Martech predictions for 2018 by Scott Brinker

The way marketing technology has proliferated over the last few years, drives us, marketers and sellers, to always have one eye on how the future will shape up. Scott Brinker, Program Chair of MarTech Conference and VP Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot, whose MarTech Landscape is well known to the entire marketing community, joined us yesterday on #fiindchat to discuss what to expect in martech for 2018.

Marketers need to continuously adapt and acquire new skills as marketing is getting more technical, scientific as well as managerial than ever. Scott has been a great friend, who has always had clear and unbiased observations. According to his statistics from the 2017 Marketing Technology Landscape, there are now 5,381 solutions on the updated graphics. The number went up by 39% from last year.

Scott Brinker

We had an opportunity to chat upon what is likely to happen in the martech space in 2018. Here’s a quick overview of some of the points that came up:

Impact of Digital Revolution

As part of our discussion, Scott shared that there are two big aspects of the digital revolution:

  • Marketing, sales, customer success, product, etc., converging into customer experience (CX)
  • Marketing is moving away from the periphery of the organization to the center, to orchestrate that CX.

So, does that mean CX is the ultimate purpose?

In fact, he seemed excited about how the kind of work marketers are doing currently in terms of operations and thought process, is changing big time. He shared that marketers are building a lot more digital experiences for customers and digital workflows for the internal organization.

Beware of blind spots, says Scott Brinker

Scott emphasized on the need for seamless integration among business applications such as CRM and marketing automation tools across the martech ecosystem in organizations. He emphasized on the need for more openness and interoperability across platforms so one platform could harness the strengths of other platforms.

This also essentially means, the quality of data and how it flows through your organization and business applications sets the context for how successful it can be.

Artificial Intelligence will play a key role in breaking the silos

As part of the conversation, it was evident that today’s marketing and sales professionals recognize the significant role data plays, in not only identifying opportunities but also in closing a sale.

What that means is that you need to have access to the right data, in the right place, at the right time, which in turn depends on how data flows across your organization, and what insights can be derived from it. That said, he called out on the fact that “data quality” is by far the biggest hurdle to turning the hype of AI into reality.

He said that even if the algorithms are good, and the data is generally poor, then it’s a hard problem to fix. He also warned that this will be our challenge for the next 5 years.

Martech Consolidation doesn’t mean one large player offering everything under one roof

The most interesting part of the conversation was the exploration of what it meant by “consolidation”. It was seen that it was less about bigger companies acquiring smaller products, but more about integration and improving connectivity. Scott Brinker, very nicely put it by saying “We live in a world of heterogeneous apps that need to work together”

scott brinker consolidation

However, we will continue to see bigger players consolidate with acquisitions and mergers, whereas new vendors will continue to arise.

Conversational interfaces and GDPR are likely to be huge

Conversational interfaces are expected to be huge, and citizen developers/integrators/analysts are going to multiply.  Scott Brinker specifically expects GDPR to be an absolute train wreck in the near future but a good catalyst in the end. And rightly so, given that customer experience is at the center of this move.

Lastly, expect vertical competition to increase like never before. New devices and IoT will create more touchpoints. So, if you are in the IoT business, time to join hands with AI players to reach out to the right audience at the right time at the earliest. Also, repeal of #NetNeutrality in the US will also create vertical leverage for ISPs.

scott brinker vertical

Exciting times ahead!! Hope this information was useful. Let us know what you think!

About the Author

Yaagneshwaran is among the top 100 global martech influencers, an author, columnist and also the Director of Marketing at Fiind Inc. He has a certificate in Strategy Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode and an MBA in marketing from Jansons School of Business, Coimbatore.