The research firm predicts the fall of CX as top priority, the advantages of user-controlled data, the automated generation of content at scale and a cutback in marketing analytics.
Marketers are trying to find a balance in the midst of massive destabilizing forces, according to a recent study from research firm Gartner.
But, says the report, titled “Predicts 2019: Marketing Seeks a New Equilibrium” [available for Gartner clients], the new balance that will emerge in a few years will leave a landscape that looks significantly different from the one that currently exists.
Voice, Privacy and Automation
Voice interfaces and bite-sized videos are causing marketers to re-think how they communicate, the report notes. Privacy laws mean that consumers have to agree on data usage. Meanwhile, analytics organizations are “bloated,” while automation is disrupting creative production, the ability to understand all processes and the skillset of available staff.
That’s just the top level of disrupting forces. Within three to four years, the report predicts:
- Profitability will replace customer experience as the CMO’s top priority.
- Brands will benefit from less customer churn if they add user-level control of marketing data.
- AI will boost content creation — including video — by more than a third, and autonomous marketing systems will issue about half of multichannel marketing messages, leading to a 25 percent increase in response rates because of a greater targeting precision. Content, not data, is the bottleneck to personalization at scale, Gartner says.
- Almost two-thirds of marketing analytics department will be cut in half because they are not delivering business results. Instead, the report says, they are spending too much time on foundational tasks like data integration and formatting.
- And consumers will watch nearly one-fifth fewer video ad minutes each day, compared to now, leading to broader adoption of short-form video ads.
CX and data transparency
Of those predictions, perhaps the most disruptive to the current prevailing marketing perspective is the idea that customer experience initiatives may be facing a pullback.
Why? Gartner suggests a key reason is the lack of broadly accepted ways to measure successful CX, such as tying improvements in Net Promoter Scores to better CX, and then to higher customer revenue.
Customer data transparency is an opportunity for brands, the report notes, since it distinguishes a brand as a consumer advocate, encourages interested users to provide their preferences and fosters greater brand loyalty.
One predicted means toward that transparency: a common data wallet interface that Gartner predicts will be used by at least 60 percent of major European brands by 2021.
Hit and miss
In fairness to the art of prediction, Gartner points out that it has been wrong, as well as right, in past predictions.
For instance, the research firm hit the nail with their prediction of widespread adoption of text-based natural language search in marketing analytics software by year-end 2018. But its estimate that 100 million consumers would be using AR to shop by 2020 now looks like it will fall short by at least several years.