephones, typewriters, and kodak carousel slide projectors represented the leading edge of marketing technology.

"Today, marketers depend wholly on technology to collect data, generate insights about customers, target specific audiences, and deliver relevant interactions. in fact, effective use of marketing technology gives some brands an advantage over others by enabling timely well-placed delivery of highly personalized content to the right customers for the highest ROI."

Artificial intelligence
The marketing technology landscape is vast. Forrester points out that there are thousands of programs and software out there all claiming to be essential products for marketers to use.

This glut of technologies is especially daunting given the significant investment each piece purchased is to the marketer.

At the most basic level, marketers spend 21 percent of their budgets on technology. This means that each piece purchased requires serious thought and planning put into whether it is the right product or not.

None of this is helped by the fact that marketing technology is constantly shifting and changing. The product that seems most important now may be rendered irrelevant by some unforeseen transformation in the future.

Marketing technology is a priority for many marketers

To that end, Forrester has compiled this report to help marketers sort out exactly what they should and should not be spending their resources and effort on.

One of the biggest technologies that marketers should begin investing in is artificial intelligence. This can take a number of forms, but most are concerned with intelligently managing and sorting content, without the need for constant human oversight, to dynamically analyze data and generate new content and messages for consumers.

By investing in artificial intelligence, marketers will be able to move away from individual, piecemeal marketing campaigns and towards a more holistic approach that synthesizes all of their content automatically and can combine and create new pieces of content on its own.

This technology is part of a larger move towards personalized and programmatic advertising that will play a crucial role in how brands market to consumers in the future.

Data analytics
Some of the other technologies that Forrester recommends are predicated on collecting data. Analytics is an important part of any marketer’s arsenal and emerging technologies can make data gathering easier and more effective than ever.

A bonus of more effective data gathering is making AI-powered marketing tech even more fruitful by giving those systems more data to play with.

The criteria for important martech

The emphasis on artificial intelligence as a marketing tool is shared, unsurprisingly, with IBM Watson, which had a representative speak highly of its potential uses at a recent Forrester conference in New York.

Speaking at Forrester’s Consumer Marketing event in New York last week, the head of IBM Watson’s marketing team spoke about the ways that cognitive systems will revolutionize the marketing process. In IBM’s view, cognitive technology will act as a trusted advisor to marketers, helping them navigate the marketing world without supplanting them fully (see story).

As luxury brands seek to understand their customers better in an effort to improve their ability to market to them, emerging technology and artificial intelligence will be a driving factor behind that shift.

"Marketing is in a continuous state of evolution, and new customer engagement opportunities beget new technical capabilities, creating an unceasing and rapid pace of change," Mr. Stanhope and Ms. Pilecki said. "Along with a constantly growing range of touchpoints that require new technology solutions to meet customers’ expectations, vendors tempt marketers with solutions that follow the latest trends, occupy increasingly narrow niche markets, and promise to simplify the very complexity to which they contribute."