12 martech trends to watch in 2022

In the latest of our 2022 predictions series for CMOs, we explore the marketing and customer technology innovations on the way

7. Dynamic content creation is a must  

According to Lenovo ISG Asia-Pacific CMO, Sachin Bhatia, dynamic content creation and presentation in real time will move into implementation cycles in 2022.  

“Technological advancements and the continuous push to hold consumers’ attention means marketers must rely on dynamic content creation,” he advises. “The human attention span has dropped to eight seconds, shrinking nearly 25 per cent in just a few years [according to Microsoft research]. To continue to engage and connect with audiences, dynamic content is key. With enhanced customer interactions, brand assets will deliver far better ROI.  

“Marketers can also use implementations where, based on user signals, in-session behaviour, user-response and patterns, the content can be adapted and presented in real-time for maximum performance.  

“For example, many implementations are moving towards geo-location based or personal based dynamic content presentation.”  

Industries Bhatia expects will dominate this trend in 2022 are ecommerce, entertainment and food-tech companies.  

Read more: How Nova Entertainment changed its UX for better content engagement

8. Hybrid experience management is here to stay

Even as marketers up the game digitally, it’s clear a hybrid strategy for customer experience management is here to stay, continues Xiang Woon.

“While we have invested heavily on a digital-first strategy due to the pandemic, going hybrid with a combination of virtual, digital and physical connections is the way forward,” she recommends. “2022 will be the year for marketers to enhance virtual-event livestreaming with an in-person program to provide a shared experience.                                                                                                                                                             

“While incorporating digital into customer experience management, a hyper-focused marketing experience through digital will make or break the consumer decision making journey. With digital channels, it has allowed marketers to connect customers. However, this has also allowed marketers to flood prospective customers with an overwhelming list of content, making discovery more complex and time-consuming.

“Marketers will need to leverage the appropriate technology and streamline their digital efforts to create a hyper focus experience – beyond adding their first name to an email – speaking to their wants and needs by offering a one-to-one relationship. It will all be about leveraging the data you have to add value to a customer’s experience.”

Lenovo’s Bhatia also believes clear implementation of hybrid marketing use cases will be critical for B2B marketers two years on from the onset of the global pandemic.

“In 2022, figuring out new ways to connect physical and digital worlds will be a strong use case for martech platforms,” he says. “As the pandemic forced so many daily interactions online, the lines between customer and provider and between commercial and social interactions is blurred. As a result, marketers are exploring new ways to bring both the physical and digital world together in hybrid marketing use cases.

“These need the right platforms and features to enable seamless movement between experiences in both worlds. Imagine virtual webinars connected to automation platforms that use email or chatbots to create conversations. Product and SaaS based companies are expected to lead in building and leveraging these hybrid methods.”

Read more: Report: CMOs and CIOs should make a tandem leap into the hybrid future

9. Stronger marketing measurement tools

Hand-in-hand with better utilisation of martech is the need for better ways of proving effectiveness. Tecala senior marketing specialist, Jemma Healy, says deeper insights and powerful reporting tools as the importance of ROMI and marketing accountability becomes more prevalent than ever are driving the quest to ensure systems are not only better integrated in 2022, but offer better measurement and reporting of activity.

With boards now equipped with deeper insights, using them to drive better business decisions, the pressure to report on the success of initiatives and automate reporting of metrics, will continue to evolve

Jemma Healy, Tecala

“Accountability and measuring the impact of the marketing department’s efforts has hit an all-time high,” she says. “The emergence of Covid drove a wave of cost reviews and tightening of budgets. This has resulted in a stronger need to justify your seat at the table in a clear and concise manner. With boards now equipped with deeper insights, using them to drive better business decisions, the pressure to report on the success of initiatives and automate reporting of metrics, will continue to evolve.

Building a complete marketing measurement toolkit that incorporates new ways to monitor and drive the effectiveness of marketing will become standard procedure, Woon agrees.

“There will be better cross-CMS integrations, tracking and optimising prospect targeting capabilities, as well as optimised sales cycles and attribution through leveraging intelligent automation and machine learning,” he says. “There will also be a need for more meaningful metrics for the business and measurement will most likely never be perfect. However, technology providers are continuously working on more meaningful data for marketers so that there is better understanding of how the marketing budget is being utilised.”

Alongside this, Healy sees agile learning of prime interest to marketing leaders and their teams in 2022. “This will allow brands to measure complete return on marketing investment (ROMI) more effectively and adapt to the constantly evolving environment,” she adds.  

Read more: Telstra's four Ps of marketing analytics

10. Emphasis on integration and implementation increases

Full Circle’s Crater identifies tech stack consolidation as a further outcome from the desire to achieve better and more streamlined measurement.

“In 2022, marketers will have to adjust their strategies to include digital and non-digital campaigns,” she says. “With thousands of martech solutions to choose from, merging existing strategy and post-pandemic strategy is a must. In the New Year, marketers will embrace streamlined and consolidated toolkits that enable better focus and produce clearer measurements.”

