Seven Marketing Tech Trends for 2019

Customer Data Is Still at the Center

Executive Summary

Our last general update on marketing technology was published in early 2017 and was subtitled, “Customer Data at the Center.” In the nearly two years since then, marketing technology has become so central to marketing activities that general updates seemed superfluous—and superficial. The purpose of much of this technology is still to facilitate customer-data-driven marketing, and 2019 will see continued efforts to transform digitally to meet customer needs.

  • Are marketers done building their tech stacks? No, and they never will be. While the pace of adding to tech stacks may have slowed and may slow further, expect marketers to keep adding new tools on a regular basis. And while the pain of that process might become routine, it probably won’t go away.
  • How will programmatic evolve in 2019? Programmatic and its data-driven, automated capabilities are the norm for digital display advertising, and advertisers have begun real pushes for transparency that will drive consolidation in the ecosystem. But new programmatic infrastructure is just being laid in other channels, and marketers and publishers alike will want to avoid some of the same growing pains.
  • What are businesses’ biggest challenge for marketing tech success? The biggest problem for marketers using technology continues to be strategy. There’s no point in denying that realigning an organization toward a new goal, like customer-centricity, is difficult. But only a top-down strategy can ensure departments and teams are working together toward the same goal.
  • How will marketers respond to consumer privacy regulations? Marketers were slow to respond to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but holdouts will realize that such rules are not going away but are, instead, going to become only more prevalent. Anyone who wasn’t serious about customer data privacy and security in 2018 will have to wake up in 2019, because the California Consumer Privacy Act is set to go into effect on the first day of 2020.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report identifies seven major trends in marketing technology for 2019, including a continued focus on wrangling customer data and other effects of the drive toward data-driven marketing.

KEY STAT: Half of marketers surveyed had a customer data platform (CDP) in mid-2018, according to The Relevancy Group. Expect adoption of this hot marketing tech platform to continue.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Trend No. 1: Marketing Tech Stacks Will Continue Their Trend of Steady Maturation
  3. Trend No. 2: Marketers Will Continue to Adopt Customer Data Platforms and Focus on Wrangling Customer Data
  4. Trend No. 3: Pressure Will Grow to Clean Up Programmatic Display
  1. Trend No. 4: B2Bs Will Adopt Tech for Account-Based Marketing
  2. Trend No. 5: From Buzzword to Relevant: AI and Machine Learning Suffuse All of Digital Marketing
  3. Trend No. 6: Holdouts Will Have to Face Up to Consumer Data Regulations
  4. Trend No. 7: Successful Marketers Will Focus Beyond Tech on a Customer-Centric Strategy
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

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Nicole Perrin


Ross Benes
Lauren Fisher
Principal Analyst
Jillian Ryan
Principal Analyst

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