Adapting to the New Marketing Era

Adapting to the New Marketing Era

The Gist

  • MACH’s shift to business value. The conversation about composability and headless must be about business value, not geekery. MACH’s evolution highlights a focus on solving real business problems, moving beyond technical features to practical applications in marketing.
  • AI-powered marketing: beyond the hype. AI in 2024 transcends its buzzword status. Marketers are now applying AI to solve complex problems, indicating a shift from novelty to necessity in marketing technology.
  • The dawn of true personalization. Personalization reaches a new level of sophistication in 2024. AI will enable seamless, scalable personalization, marking a significant advancement in how marketers understand and cater to individual customer needs.

This year stands as a pivotal year for marketing technology trends. Marketers need to embrace and strategically incorporate these advancements into their marketing strategies. And they need to figure out how to best leverage their marketing technology amid a chaotic landscape of more than 11,000 tools

And what marketing technology trends are we talking about? This year’s marketing technology trends are a mosaic of advanced tools and approaches, reshaping our interaction and connection with audiences.

Marketing technology experts emphasized the crucial role of personalization, the emergence of AI-driven analytics and the increased adoption of customer data platforms (CDPs) and other tools as leading marketing technology trends. These are not just isolated tools; they are integral components of a complex marketing technology ecosystem. For marketers, the challenge is in harmoniously integrating these trends to craft a holistic and impactful marketing approach.

We’re in a “profound inflection point” for marketing technology, or martech, according to a Jan. 1 blog by Scott Brinker, the “Godfather of Martech” who runs the Chief Marketing Technologist blog.

“Will such exponential growth in martech system complexity be a good thing?” Brinker asked. “Truthfully, it’s hard to predict. As noted, humans aren’t great at comprehending exponential complexity. But I think the answer will be yes. Why? Because customers and markets are complex. Enabling our martech systems to adapt to that complexity with far greater fluidity than we could have ever dreamed of in the past has the potential to dramatically improve the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing.”

Without further ado, here are some top marketing technology trends as told by three industry experts we caught up with to set the foundation for marketing technology utilization in 2024.

The Evolution of MACH and Its Business Value

The conversation about composability and headless must be about business value, “not geekery,” according to Ian Truscott, independent marketing strategist at Rockstar CMO and CMSWire Contributor. He emphasizes the shift in the value proposition of MACH (Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS and Headless). 

While MACH has reached its peak as a differentiator, its role in solving real business problems remains crucial. This trend signifies a move away from technical jargon toward tangible business outcomes.

“It’s the latest salvo in the 100-year war that is ‘monolith’ versus ‘best-of-breed,’” Truscott said. “The industry has been down this path before, specifically the CMS industry, not just with open source but with cloud solutions. We argued about true SaaS and cloud, and the market decided. If SaaS had been so important to buyers, Crownpeak would have ruled the school two decades ago, and the enterprise needed Acquia to put a business suit on open-source Drupal. And while I am riding around on my early 2000’s hobby horse, does anyone remember JSR170, the interoperability content standard that would bust the silos? Nope, I thought not.”

Related Article: Making the Case for MACH Architecture

AI-Powered Solutions Beyond Buzzwords

The year 2024 will see AI transcending its role as a mere buzzword. Truscott noted, “AI will ‘earn its keep,’” pointing to a Robert Rose line in his This Old Marketing podcast.

The focus is now on how AI solves complex marketing problems, from conversational advertising to behind-the-scenes marketing operations. This trend indicates a shift from AI as a novelty to AI as an integral, functional component in marketing technology.

“Being ‘AI-powered’ has the same fate in 2024, in that it’s not good enough to claim being AI-powered as a differentiating value statement,” Truscott said. “The ease of access to the tools being provided by big tech makes this ubiquitous, especially around synthetic content creation. What will become more interesting is how AI Is applied to solve tougher marketing problems.”

Rose suggests conversational advertising and behind-the-scenes marketing work. Truscott agrees we will see some really interesting use cases. 

“The fear I have here is that this could favor the big vendors, with their bigger data sets and development budgets, but the democratization of access to AI, through services like OpenAI, will provide opportunities for disruption to established martech categories and vendors, plus, of course, the opportunity to leverage AI to develop products faster will feed innovation,” he added.

Related Article: Generative AI in Marketing: Smoothing Creative Operations

The Realization of Personalization

Personalization is set to reach new heights in 2024. Truscott pointed out, “I don’t mean the {first_name} in email bollocks; I mean seamless, at scale, service from an invisible content-serving butler.” AI plays a pivotal role in enabling this sophisticated level of personalization, allowing marketers to understand content and audience needs more deeply.

Reaching even further back into marketing history and 1993’s Peppers and Rogers “One to One Future,” 2024 could finally be the year for personalization, according to Truscott. 

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