If 2015 is anything to go by, then 2016 promises to be a watershed year for digital marketing. A ‘leap year’ in every sense!! So, here are four bold predictions for 2016:
1. Customer One View will become an integral piece of the marketing stack
Call it anything – a DMP, marketing one view, 360 degree customer view, customer data platform, universal id mapper – there is no doubt that this piece of technology started getting adopted in a big way in 2015.
The ability to bring together silo-ed data sources – specifically advertiser owned online and offline first party data with third party audience data – gives crucial customer insights that drive performance. Enterprise CMOs would surely recognize this and make DMPs an integral piece of their stack in 2016.
Perhaps not this year, but later, as CXOs look for clear RoI from their DMP spends, there would also be pressure on “standalone” DMPs to get more tightly integrated with marketing channels to ensure insights gleaned from data are seamlessly actionable. Which leads to the second prediction.
2. Martech and adtech will converge…beautifully!
At the beginning of last year, this was touted as a key theme that was gaining rapid traction. But the convergence really needed the underlying DMP to take off. Because DMPs bring the essential user mapping technology needed to connect users across the ad tech and mar tech worlds. With DMP adoption reaching an inflection point, it sets the stage perfectly for mar tech and ad tech to come together this year.
And at the heart of this convergence would be the ability to now synchronize channels and target users with a single consistent message. The implications are staggering, to say the least.
Consider an e-commerce app, for instance. A convergence would imply push notifications and in-app advertising can now talk to each other meaningfully. Push notification channel would know who has uninstalled apps and feed that into display retargeting. Better still, “free” retargeted push notifications should precede a “paid” display retargeting creating significant media efficiencies – fundamentally disrupting established technologies in this space.
3. Programmatic algorithms would be used by other channels
Programmatic bidding hinges on the ability to predict which user will convert and buy. And the algorithms that do this have gotten very sophisticated and accurate. Arguably, these algos are the richest output yet of the big data revolution in digital marketing. While today the algos power programmatic channels, they can take a more central role and help drive performance in other channels too.
In a way, all channels have not just one view of the customer – but also one single score that helps decisioning across the channels.
For instance, the predictive score used to retarget a site drop-off can be used by call centres further down the funnel to prioritize which users to call first. Or can form the basis for devising a email or push notification strategy.
4. RoI and customer experience will win over depth of a single channel
This is the boldest prediction yet. The common argument that a single platform cannot be the best in every capability of every channel is true to some extent. But its also true that marketing systems have become extremely fragmented. And creating a performance oriented omni-channel customer experience is next to impossible in this scenario.
So while point solutions have their value and will certainly stay ingrained in the marketing stack, marketing use cases which are RoI focused would go through tightly integrated omni-channel platforms that are capable of synchronizing channels.
These are big changes, but a natural outcome of the gradual shift to digital that every business is going through. Would all of this happen this year? Or is it still too early? What do you think?
First published here.