#Entrepreneurship #Tech | 13 min read | Updated: 11/11/2021

Marketing Technology Trends in 2021

Updated: 11/11/2021
, Head of Marketing

Marketing is what helps businesses move forward. Along with classic marketing, companies have started to introduce new marketing technologies into the mix. Here’s where marketing technology trends come in handy.

Currently, 60% of businesses plan to increase their MarTech spending in the next 12 months to double their future revenue.

Not only are existing businesses tapping into marketing technology, but also many startups are developing software to help marketers grow as Hubspot did in 2006.    

In this article, we’ll look into the state of MarTech, its future, and 10 the most popular marketing technology trends applied to startups, small and mid-sized businesses.

MarTech Market: State and Future Predictions

At the beginning of 2021, there were over 8,000 digital MarTech solutions available for business strategy development. 

In 2020, companies were actively trying new digital marketing solutions to alleviate the uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic created.

By the new start of 2021, many companies decided not to take risks reducing their marketing budgets from an average of 11% to 6.4% of total budgets.

This year’s CMO Spend Survey shows that MarTech spending makes up 26.6% of marketing budgets in 2021. In comparison, in 2016 MarTech spending was only 12%.

However, opinions about switching to digital solutions are divided. 35% of marketing teams prefer to use manual ones, against 32% preferring automated technology.

marketing technologies success

In 2016 there was an extreme growth in MarTech vendors. This was considered to be the first “golden age” of MarTech. It happened with a record number of implemented digital solutions.

This “golden age” stands on the three vital pillars:

  • ecosystem;
  • experts;
  • engineers.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a leveling of MarTech spending, since vendor activity declined. So, companies started reducing their marketing budgets. But as global experts predict, the recovery period will be 18-24 months, at which time marketing budgets are predicted to be restored.

So, the year 2022 may be the second “golden age” of MarTech, with the most powerful marketing technology trends growth in the 21st century so far.

MarTech global trends in 2021

Source: Statista, Gartner, Chiefmartec, NewsCred (Sirkin Research)

10 Marketing Tech Trends in 2021

68% of startups use marketing technology tools — but too few have a plan for them.

Before implementing the MarTech stack to the project, research the most influential marketing tech tools.

New marketing tech solutions have many crucial benefits for digital businesses, including:

  • improving your user engagement and advertising;
  • precise audience targeting using data analysis software and cookies;
  • affecting the marketing ROI and conversion rate;
  • improving data security and privacy;
  • gaining advantages among market competitors.

Study the following stats that may affect your strategic decisions to work in the future.

marketing technology benefits

Source: GetApp, Statista, MartechTribe, Gartner, Chiefmartec

We analyzed the 10 most powerful marketing technology trends which can influence your digital media business strategy. Below we take a closer look at each of them.

Deep MarTech Stack Integration

MarTech stack integration is the process of technology software connection to the product.

52% of marketers say MarTech stack integration is the most challenging barrier to start using marketing technology trends.

Looking at the facts: More than 75% of marketers report their MarTech campaigns directly affect revenue, and 91% are “very confident” that their investments in platforms affect the company’s value.

However, some business owners choose excessive or unnecessary MarTech functions that burden the marketing process. 

We advise to follow the given-below roadmap before integrating a new MarTech stack into the business industry:

  1. Audit your marketing stack: the best way is to audit all existing instruments regularly to make sure that they meet digital business goals. Decide which digital marketing software you want to stay.
  2. Estimate your budget.
  3. Create a plan: prioritize the chosen digital marketing technology solutions, assign stakeholders for each of them and start integrating.
  4. Choose the best digital strategy you want to try for your specific industry.

Nowadays, much effective digital marketing software provides:

  • A/B testing
  • Web analysis
  • CRM software.

All these digital solutions showed excellent results in achieving the company’s marketing goals.

the best MarTech tools

Source: Get App’s 2021 Marketing Survey

Usually, MarTech experience comes from different vendors, and the costs of collecting this stack are high. CRM software can lower expenses and combine multiple Martech options.

Sloboda Studio has extensive experience in creating and integrating CRM software for real estate businesses.

Our Canadian client wanted to develop a custom real estate CRM from scratch and organize all the data. We synchronized data management channels with CRM software to find the necessary information for a specific deal, customer, or property.

Our client increased sales conversion and the platform’s productivity when we completed the project.

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Extended Reality

Extended Reality is automation that allows a person to come into a virtual environment. It is possible to interact with XR using smartphones, tablets, PCs, and laptops.

extended reality market in 2021

Source: Statista

Extended Reality (XR) consists of 3 reality types in the business industry: 

  • Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Mixed Reality (MR)

All these three variants have tremendous power to attract customers in the media industry. They can also improve customer perception of products. 

