Gartner’s 2019 Hype Cycle Reveals Technologies to Fuel Growth

September 3, 2019 Ginna Hall

Loyal consumers are a scarce commodity. The era of life-time devotion to a particular product is over. Instead, consumers have hyper-choice, with many options for every item.

Only 8% of global consumers consider themselves committed to the brands they purchase. A sizeable 46% are more likely to try new brands than five years ago. In this environment, a brand’s success increasingly depends on engaging disloyal consumers. Has your brand’s marketing adjusted to this huge change?

Gartner’s most recent Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising reveals a crowded and fragmented marketplace. According to Gartner, “Since 2018, consumers and their unpredictable behavior, mutable preferences and high expectations drive marketers toward acquiring, analyzing and activating customer data in real-time and at scale.”

A deeper emphasis on data and the pressure to reap business value from technology investments are speeding adoption of a core set of software and services which have been named in this year’s Hype Cycle.

Gartner recognizes four technologies most able to transform how marketers run their technology ecosystems: Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), AI for marketing, blockchain for advertising and real-time marketing.

According to Gartner, “With three of these four technologies not expected to mature for more than five years, look to using these as paths to make iterative innovations — as opposed to step changes or capability pivots.”

Gartner adds, “In a crowded and fragmented marketplace, marketing leaders are increasing investments in innovative technologies as they strive to deliver meaningful customer experiences that differentiate their brands. Gartner Research shows event-triggered and real-time marketing are considered the technologies that will have the biggest impact on marketing activities in the next five years. To realize this, marketers must be capable of using predictive analytics and delivering personalized communications.”

Optimize Marketing With Multi-Touch Attribution

Gartner urges marketers to make adoption or improvement of measurement techniques a top priority, noting, “As marketing evolves beyond its current channels into broader spheres such as OTT television and the Internet of Things, the role of systematic attribution becomes even more urgent.”

One technique, “Multitouch Attribution, helps marketers evaluate how much credit to assign to each element of a multichannel marketing campaign or each touchpoint leading to a conversion,” according to Gartner.

Gartner adds, “Multitouch Attribution offers the ability to measure  digital touchpoints beyond aggregate channel metrics, such as ad copy or keyword level.” We believe this approach benefits from the powerful combination of up-to-date reporting (often updated daily) with granular insights that can be calculated by audience.

Gartner notes that “Measuring across touchpoints is a foundational need in data-driven marketing, and no marketing analytics team can get far without it. Given the magnitude of investment in digital marketing solutions and attribution’s role as scorekeeper, expect extraordinary resources to focus on surmounting its methodological and data hygiene challenges.”

Implementing an attribution solution requires that marketers evaluate data sources and the accuracy of data used to build the models, the actual modeling approaches, and the level of output provided. Change management and adoption are as important to the success of your implementation as selecting the right vendor and configuring the solution.

The report concludes, “While MTA cannot address all marketing questions, such as quantifying longer-term advertising impacts or shifts in marketing performance due to external factors, it provides marketers an important tool to increase performance by adjusting spend level during campaigns.”

Deliver Relevant Content With Personification

Recent industry and regulatory events have impacted the measurement methods that advertisers, publishers, and technology companies currently employ to understand consumer behavior across digital media and devices.

These events reflect an industry-wide focus on enhancing consumer privacy and data security in a regulatory landscape that includes Brazil's new Data Protection Law, the California Consumer Privacy Act and the UK’s General Data Protection Regulation. It also includes evolving privacy features of browsers such as Apple’s Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and Google Chrome’s new APIs.

According to Gartner, “Personification’s goal is to deliver the relevance and marketing value of personalization without processing personal data that is subject to regulatory restrictions.” This allows marketers to deliver targeted experiences based on an individual’s inferred membership in a customer segment rather than their personal identity.

An individual’s location, device type and contextual factors such as the time of day and local weather are the type of characteristics that assist marketers without revealing a person’s unique identity. 

According to Gartner, “As legal and technical challenges to the unfettered use of personal data advance, marketers and solution providers seek opportunities to apply modeling and advanced analytics to extract more powerful inferences from contextual data to deliver on the promise of personification. Scaling these capabilities, however, will require changes to the cookie and device ID-based practices that underpin much of today’s personalization and programmatic advertising markets, such as standard models to encode and express anonymous contextual and behavioral information.”

Gartner advises marketers to “reevaluate personalization strategies to focus on content designed to help consumers in ways that both encourage opt-in and require less personal data-driven guesswork to connect consumers with relevant content.”

Gartner, Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising, 2019, 12 July 2019, Colin Reid, Mike McGuire

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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