Written by Colin Withers on December 13, 2016
in Strategic Marketing, Technology

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s a great time to take a step back and survey the digital marketing landscape. A recent presentation by the investment bank LUMA Partners did exactly that, and their top 5 digital marketing trends heading into 2017 are some of the same ones we’re seeing on the top of our clients’ minds. Here’s a quick breakdown of the three trends that we think are the most important:

1. The Rise of A.I. – Yes, A.I. is the newest buzzword being thrown around in the marketing technology space. But, as we saw with programmatic ads, new technologies can dominate the market landscape in the blink of an eye. Instead of shrugging away A.I. as simply part of your five-year plan, consider ways you can use it today to increase the efficiency of your marketing programs. Think real-time content insertion and dynamic content – what if you didn’t have to decide which content to serve when building a journey and instead let A.I. populate the content that would resonate most with your consumer? 

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2. Ad Tech and MarTech Convergence – As digital marketing software giants continue to gobble up adjacent firms, Ad Tech and MarTech are beginning to merge into seamless software ecosystems. And that’s a good thing. The fusing of Ad Tech, MarTech and Ecommerce solutions will enable marketers to better orchestrate activities across channels to create a truly 1:1 customer experience. Take Salesforce’s recent acquisitions of Demandware and Krux as an example. 

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3. B2B MarTech and Sales Tech Convergence – Current B2B marketing tools such as Pardot, Marketo and Eloqua continue to improve the ability of B2B marketers to engage in Account Based Marketing (the B2B version of 1:1 marketing). However, the real changes are occurring farther down the funnel. 

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The emergence of Sales Tech solutions that focus on the long-overlooked bottom of the B2B funnel will help improve the B2B customer experience and increase the efficiency of on-the-ground Account Executives (AE’s) across industries. Where the emergence of Salesforce and other CRM platforms was the key to enabling Sales Managers, a growing number of Sales Tech firms and products look to do the same for AE’s and BDR’s.

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You don’t need to boil the ocean and jump from your current models to A.I.-driven customization, seamless MarTech ecosystems or Sales Tech solutions overnight. Instead, think strategically about where you can implement new technology to maximize its impact in 2017 in order to set yourself up for success both now and in the future.

Colin Withers is the Brand and Communications Manager at Ariad Communications.

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