Likewise, Security Centric head of marketing and sales operations, Jill Taylor, says effective martech implementations are a must for marketing functions.

“2021 saw significant changes in the way social media organisations and technology companies allow tracking and targeting of their users, and it’s likely privacy-led changes will continue on third party platforms,” she notes. “Due particularly to these changes, it will be essential to implement martech based around ‘owned’ properties and these should include a robust analytic component. Third-party tracking changes mean a reduced ability to apply attribution and track campaign success, so ensure reliable data is available from your in-house martech.

“Beyond the need to invest in robust martech, organisations should be looking at how their technology gets implemented. Connecting all the various technologies together can be complicated, which both means a requirement for a specialised skill set, as well as potentially presenting a security risk if it isn’t implemented correctly.”  

Read more: 8 lessons Mission Australia’s CMO and CIO learnt together to deliver martech success

11. Optimised, more automated view of customers on the way

ActiveCampaign APAC regional marketing manager, Natalie Ng, says many marketers have struggled to orchestrate effective, real-time customer experiences due to an inability to connect behaviours to individual customers and limited visibility of real-time customer interactions.

“Increasingly, we’ll see a winning combination of cloud and machine learning-based martech solutions address these challenges and transform the way marketers connect with customers by delivering a comprehensive set of capabilities that bring together an optimised view of the customer,” she says. “These will include real-time customer interactions for more relevant and effective marketing campaigns.”  

It arguably couldn’t come soon enough. According to Forrester Research, three-quarters of personalised engagement strategies are not expected to meet ROI goals in 2022.

“Persistent digital engagement will become the norm, with 70 per cent of marketers adopting an always-on digital engagement strategy in 2022,” the analyst firm predicts. “The stakes are high. Three times as many B2B buyers [17 per cent] said the provider’s competence during the buying process was the most significant driver of their purchase choice as those who said it was the relationship with the sales rep or customer references.

“Marketing leaders will turn to smarter, more autonomous and automated, solutions with complex tech stacks. Marketing tech’s slice of the marketing budget, which has dropped to 19 per cent, will increase to 25 per cent in 2022. But 75 per cent of efforts to create automated, personalised engagement will not meet ROI goals because of inadequate buyer insight.

“In 2022, 10 per cent of B2B organisations will identify metrics to measure the value created for buyers during the buying process. B2B marketing teams need to inculcate the pivot to customer centricity in planning and execution processes.”

Read more: 7 lessons in embracing modern B2B marketing

12. AI breaks through the human trust barrier

Spurring all this one is artificial intelligence (AI). SugarCRM chief product officer, Rich Green, is confident AI will finally break through the human trust barrier in 2022.

“Marketeers don’t yet trust AI but 2022 is the year that they will. Companies are still cautious to rely on AI to analyse and automate business processes, so they work in a ‘dual mode’ of people and AI until they feel confident in AI skills,” he argues. “2022 is the year where AI will prove its mettle by offering near-term guidance, assisting sales and marketing with recommendations they can choose to follow. Over time, as AI proves to be accurate and helpful, trust will be established.”

SugarCRM highlights several areas for AI’s application in sales-marketing-service in the next year: Lead quality analysis and probability of converting; nurture campaign effectiveness, particularly around attribution and adjustment; churn analysis; forecasting and pipeline analysis sentiment analysis for case handling and next-best actions; anomaly detection; and conversational AI.

“As AI proves its mettle in helping organisations make better decisions and reducing blind spots, busy work and roadblocks, AI’s role in sales, marketing and service will become both welcome and trusted,” Green says. “Most Australian organisations have only used AI for prediction. In 2022, they will start using AI to better understand customers here and now. Most companies have copious amounts of data, but the human brain is not wired to make sense of it to understand trends and find outliers in a given dataset.

“AI assists the human brain by providing the ‘moving mouse’ effect to target the data you need to act on.”

An example Green points to is a business development representative that can either manually go through a list of 1200 leads or use AI to assist with generating an ideal customer profile to prioritise those to contact first. Green also sees AI more actively detecting and adding solid data to an organisation’s CRM.

“In 2022, it’s possible the best data in your CRM will be the data you didn’t enter,” he says. “The accuracy of the data companies have in their CRM systems diminishes over time – by approximately 30 per cent each year. Today, it’s incumbent on users to properly enter data and to keep it fresh. That dichotomy represents one of the most fundamental challenges in CRM. The more data you enter, the less time you can spend making use of it, and the less likely it will all be accurate.

“Organisations will leverage AI more in 2022, to help solve this problem. AI will reach inside and outside your organisation to automatically find loads of information and deliver it to your CRM, eliminating data entry and extending the half-life of your data by automatically keeping it up to date.”

Read more: How Alibaba is using AI to power the future of business

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