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Marketers are focusing on customer experience. Can marketing technology help?

More than 90% of chief marketing officers place consumers at the center of strategies to drive engagement and increase revenues, according to the State of Martech report.

[Source photo: Venkat Reddy/Fast Company Middle East]

In 2022, a consumer prefers scrolling through shopping apps during big sale days rather than heading out to a mall and waiting in endless queues to try out clothes and then, standing in a line for payments.

This year, businesses re-evaluated their strategies and redefined their processes for connecting and engaging with prospects.

With customer experience in the spotlight, more than ever before, businesses have come up with ways to generate leads and discover new sources for driving demand.

Marketing tech or Martech is an integrated suite of marketing software, email, content management systems, and consumer experience software. These work in collaboration to strengthen customer relations by creating effective communication strategies.

But Martech is no longer just another tech solution to increase sales – the attitude of a marketer, belief, and strategic alignment add value to the insights generated by AI-backed analytics.

The global marketing tech industry is worth almost $345 billion, and accelerated digitization of the market during the pandemic has led to a 73% increase in spending on AdTech platforms.

Martech now accounts for more than a quarter of the marketing budgets. Yet, with 9500 solutions available in the market, a Chief Marketing Officer’s judgment matters in deciding which technologies best suit the company’s strategic business goals.

A few years ago, Martech was still new to the Middle East – now, it drives everything from analyzing sales and revenues to forecasting results for the future to boost planning and execution. Over half of CMOs agree that Martech is constantly evolving as an essential tool for engaging with the modern-day customer.

Following the pandemic in 2020, the year 2021 saw companies revaluating their marketing strategies and redefining how they connect with potential consumers.

Launched in 2018, Vibe Martech Fest has been educating and inspiring CMOs with engaging and incisive content Marketing and IT professionals benefit from the event, powered by the region’s fastest-growing platform for marketing and Adtech, Martechvibe.

SPENDING BIG ON MARTECH TO ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS

Marketers are eyeing higher budgets in 2022, after a recovery last year, and expect investment in Martech to witness a 15-30% increase, although it won’t reach pre-pandemic levels.

For 70% of the CMOs, customer acquisition and rising revenue will be the focus areas for their marketing strategies in a highly connected market. But at the same time, they also face a significant challenge from rapidly rising customer expectations, which have increased significantly in the past year.

 BUDGET CONSTRAINTS HINDER MARTECH ADOPTION

But a quarter of chief marketers also cited budget cuts as a challenge in 2021, followed by legacy systems failing to deliver service across channels and lack of skilled manpower as limitations.

Compared to 2020, when only 19% CMOs spent 20-30% of their budget on Martech, 2021 had 28% of respondents saying they spent over a quarter of what was set aside for marketing on Martech solutions. As for the workforce, most CMOs said that their teams are up to speed with the latest MarTec innovations, while 47% see it as a tool for sales enablement.

ADAPTING TO CHANGING CUSTOMER ATTITUDES

Changing marketing priorities according to unexpected developments has been a survival strategy for companies for decades, and the pandemic triggered some major rethinking. About 44% of CMOs in the State of Martech report cited complex consumer journeys that impacted their Martech stacks.

As CMOs upgrade to new marketing tech in changing times, almost half of them feel that there’s an overload of tech solutions in the market. But 40% of respondents also believe that they help faster and increased adoption of marketing tech, to help companies stay a step ahead.

Having access to more products through a small online window from the comfort of a couch, customers are switching brands more frequently and exploring new digital channels for shopping. To keep up with changing consumer behavior and catering to individual preferences, 92% of CMOs rely on data-driven marketing strategies. Almost half of the respondents said that data is crucial for understanding customer attitudes.

Backed by this reservoir of data and insights into the adoption of Martech by regional CMOs, Vibe Martech Fest 2022, will bring together 250 forward-thinking marketers from the Middle East.

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To be held on September 6th-7th at the Address Dubai Marina, Dubai, the in-person event will facilitate high-level networking among peers in the marketing space to build trust and inspire innovation.

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