Recurring work processes have always been both a curse and a blessing in modern marketing. The good old (M)ad Men from Madison Avenue earned quite well with it and were able to keep their “sovereign knowledge” non-transparent in analogue times. Today, nobody accepts paying hourly rates beyond good and bad for repetitive work processes without great intellectual or creative ability. This so-called ‘monkey work’ has become a commodity and the automation of such routine work a factor in future competitiveness.
Marketing technology can currently do much more than just create a system, structure, and efficiency for data-based, metric marketing. Anyone who deals with the daily growing number of providers in the MarTech sector will come across real gems here that can give companies the decisive turning point for traditional value chains.
The central impulse always comes from marketing because this is where the knowledge about customers and their insights lies. And here and there marketing technology even develops disruption potential for entire industries and traditional business models, as the following examples prove:
- Programmatic placement will not remain limited to digital advertising inventory: there are already providers checking out programmatic purchasing of print advertisements and this will change the traditional business model of the media and completely disrupt that of the media agencies.
- Shopping bots are becoming a real challenge in marketing because the digital agents of tomorrow will be immune to marketing tactics. Here it is important to find new mechanics with MarTech.
- Dynamic pricing is not only reserved for Amazon. MarTech providers are already automating the pricing strategy of some start-ups with individually adapted algorithms. This important and increasingly dynamic element of marketing strategies is demystified in a timely manner and disrupts dealers with a supposed head start in this field.
- The blockchain is still widely smiled at in marketing but the topic of “smart contracting” will particularly disrupt industries whose core element is “trust”.
- Digital products and the Internet of Things (IoT) will enormously increase the number of digital touchpoints. This is where the latest generation of MarTech shows its strengths. With the right interfaces to connected IoT devices, far more detailed and timely information on customer behavior and preferences can be provided than ever before. Using NEST, Google can already determine the heat consumption of individual households quite well and, above all, in real-time. An insight that could become, for instance, a real disadvantage for existing energy providers.
- And finally, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can optimize the functional aspects of a product design and increase the variety of products a brand can offer, and marketers need to have a plan for knowing what products they offer and what features are really in demand. The rest is then “just” a question of marketing technology. For instance, around a year ago, the research lab OpenAI released the full version of a text-generating AI system called GPT-2 that experts warned could be used for malicious purposes. Anyway, trained on eight million text documents scraped from the web, it can respond to text snippets supplied by users. What becomes obvious is that it is only the harbinger for AI-supported content creation, initiating highly individualized approaches at the beginning of an individual customer journey.
Marketing technology for automation is clearly much more than just a digital factor for future competitiveness. Anyone who delves deeper will surely find one or the other turning point for disruptive marketing.
By Daniela La Marca