2018 Marketing Technology Landscape: The Rise Of Bots & Live Chat

Marketing technologies are a set of efforts and tools that utilize technology to help marketers (especially digital marketers) achieve their goals in better and more efficient ways through various digital channels. Almost without exception, marketing technology companies operate on a software-as-a-service model (SaaS).

Why is Martech important for companies?

In the digital area, a lot of companies are focusing their energy on digitalizating their internal and external processes. What MarTech solutions do, is facilitate every day tasks for the marketer and help them reach their audience in a more targeted, refined and personalized way. They put customer experience in the center of their business in order to meet customer expectations for seamless, quick and easy processes. Brands are looking to connect their offline and online channels by using technology and therefore improve their customer journey.

Companies are starting to hire data specialists and technologists with expertise in tech solutions to help with selecting martech solutions that will help drive the business further. Furthermore, CMOs have developed a new role,  they have become the “technologist” and in some companies we see that IT and CCO are starting to report directly to CMOs, specially when it comes to martech solutions. Being tech-first has become an essential part of any C-level position to the point that companies in 2018 are spending more than a quarter (27% to be precise) of their annual marketing spend on martech solutions according to Gartner. What is more, WARC expects Martech budgets to increase by 10% at the end of 2018 in North America and the UK alone.

Marketing leaders allocate 27% of their expense budget to technology, equal to 3.24% of overall revenue, compared with CIO technology spend of 3.4% of revenue.”Gartner

What are the new Martech trends for 2018

1- Sales Automation, Enablement & Intelligence

This is by far the biggest category in the MarTech 2018 landscape, which clearly shows that “Salestech” is becoming a big focus for marketers. Maybe you are wondering why salestech category is included on the martech landscape? Because marketing and sales are deeply entwined — and only becoming more so. It’s the same reason why Customer Experience, Service & Success are on the martech landscape too.

Together, marketing, sales and service are “the new marketing.” We could label the union of them go-to-market technology, customer experience technology, or digital transformation technology. All of those aptly describe the new reality of marketing.

2- Bots & Live Chat

The rise of Bots & Live Chat over the past year clearly warranted its own category in 2018.
Both text-based and voice-based chatbots have had an incredible year of innovation and adoption and this is just a prelude to a spectacular 12-24 months ahead.

Aside from driving their own innovation, these new interfaces and customer touchpoints are accelerating the embrace digital everything too.

“Digital” is not just adtech and websites. And with so many different kinds of digital customer touchpoints, there’s incredible opportunity — both technologically and organizationally — to evolve from fragmented silos to a more holistic digital architecture.

Conversational sales & marketing is the newest marketing trend in this category. Brands are now looking to generate real-time conversations with their online customers.
Over the past decade, marketers  have been mostly focusing on driving traffic and generating leads — via digital marketing channels — that they have forgot to address this fundamental shift in how people research and buy products online. Customers want to connect with brands  in real-time, through the channel most suitable to their needs or current situation. Brands need to ensure they offer all the touch points in their customer journey (voice, chat, video, etc) in order to reach 100% of their online visitors. Keep your guards up for this trend, it will revolutionize the way brands market & sell to customers online!

We are happy to see Whisbi’s logo on the Landscape for the first time in the Bots & LiveChat category alongside Drift, LivePerson and other category leaders, challenging the traditional ways of marketing.


3- Compliance and Privacy

GDPR has been a source of much frustration and upheaval for marketers this past year. But it is serving a catalyst for important changes to marketing’s data infrastructure that will end up paying good dividends in marketing’s future.

Data quality in marketing has never been very good. Most marketers know this, but they’ve had neither the time nor the budget to address it. GDPR has forced companies to make that investment. The result will be better data and greater customer empowerment and this is why Whisbi is fully committed to complying with Data Protection regulations.

What does the Martech landscape for 2018 look like

As Scott Binker states in his latest report on MarTech 2018:

“Marketing technology has advanced — and as ever more specialized capabilities have emerged — we’re putting more flesh on our digital customers and striving to serve them in more human ways”.

This year, there were around 1,500 martech solution added over last years’ making it a total of 6,242 vendors in 48 different categories.  

Have a look at the full MarTech landscape for 2018 infographic here:

Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2018) 


What is next?

The martech world has been rapidly growing since 2011, jumping from 150 vendors to almost 7,000 today! This only comes to confirm that there is a need, and what once was a niche market, has become mainstream.

The average enterprise today now uses over 1,000 cloud services across every department: marketing, sales, customer service, finance, IT, HR, etc. and marketing has the largest vendor landscape of all of them.

Find out more about how the Whisbi conversational sales platform helps world’s leading global brands increase the number of online leads and drive more sales!

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