In 2021, after the coronavirus pandemic, the use of multiple types of machinery became prevalent in:

  • medicine
  • education
  • entertainment. 

Experts predicted that the XR technology market in the future would exceed $18 billion by 2023.

Top 3 use cases for XR in marketing:

  • creating advertising campaigns based on 360-degree videos
  • launching virtual stores and exhibition halls
  • organizing virtual events.

A great media strategy example of a 360-degrees video XR marketing campaign demonstrated the Dunkin’ Donuts 360 Advertising Campaign. The company’s main idea was to release the coffee’s aroma and Dunkin’ Donuts advertising online (using email, too) and communicate the same through billboards. As a result, the company increased the conversion rate by more than 16% and sales by 29%.

As for virtual tours, in 2021, real estate software has adopted AR and VR features. Modern customers prefer to view their future housing using digital technologies instead of physical presence. It saves time and allows searching for more variants before buying or renting the property.  

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Marketers believe that AI is a valuable tool – 72% of marketers surveyed in a PWC study view AI as a “business advantage for each customer.”

By 2021, organizations are projected to spend $57 billion on AI platforms for marketing.

Today, AI and ML have two main advantages for new digital projects:

  • an ability to do smart analytics and make more effective decisions to work
  • an opportunity to provide speed and excellent performance.

ML-based marketing models are set to transform the marketing industry with:

  • risk prediction
  • evolved pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns 
  • well-targeted email campaigns
  • chatbot-generated email marketing content.

AI-based marketing is set to utilize detailed information on the buying pattern of customers. It’s crucial to predict user requests and increase sales.

Today businesses mainly use AI to obtain insights from deep analytics and personalize their content for each consumer.

People have already managed to get used to personification on the Internet. 

Using the best media strategy of Instagram, YouTube, Netflix with their algorithm for issuing content that is most likely to attract their attention, visitors are used to this kind of contextual comfort. 

If you are planning your startup, it is сrucial to take care of customer personalization on the site itself and uses this approach in marketing, email, chat, and other connections.

Sloboda Studio has an extensive portfolio in creating personalized customer experiences. We can develop solutions at different levels to meet individual requirements.

Our client CityFalcon needed to create a scoring algorithm to identify relevant and personalized content for each consumer. To realize this strategy, we used AI and crowd-curation.

Business Intelligence

Business intelligence is a system of apps and marketing technologies that allows collecting data for analyzing business processes. 

More than 46% of small businesses rely on BI automation marketing tools to plan their industry strategies and goals.

The BI adoption rate has jumped to 27% in 2021. 

The ease of use explains the popularity of business intelligence among marketers. There is no need for programming skills to cope with the task. 

Business intelligence software is based on sophisticated artificial intelligence and data science. 

Creating information models takes several minutes using the drag-and-drop function. It is possible to connect using simple Excel sheets to structured SQL databases. In this case, the best BI marketing provides versatility and the ability for enterprises to get the most out of their data. 

This type of software will immediately inform you about the search results. The platforms allow marketers and business leaders to make faster, effective decisions, eliminating various problems.

BI software in 2021 includes some vital features such as:

  • built-in intelligence
  • predictive analytics 
  • natural language processing 
  • fast performance engine.

Examples: Explorium, TiMi, DashboardFox, OutLier AI.

Predictive built-in analytics also helps businesses to prevent various online risks and create a clean environment with an excellent customer experience.

Our German client AppLift needed to create BI automation for working with its partners and customers, which involves fraud detection and prevention. Working with a modern tech stack, we provided various databases and performed multiple data transformations. 

A crucial chapter in BI automation is building NLP tech opportunities for better analysis.

Our British client needed to create a news website to provide the most objective events using natural language processing. After the project launched, the platform started to show dozens of relevant information for users without a biased media view.

Measuring Return of Investments Based on Big Data

Big data is a large and complex data set that traditional data processing software can’t handle. It includes

  • data storage
  • best analysis
  • quick search, etc.

Big data indicates the pain points on which companies should spend more money. It’s also helpful to reduce expenses.

Big data helps companies:

  • better understand a market and each customer 
  • refine industry strategies
  • increase productivity
  • manage online reputation
  • improvise work decision-making processes.

81% of marketing leaders believe that measuring business impact is crucial. However, big data analysis is a challenging process. 

Many big data analytic marketing instruments work on the market for

  • integration
  • calculation of marketing effectiveness
  • data preparation for analytics on the cloud.

Examples: Skytree, Xplenty.

Statistics of 2021 suggest that against the background of declining profits for most companies, this type of software helps to grow. 

The most compelling media case of big data business value is Netflix. Each year this streaming platform saves $1 billion by channelizing big data for customer retention. This huge effect is possible by using big data for improving customer experience through personalized recommendations.

