A lot has changed in the technological landscape over the last 10 years, especially in the world of marketing. So, as we enter a new decade, what lies ahead for marketing professionals?
It would be the dream of many to have 2020-Martech vision that could predict the future, but this may be a little ambitious. However, with our learnings from the previous decade, it’s possible to make informed predictions for the next five years as we head into the roaring martech twenties.

1. The concept of the Marketing Spine will increase in traction.

There is a growing realisation that some marketing technologies are more fundamental than others. Organisations must focus on prioritisation, shaking out the unnecessary tools that only confuse things. In fact, as more and more organisations opt for intelligent marketing automation strategies, the Martech Spine will replace the Martech Stack philosophy for the truly tech savvy businesses.

2. Marketing functions will move budget from Adtech to martech at a faster rate than ever before.
End customers are becoming more suspect and cynical regarding social media platforms. Due to these platforms’ passive listening and use of an individual’s data, marketing professionals must take on the responsibility for their own project nurturing to ensure that operations are compliant and trustworthy.

3. The privacy agenda will continue to move beyond simply GDPR to become more expansive, but also more considered.
As organisations become more accustomed to the effect of GDPR, they will begin to grow their databases again. Nurturing, frequency of contact, scoring and profiling of an individual across multiple technologies will become more important, as will the ability to coordinate un-subscription processes across platforms compliantly and clearly.

4. Marketing ROI will be replaced by Marketing Performance Management.
ROI can be misunderstood, and all too often it is focussed purely on the tactical campaign level. This may be necessary, but it limits thinking and can often be merely for anecdotal purposes. Replacing this measurement with content curation, benchmarking of activity, campaign and preference sophistication, marketing attribution, data privacy and management against their industry peers will become even more prevalent.

5. Marketing Ops will embrace Sales Ops and vice versa.
In larger companies, these two divisions can merge to provide a centralised martech centre of excellence that drives guidance and governance around the needs of the digital, connected customer. At the same time, this merging of operations can enable deeper insight, improved forecasting capability, and initiate fresh thinking back into the business.

6. ABM will be exposed as a nice but limited tactic and little more than marketing targeting.
ABM will be replaced with Sales Enablement on the agenda of most CMO and CRO agendas. Whilst ABM may provide focus, Sales Enablement drives large scale education, productivity improvements and performance management. This can have a far more profound effect on the organisation than ABM alone.

7. The war for digitally savvy talent operating at the strategic level continues to become even stronger, as does the need for digital business continuity.
CMOs will realise the need to hire teams of people that are able to implement the Martech Spine tactically and with a technical strategist at the helm, rather than implemented vaguely, or simply throwing a few bodies at it. The quality of truly knowledgeable certified consultants can be an issue when sourcing talent, however, their connectivity, relevance to the business and digital continuity are more of an issue. In light of this, CMOs will start hiring Directors of Martech and Sales Enablement to truly drive the uptake and successful deployment of the technology.


Author: Adam Sharp, CEO, CleverTouch


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