The Marketing Technology Stack Evolution in 2021

Discover the drivers behind marketing technology changes and learn how to strategically use them to optimise your marketing in 2021 and beyond.
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Published May 5, 2021
Last updated November 14, 2021

Not many organisations were able to meet changes that took place in 2020 effectively. Organisations that were digitally savvy before the market shifts had a chance to lead the way in a new customer approach – driven by empathy. Others were much more concerned about facilitating new working conditions and ensuring digital sustainability.

Yet, the effects of 2020 are still rolling in;

  • Organisational focus is shifting from innovation to optimisation of ‘what is’.
  • Behavioural data is growing as we poured over the online world to work and transact.
  • New communication channels are emerging, reshaping our daily routines.
  • The C-suite is placing agility and flexibility as their primary pursuit.
  • And, above all, we are expecting companies to do much more than selling a service or a product.

The Need for Agile Marketing Technology Stack in 2021

While the companies were busy optimising operations in 2020, customers were rethinking their priorities. Not only that, but social movements in 2020 created a window for customers to reexamine their values too.

As a result of collective mindset shifts, the opportunities for deeper customer segmentation grew. Today, marketers get to micro-segment for hyper contextualisation as per the individual’s current situation, values and beliefs. Aside from creating hyper-personal customer experiences, leading companies are now delivering anticipatory ones as well.

So, in 2021 and beyond, marketers will be faced with the inevitability of deploying smart technology to unleash hidden customer insights and meet future changes.

And, change can be planned for with a dynamic approach — agile marketing. By embracing an agile approach, leaders effectively balance between optimisation and transformative innovation. Both can be achieved, but strategic action is needed.

Strategic Marketing Shifts to Drive Agility in 2021

To strategically plan for agile marketing, organisations first must enable a data stream that fuels their marketing decisions. This is done by mindfully deploying technology solutions that will facilitate the data flow.

First things first – the customer. In 2021 and beyond, many companies will embrace the concept of collecting customer feedback and deploying technology to ‘sense’ the customer’s attitude. The customer sentiment analysis is now one of the crucial optimisation points that will enable data-driven marketing adjustments and ensure agility going forward.

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Next, we can look at cross-functional alignment. Data collected within the CRM platforms used to be more about sales and service, but now it’s becoming the driving force for fast marketing initiatives. The data is real-time and first-party, so companies should find a way to leverage it while ensuring interdepartmental data flow.

Speaking of data – it’s the lifeblood of the organisation. Enabling a secure, hygienic and efficient data management practice is essential – so if you don’t have one, implementing a customer data platform (CDP) might be a practical first step. With an adequate use of data and technology, marketers can segment, contextualise and personalise easily and at scale. The importance of taking a data-driven approach is only growing, to the point that some leaders think that companies who don’t use their data will disappear.

Next-generation technologies powered by AI and machine learning such as chatbots and predictive analytics are increasingly growing in adoption, and rightfully so – the numbers show how top-performing companies are more than twice as likely to be using AI for marketing. The optimal first step for AI would be implementing chatbots for better service management, but the next can be applying AI to fuel predictive analytics and modeling.
Furthermore, adaptive and iterative campaigns – such as B2B Omnichannel Behavioural Campaigns – are the agility pinnacle of future marketing. To deploy such campaigns, AI is one of the integral ingredients. Based on customer’s historical data, current conditions, and real-time behavioural changes, marketers can contextualise their messaging and quickly adapt to new insights as they emerge.

Lastly, every technology application requires a solid operational alignment. If operations aren’t streamlined, the system won’t be scalable. So, put scalability into focus, as once the proper groundwork has been set, the time to grow and innovate will come again.

Reach out to Behavioural Response to learn how to strategically evolve your marketing to meet the market changes.

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