Marketing leaders say that investment in new marketing technologies (MarTech) will drive significantly increased revenues, but also admit that current levels of investment are insufficient to enable effective digital transformation, according to new research by Pegasystems.
The global study, conducted by research firm iResearch, surveyed marketing leaders from 11 countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific for their thoughts on the evolution of the marketing function over the next five years.
The study found that more than half (51%) of marketing leaders felt that investment in MarTech could increase revenues by 10% to 40% over the next five years. However, 59% also admit that they haven't been allocated enough budget to deliver truly effective digital transformation.
Marketing leaders believe the next five years will bring a period of major transformation for their function, with technology expected to play an important role for those making the proper investments.
Some of the expected changes to occur include:
An increased shift to AI-powered personalisation: 67% of respondents said that personalised marketing will be either a high priority or a top priority for them in the next five years. To be truly effective at this, and stay ahead of the competition, they will increasingly need to turn to AI- (artificial intelligence) powered technologies that can understand, empathise, and even anticipate customer needs in a way that is both perfectly timed and contextually relevant.
A remapped buyer's journey: While only one quarter of respondents named customer lifetime value (CLV) as a current key performance indicator (KPI), 60% said it will become one in the next five years. To impact CLV, organisations need to shift away from assuming all buyers follow a single journey to recognising that there are a proliferation of them, and that every buyer has a unique journey to address each customer's needs. Organisations already appear to be allocating their resources with this in mind - 70% say the majority of their MarTech budget will go towards intelligent automation, while 66% also citing AI and 60% citing Web 3.0 as future investment priorities.
A skills shift: One quarter of respondents said digital and computational skills, as well as proficiencies in data management and analysis, will be key over the next five years as businesses embrace technology and focus on delivering better customer experiences and maximising CLV. These skills will be key to using AI-powered marketing tools that can engage customers across their lifecycle and deliver value, meaning it will be just as vital for organisations to invest in training for staff in how to effectively use this technology as the technology itself.
Pega director of product marketing, MarTech and AdTech Tara DeZao says, “The marketing function has undergone radical changes over the last five years. As technologies continue to evolve and customers continue to demand more personalised experiences, it's a trend we can expect to continue in the next five years and beyond.
"The successful businesses of tomorrow will be those that not only harness the power of these technologies to understand their customers but also leverage technology to build connections and create greater value throughout those relationships.
Constellation Research vice president and principal analyst Liz Miller says, "Marketers are driving growth like never before. To do this, marketing needs to rely and trust in the tools and technologies at their disposal. They need to connect with peers across the entire customer experience ecosystem to orchestrate a singularly contextual engagement strategy.
"This strategy cannot be based on how the brand wants to communicate to buyers, but instead needs to take that rich and relevant voice of the customer and translate it into business. Data, intelligence, and automation - the cornerstones of the marketing technology stack - are critical to empower marketers to lead this growth charge without compromising our capacity to tell the story of our brands with our customers."