What’s to Come in Marketing Technology in 2016


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With the start of the new year, there’s a lot of excitement in addition to nervousness when it comes to the marketing technology sphere. 2015 turned out to be a year of significant changes as marketing tech vendors experimented with new technologies, utilizing big data more frequently, while also encountering new challenges as consumers pushed back in several ways. Marketing technology is certainly a growing market, one that has plenty of potential, but 2016 will be a year that truly defines how the market will proceed from that point on. Changes are on the way, and it will be up to individual companies and vendors to figure out how best to adapt and take advantage of them, or risk getting left behind.

1. Rise of the Ad Blockers

Marketing technology faced some challenging hurdles in 2015 as more people began to use ad blocking technology online. The same challenge will continue well into 2016; in fact, it will only get worse. More ad blocking will have a significant impact on online organizations and businesses, since they rely so much on online advertisements to fund their online content. Websites will not take this lightly however. Some have already started to fight back, while others will take up the fight as well in 2016. There’s no clear resolution in sight, and one probably won’t be reached this year, but the ad blocking controversy will be a big issue.

2. More Creative Ad Content

One way some marketers are trying to fight the rise of ad blocking is by switching their focus to making more creative online ads. Many web users end up using ad blockers because they find ads annoying, resource-heavy, and often irrelevant. Some marketing technology vendors have seen this problem and believe the answer is to make ads that people actually want to look at. Perhaps this will be done through using a big data service, or it might require going back to the drawing board to come up with some better original content. Either way, online ads will likely change to become more welcoming.

3. Marketing Tech Hits a Peak

The number of marketing technology vendors has steadily increased over the last few years as established companies and startups compete for a growing marketplace. With around 4,000 marketing tech companies across the globe, many experts are predicting 2016 will be the year that number hits a peak and begins to decline. That means startups will find it more difficult to achieve success, acquisitions will become commonplace, and the number of failures will grow.

4. More Third Party Data Available

Big data is becoming increasingly valuable, making it all the more crucial for companies to collect as much information on their customers as possible. In 2016, this will likely lead to the growth of more third party data exchanges as organizations look to gain more access to data sets. Companies will be more willing to share data, either for a fee or for other data that they don’t currently have. This also means that many businesses will be collecting anonymous data on users without having to directly deal with them.

5. Emphasis on Personalization

The drive to collect more data on customers leads directly to another trend in marketing technology: personalized ads. In many ways, this ties into the focus on more creative ads as marketing tech vendors emphasize advertisements that are individually tailored to specific customers. This move toward “hyper-personalization” will be something that consumers actually expect. At the same time, they will know when organizations cross the line in terms of privacy, so businesses will need to be cautious about how personal the ads get. 2016 will also see increased levels of personalization coming from smaller businesses, as the technologies needed for it (big data analytics, software defined storage, etc.) go down in price.

2016 will be a transformative year for marketing technology. The market will continue to mature and advance as new technologies and techniques are introduced. It’s likely that ads will get smarter at capturing people’s attention, in part to counter the move toward ad blocking. Customer data will become more valuable than ever. Content will reign supreme as the ultimate identifier of effectiveness. It’s an exciting time for marketing technology, and as the changes roll out, more organizations will try to adapt. How well they do so will be key in determining how successful they are.

Rick Delgado
Freelance Writer
I've been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I've started doing freelance writing and I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet. I also occasionally write for tech companies like Dell.


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