Imagine doing marketing without any tech tools. How is that for a picture? Not great, we know.
While there was a time when marketing could be done with only little help from technology, today, it is in the hands of your marketing IT specialists to make sure your company has the latest and most relevant tools. After all, you do want to keep up with the ever-increasing demands on marketing, don’t you?
A recent report by OnAudience.com, a provider of big data and online marketing services, predicted that the global market data size will continue to grow in 2018, and is expected to increase nearly 35% compared to the year before. And with the rise of data comes the growing need for relevant marketing technology to handle it.
6,829 marketing technology solutions to choose from
CTOs and CIOs are increasingly looking towards the cloud to be able to process all the marketing data coming their way as well as tame the tools necessary for that. Just last month, Scott Brinker, marketing technology expert and the author of the Chief MarTech blog, published his 2018 graphic of the marketing tools currently out there.
The message is clear, yet a tad overwhelming: “There are 6,829 marketing technology solutions from 6,242 unique marketing technology vendors.”
The category with the largest number of vendors is Sales Automation, Enablement and Intelligence, according to Brinker, shooting “salestech” up to the top of the list. That is rather unsurprising given that more and more companies are looking to gain deeper insight into what drives sales and how customers respond to different marketing tactics.
Using individual tools and applications, however, is not the only way marketing technologists are tackling the swarms of data coming their way.
“Innovation is also happening [...] in how companies combine applications into their own unique digital operations fabric. This is why microservices and APIs are, in my opinion, one of the biggest disruptions in marketing - and business in general.”
iPaas (integration-platform-as-a-service) solutions are also gaining momentum in an attempt to bring all pieces together and make them work as part of one big whole. As we described in a previous blog post, iPaas solutions help integrate platforms across various clouds, enabling ad agencies and businesses to meet their growing data needs without placing any additional strains on existing IT infrastructure.
And those needs are certainly growing, given that last year alone, “the average enterprise used 91 marketing cloud services - plus many more for collaboration, CRM, cloud storage, and social media,” according to another article by Brinker.
The right tools for the right marketing needs
Without question, the cloud has a number of very obvious benefits. On a more general level, it facilitates collaboration, helps people become more efficient, and makes it easier for them to derive key insights from their data. More specifically, though, it can assist marketers by servicing one of the following four components: omni-channel marketing automation, analytics, content management, and social media tools.
Any one of those components is key for the success of digital marketing strategies within big companies and small alike. Some of the most prominent tools out there, including AWS and Azure, make sure to combine all four. AWS is widely popular with small- and medium-sized businesses, while Azure is keeping a lead among large enterprises.
Of course, not every company has the need or resources to invest in cloud solutions like those of Amazon and Microsoft. In fact, recent findings by Gartner indicated that marketing budgets have gone down, hence also the spend on marketing technology, yet, CMOs are increasingly aware of the need to invest in the right tools.
For 2017-18, marketing analytics jumps ahead to the no. 1 area of spending compared with 2016-17, when it came in at no. 4 behind the company’s website, digital commerce and digital advertising,”
Chris Pemberton, Consultant, Gartner for Markets
It is estimated that 80% of the world’s data is “dark”, meaning it is being collected by computers but is not really structured and, as a result, is also not of much use to organizations. The focus on all-round (marketing) analytics technologies will, thus, be greater than ever. With increasing amounts of data being generated by companies on a daily - if not hourly - basis, having an automated tool to help transform and process this data will be key to remaining competitive.
But it is not only individual tools that help handle data more easily and efficiently. The rise of APIs, too, has contributed to companies tailoring the marketing solutions that best fit their own needs. Adverity has seen this trend grow first-hand, as it has embraced clients’ demand for more connectors and diverse APIs on a regular basis.
The need for cloud marketing services will likely only increase in the future, which will make it crucial for companies to choose the ones best suited to their marketing activities. It will also reinforce the need to integrate those tools in ways that they all work together efficiently and in line with specific marketing goals.