Ventana Research recently announced its 2023 Market Agenda in the expertise area of Marketing, continuing the guidance we have offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes.
By 2025, one-half of CMOs will realize the essential requirement to market their customer experience (CX) as part of the brand values that contribute to revenue growth potential. That reflects our view that CMOs are key to knitting together divergent departments, teams and processes and have a great deal of influence in technology decision-making. For the past few years, people have been trying to simplify, and unify, the technologies that underlie marketing technology to make it more efficient and more profitable.
Digital tools, including analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and conversational intelligence, are facilitating a better alignment between brands and the consumer demand for products and services. As the available technology evolves, organizations need help understanding how to integrate marketing tools and data with those used by other departments, especially those in sales and customer support.
Marketing leaders are starting to grapple with the explosion of data that they can use to measure things like customer value, loyalty and longevity, and a lot of this data comes from the digital experiences that customers are using — they’re engaging via web, mobile apps, and video — and marketers are using a wide variety of tools to reach and encourage those customers. Some of this is being powered by AI and automation, which has made enormous inroads into marketing teams.
The thematic through line that connects all of this is the need to use better data and tools to increase revenue, reduce cost of engagement and measure all the relevant key metrics. In 2023, we expect to see, and cover, the advances in analytics that enable organizations to do more precise targeting.
Marketers have been able to leverage some exciting, advanced technologies that came available in recent years thanks to the cloud, AI and machine learning (ML), and robust data analysis. We’re finding that organizations have just begun to scratch the surface of what’s available and are starting to look closely at tools for product information management, CX orchestration, customer data platforms and journey management to flesh out their initiatives.
At Ventana Research, our Marketing practice includes six focus areas in 2023:
New for 2023 is a focus on customer data platforms (CDPs) and how centralizing and de-siloing data management makes for a clearer view into a customer base. CDPs address some of the most important challenges and pain points in customer experience design: inconsistencies in interactions due to fragmented data and complexity of data governance issues. As the amount of customer data grows, better experiences can be built using data-driven contextual cues. At the same time, data proliferation creates operational obstacles. CDPs provide a mechanism for tying each piece of data to a unique customer profile and then acting upon it.
Digital experience platforms are tools used by marketers and service teams to create and track customer interactions that primarily occur through new, digital-contact channels. Digital customer-contact channels are increasing in popularity and usage, with web portals, mobile apps and social media beginning to rival voice calls. Organizations should think about how consolidating marketing communication applications into a digital experience platform can improve operations and potentially rein in costs. The importance of insights and intelligence from digital experience efforts is critical to optimize and personalize every interaction. A growing new class of technology is becoming readily available for this purpose.
Digital marketing looks at how marketing technology overall is changing to incorporate more types of connections with customers. Intelligent marketing covers some of the emerging technologies and practices that involve AI, ML, automation and some robotic process automation (RPA). The goal of this segment is to provide a mechanism for doing marketing at greater scale and speed, but at the same time keeping it personal and high touch.
Product eXperience Management (PXM) is technology that enables organizations to improve product engagement by offering consistent management of product and related information to improve experiences for consumers and across the business. Marketing organizations are modernizing PIM to support digital experiences across the product life cycle. Through 2025, one-half of marketing organizations will lack the competencies and skills in PIM to ensure effective digital experiences, driving marketing leaders to establish new investment and leadership. The transition to the cloud will speed the return on products’ value and intensify the imperative for organizations to provide excellent product experiences. Also, ML and RPA with workflows are improving product information quality by identifying issues and opportunities for improvement. In 2023, we will publish the best practices and trends in our Benchmark Research and rate technology vendors’ potential to help meet emerging PXM needs.
Marketing performance management is how modern marketers optimize their campaigns and perform analysis on those campaigns and audiences. And product experience management looks at how marketing ensures consistency around product data as that product data makes its way into all the applications and communications channels that an organization uses to present it. New for 2023 is a focus on CDP, customer data platforms, and how centralizing and de-siloing data management makes for a clearer view into a customer base.
Intelligent marketing seeks to optimize marketing using insights gained through analytics and ML. Organizations are beginning to address marketing planning and performance efforts in a more concerted manner. We see organizations shifting to predictive and ML techniques to optimize marketing processes and performance; this, increasingly, will be a requirement to be effective. Predictive marketing and AI technologies can help optimize actions and results, but these efforts must be aligned to the goals of the organization.
Our commitment to insightful and impactful research reveals challenges as well as trends and best practices in organizations. Our ongoing Benchmark Research covers the people, process, information and technology aspects of customer analytics, CX tools and digital commerce. Our CX Suites Value Index evaluates broad portfolios that blend martech tools with tech for sales and service using an RFI / RFP framework that provides guidance to help organizations select the right, dedicated systems for their needs.
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