— April 11, 2019
My spouse recently introduced me to Pitchfork’s Over/Under. If you’re not familiar with the cheeky interview series, it “prompts artists for their take on random selection topics, begging the question: Is it overrated or underrated?”
After watching DJ Khaled’s take on important worldly topics like Ed Sheeran, pedicures and selfies, it got me thinking about all the buzzwords, trends and hype surrounding today’s marketing and advertising technology – dubbed “MadTech” by the industry.
From artificial intelligence to chatbots, automation to augmented analytics, these are just a handful of the buzziest topics marketers are trying to keep pace with. It’s overwhelming. What’s overrated, underrated – or, appropriately rated?
After much research, speaking with colleagues, top reporters and influencers, and collaborating with C-level executives in some of the most forward-thinking companies in the MadTech industry, I wanted to break it down for others. The following is what marketers and executives should be paying attention to in the next year.
Let the ratings begin:
- Artificial intelligence (AI) – Constellation Research predicts businesses will spend more than $ 100 billion per year on AI technologies by 2025. Clearly, AI is a hot trend. To echo my colleague Rachel Sullivan, “It’s time to cozy up to AI solutions and understand how they can help you create stronger strategies and execute them more effectively. We’re in prime-time growth. AI tools have the potential to push the early-adopters to the top ahead of the laggards.”
However, a study from Resulticks reveled AI was the most over-hyped term in marketing today. The issue is that we’re not embracing AI correctly and it’s not communicated to executives what AI will do for an organization. AI will not do your marketing team’s job (or steal your job). Executives cannot rely on it to make decisions for an organization.
From pay-per-click (PPC) ads to chatbots, it can, as Karola Karlson wrote, “Enable marketers to fulfill a dream previously considered impossible – to engage with every individual customer in a personalized and meaningful way.”
The additional challenge is the adoption of the AI technology in an organization. Throughout my conversations with reporters and influencers in the MadTech space, they’ve constantly alluded that good use of AI is dependent upon the quality of data.
This is an ongoing issue for marketers. An eMarketer report shared 83% of B2B marketers say their data is old and outdated, and 71% don’t have enough time and resources to implement an effective process. At the end of the day, giving an AI tool old and outdated data will produce poor results. Once organizations get their data in order, AI should give your team the tools to make fast and educated decisions.
Current rating: Overrated and underrated
- Augmented analytics – For marketers who follow the Gartner hype cycle, you’re probably already familiar with augmented analytics. Last month, the firm predicted augmented analytics will become the dominant driver of new purchases of analytics and business intelligence by 2020. Augmented analytics is a powerful technology for the marketing industry, but it’s rarely being discussed within the community.
As ClickZ wrote, it will help:
- accelerate the data preparation and discovery process;
- democratize data analytics for less business-savvy users; and
- enable adoption of actionable insights for the executive team and across the entire organization.
Marketers are not data scientists, but this technology will help make the data analytics process easy to comprehend for every person in the organization. In fact, the Metis team is excited to be part of this. Our client Interana allows organizations, in real-time, to not only see what is happening with customers, but why. And, it’s only going to get better as technology advances.
Current rating: Underrated, but a hot topic
- Automation – As today’s marketers know, time is money and we don’t have the time to get bogged down in mundane repetitive tasks. Automation technology makes this easier. For marketers, the goal of the technology is to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, reporting metrics and analytics, social media, lead gen and nurturing, etc. The good thing is there are a lot of materials and guides on how to best adopt marketing automation – the challenge is there are so many solutions that it can be hard to choose the best one.
So, before you make the purchase decision, do some research. I’m a big fan of Hubspot’s “5 Dangerous Myths about Marketing Automation” to set marketers straight about what to expect with the technology.
Current rating: Appropriately rated and hyped, but do your research