I often hear that Marketing Technology is a saturated market and most companies have already made a significant investment, so the market is going to slow. To be fair, I hear that from people who either don't appreciate what problems still prevail and how much technology is changing that paradigm, or they probably have not ever tried to get a marketing stack to work and don't appreciate the complexity that still prevails and the complex set of skills it takes to drive a highly effective marketing program, even with technology to help.
When you think about it, you hear that about a lot of industries. I remember cab drivers used to say the market was saturated, but that was before ride sharing happened and the whole industry changed. I also remember travel industry professionals saying that a few years ago, before e-commerce changed the whole landscape with new concepts like AirBNB. Both industries have changed their view of what is possible and how much can change rapidly.
Firstly, let's dispell the paradigm that the majority of brands investment decisions are complete. I read recently that 40% of SMB's have not even started to make their first investment in MarTech. As anyone with any experience knows, the first investment just makes you realize how much more there is to do to have an omnichannel technology stack. It is also fair to say that your first choice, probably won't meet your needs as you grow, so you turn over those choices as you strive to solve the whole requirement, and that requirement keeps changing anyway.
As our primary customer base are SMB's, I think I can say that the 40% finding, is probably not accurate and it could be a much higher percentage yet to make a start, in key areas of real impact. Even in some Agencies where you might expect more experience in this technology, the actual adoption rate is still fairly low.
So don't be concerned if you are still to get started, or have not made much progress, or don't think you have got it right yet. You are not alone!
There are also two very important trends that are going to change most marketing stacks anyway. So just think of yourself as a brand who waited for the technology to solve the real problems.
Trend 1: AI will solve the real problem
Nearly all marketing technology progress has been in the key areas of process improvement or better data. Both very important issues, but the key requirement for most SMB's is that both of these functions still require you as the marketer, to figure out what to do and what will have an impact with your customers. If you don't know, then more data and the very best process, still won't get a better result. However, there is a totally new third pillar of products emerging using the latest advances in AI technology to help define strategy and actions. We call it "Decision Support" and it is all about helping the marketer know what, when, where and how to execute for better performance.
Yes, there will be data, and yes, there will be process improvement. But the differential or real value-add is the intelligence to learn and improve on each and every element of your action.
Trend 2: Connectivity in the marketing stack
Every time I go to a marketing conference the number one issue that burns for most CMO's, is the challenge of connecting their marketing stack. Getting different technologies to work with each other and getting congruent data to make decisions. I hear people say that API's will solve this and integration is on the way. We don't agree. It is not just about connecting datapoints or this would already have been done. What is missing and what the real driver is that will motivate marketers and brands to invest and solve this, is when AI is driving cost-effective decisioning that can be actioned across all channels. When recommendations can be achieved cost-effectively and in real-time.
Metigy is absolutely committed to driving change in both of these trends and we are building our product around solving these problems and changing the way marketing works. We know we are on the cusp of the next big wave of change. Read more about the Metigy mission.
Is the value of the market still growing?
Absolutely. According to an April report from Forrester Research, the US market spend on Marketing Technology is still growing rapidly up from US$90B in 2017 and will hit US$122B in 2022. Outside the US, where adoption has been lower, and for SMB customers, the growth rates are much higher, the market opportunity is growing even more rapidly.
You can read more detail on this continued growth in the Forrester Research Report via an article on eMarketer titled "Why Marketing Tech Spending Will Keep Growing"
This makes it clear for Metigy that with the combined impact of these two trends, and the continued growth in investment, we are in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing to solve a big problem.
So with that much change still to come, and a continued investment focus, it is still a sweet market to be in, especially when you are at the forefront of change and the adoption of new technology to solve the unsolved problems like Metigy is doing.
For SMB customers looking to improve their capability or make their first investment in marketing technology, you have also found the right partner. Very astute of you to wait until now too!