Increasing Demand for Chatbots

According to Salesforce, 69% of consumers in the United States interact with brands faster-using chatbots. The same studies have shown that the owners of small and medium-sized companies save on this marketing technology strategy. As a result, there is a significant customer outflow. 

Chatbots are digital tools, which can significantly expand your contacts. They also help to analyze and collect valuable data from customers. 

For chatbots to be effective, they should not be intrusive and irritating. Many companies are trying to make them as realistic as possible. It’s necessary to create the illusion of human communication 24/7.

Recommended:  How to build a chatbot with natural language processing

For our UK-based client, we created CallMeBot that can process up to 5,000 calls daily and perform up to 50 client calls at a time. The CallMeBot project has extensive functionality that attracted many internal customers. Resulting, the company reduced the required number of cold-calling employees.

Data Analytics Will be Crucial for Success

Data analytics is the process of studying data to get information from the systems and software. This type of analysis is widely used in various industries. It’s helpful to make more informed business decisions. 

With built-in cloud tools, data analytics strategy software can provide:

  • dashboard and reporting capabilities 
  • ability to locate data that is relevant to a specific task.

Examples: Alteryx, Birst, Board, ClearStory.

Our client, Estonian manufacturing company Lasertag, needed to collect all the statistics and store them together. Sloboda Studio created a server technology that would gather strategy statistics from various clubs to analyze the results.

Using data analysis, it became easy to schedule business decisions. As a result, millions of customers chose the company for cooperation. They are from 30 countries, such as

  • Great Britain
  • the USA
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • South Korea, etc.

Voice Search

Over 27% of people use voice search on their devices. A Gartner study showed that 30% of all browsing sessions included voice search at the end of 2020. An average customer prefers a voice search to the simple one.

voice searches: marketing technology trend

Source: The Scalers, Gartner

Active boost in using voice search started with Amazon’s Alexa implementation. Businesses realized that voice search is now where the company can stand out among others on the media market.

“Digital marketers will need to adjust their content strategy to be conversational and answer questions in simple terms,” said Chris Hornak, the owner of Blog Hands.

According to Hornak, a simple technique you can apply in 2021 is to answer questions customers frequently have about your product on your website.

Working with UK startup City FALCON, we integrated 3 Voice Assistants support (Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Microsoft Cortana). It was possible using machine learning for big data and text processing. After voice assistants launched, the company’s audience increased by 15%.

Privacy Tightening

In early 2020, Google announced its plan to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome by 2022. 

Instead of supporting these third-party cookies, Google plans to introduce a set of new technical digital solutions for the many tasks for which these cookies are used. 

Now, the new era of consumer privacy rules started, where the consumer feels more protected.

Marketers will have to get used to the fact that collecting information will be more complex. However, this policy has a positive effect on online projects as a whole. Buyers will be faced with less of the sometimes aggressive tracking data. In the issue, the customer level of trust in the global network will immediately grow.

Mobile-First Becomes the Center of Marketing Campaigns

The mobile-first story started in 2015. Google launched a new algorithm in which any sites not supporting a mobile version lost their positions.

2017 became a new environment based on these mobile-first rules. 

Since then, the standardized adaptability and optimization of projects for mobile devices have affected search results. Those who do not care about mobile support will significantly lose search ranking and position.

In March 2021, the final stage of Google’s mobile-first indexing went into effect. Thus, it is now time for businesses to adopt their online products and sites for mobile usage.

About 60% of customers don’t return to websites with an inconvenient or missing mobile version. So, customers wouldn’t recommend an online business if it has weak mobile functionality.

mobile first - marketing technology trends

Source: Statista, Altexsoft, Habr

The average person/customer has access to more than ten connected devices in their household.

60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly using the search results.

As a result, companies have started to invest more in mobile optimizations as a top SEO tactic.

In 2020, mobile advertising spending worldwide amounted to $223 billion. Experts predict the advertising strategy growth to be $339 billion by 2023.

Our Experience

Sloboda Studio remains at the forefront of marketing technology trends.

Not only do we embody technology trends, but also work with companies that promote them.

One of the best examples is Applift, the German leader in the mobile advertising market, which provides multiple marketing solutions to convert and engage audiences on mobile platforms.

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The Bottom Line

Marketing technology trends are now a prominent focus of many businesses in 2021. 

The use of advanced marketing tools to help in growth is now a top priority.

It’s safe to say that very soon all marketing efforts will demand MarTech solutions.

Today in the golden age of marketing technologies, more businesses are turning to such experiences. However, not everyone knows how to integrate them correctly into their companies.

Implementing a modern MarTech stack in your business is not as hard as you may think. 

If you have questions about which technology is most suitable for your business, or how exactly to implement it, feel free to ask our team.

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