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The field of marketing technology has revolutionized the way that campaigns are planned, executed, and evaluated. But mar-tech can be intimidating: Navigating the now 7k+ platforms that claim to help marketers understand, reach, engage, and measure their target audiences is no small task.

Here is a primer on marketing technology – what you need to know about today’s mar-tech platforms, how you can evaluate and select them for your specific needs, and how the industry will evolve in 2020.

The Basics

Marketing technology has traditionally come in the form of a software whose principle aim is to assist you in planning and carrying out marketing campaigns, gathering and analyzing the results, and applying insight to future campaigns.

At the most basic level, marketing technology can be broken down into six groups that marketing technology “godfather” Scott Brinker defined as:

• Advertising & Promotion
• Content & Experience
• Social & Relationships
• Commerce & Sales
• Data Management

The advent of marketing technology can be brought back to 1999, when Salesforce launched the Software-as-a-Service model with the goal of making it unnecessary for organizations to spend a fortune to create their own bespoke CRM systems that were often slow and tedious to use. Under SaaS models, brands pay a monthly or yearly fee to use the tools offered. These tools can cost anywhere between $5,000 to $50,000 a year.

Fast forward and today, 29% of marketing budgets are dedicated to marketing technology, Ogilvy has a 900-person mar-tech team, and mar-tech software are being acquired for billions of dollars.

What Mar-Tech Does for Marketers

The best mar-tech tools will offer a combination of the following benefits:

  • Automation of workflows: Most mar-tech solutions automate tasks that are too time-consuming and/or complex to complete manually, like pulling, organizing, and analyzing data.
  • Support streamlined communication: Most mar-tech solutions will enable better communication within and between work teams through tools that help teams track the status of projects and increase collaboration.
  • Generate insight: Mar-tech solutions should do more than pull data – they should be able to draw actionable conclusions that support better decision-making, optimize campaigns, and reveal opportunities and gaps.

Breaking Down the Software Types

Perhaps the most basic way to break down marketing technology is to think about them as either point solutions, which provide tools that address one specific aspect of marketing, or suite solutions, that address more than one category of tools. When a vendor combines these tools under one platform, it is often called a mar-tech stack. Whether a brand selects a point or a suite solution depends on a variety of factors determined by a campaign’s objectives and budget, and there are very good reasons for picking both.

Marketing Technology
Marketing Technology Vendors

To choose your suite of tools, it is important to consider your business model, marketing goals, and how your targets move down the marketing funnel. Often, products are more effective at assisting with a particular stage of the funnel than others, Smart marketers will make sure to combine tools whose tools will help you address the entire sales funnel. Getting to know the tools yourself will be important for both selecting and using them effectively: many of them offer free trials, which you can take advantage of when comparing your options.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the types of tools a marketing technology solution might offer:

Content Marketing tools address the content production process, providing assistance with content management. This means tools for search engine optimization, landing page and A/B testing, content discovery, content distribution,, digital asset management and lead generation.

Rich media tools assist with design, video, and audio creation and promotion, and include video making tools, video marketing platforms, podcasting tools, graphic design tools, and interactive content tools.

Social media management tools assist in planning, scheduling, posting, and measuring social media activity. Monitoring tools help you track your engagement as well as that of competitors, and identify trends. Influencer marketing platforms help brands find and connect with relevant influencers in your industry.

Marketing automation platforms assist in automating and simplifying the basic tasks associated with marketing: marketing automation software automates analysis and social media tasks, and email marketing tools streamline email marketing. Mobile marketing platforms assist in the design and management of push notifications, promotions and offers for mobile apps.

Advertising platforms and tools assist in paid advertising tasks. Search engine marketing helps you identify keywords, conduct competitive analysis, and optimize search engine campaigns. Social media advertising focuses more specifically on ads across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Native advertising tools help you create more effective ads for websites you do not own. Programmatic advertising tools automate the complex process of buying and selling ad spaces so that you can better reach your target audiences.

Sales enablement tools manage the sales and customer management processes. Sales automation platforms manage contacts, leads, sales planning, email marketing, and tools like click-to-call. Customer support tools streamline communication with customers, and customer relationship management tools assist in contact management, task management, and sales reporting.

Data and analytics platforms offer web analytics, tagging, and predictive analytics tools. Data management tools gather third-party data to inform ad targeting and media buying. Customer data platforms collect first-party data for improved targeting. Web analytics tools assist in forming a better picture of those visiting your website in terms of demographics and behavior. They also include tag management tools simplify the process of tagging different types of data on your sight. Predictive analytics tools use machine learning and data mining to create predictive models for your websites.

The Rapid Growth of Marketing Technology

As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, the value of effective mar-tech solutions and the money brands are willing to invest in them increase rapidly.

In 2015 alone, over 300 mar-tech companies received $17 billion in funding. Between 2017 and 2019 the value of the market increased from $34.3 billion to $65 billion in the US and UK alone. A 2018 survey found that UK and US firms are spending 26% of their budgets on mar-tech compared to 23% last year. This is a whopping 13% increase in mar-tech budgets since last year.

All-in-One Solutions, Big Acquisitions Shaping Marketing Technology Today

In terms of how the mar-tech landscape is evolving, there are several trends worth noting.

Brands are forming a better understanding of how they can use marketing technology to support their digital marketing efforts. In recent years, brands felt like they needed to invest in dozens of independent vendors to meet their needs. Now, while brands recognize that independent specialists are necessary for some functions, they are increasingly turning to one primary vendor. A study by Walker Sands found that more than a third (34%) rely on a best-of-breed stack (the same rate as in 2018) while 27% rely on a single-vendor suite. 45% of those surveyed asserted that the consolidation of mar-tech has made it more accessible. 

Large legacy brands’ acquisitions of smaller specialist providers have driven this consolidation and strengthened the core of their offerings.

In the recent years,  IPG media acquired Axciom for $2.3bn, Publicis acquired Epsilon for $4bn, Dentsu Aegis Network acquired Merkle for $1.5 billion, Adobe acquired Marketo for $4.75 billion, and Salesforce acquired Tableau for $15.7 billion. In addition, the best mar-tech platforms are investing in integrating emerging technology into their solutions.

Marketing Technology Trends: The Rise of AI and the Ad-Tech Boom

Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest trends in mar-tech. Today, it allows marketers to automate the

Walter Sands’ “State of Marketing Technology” report

process of gathering, analyzing, and drawing insight from data. It automates the process of sifting through the massive amounts of information brands gather through their campaigns to help brands understand their customers’ journeys.

Nonetheless, marketers are still figuring out how to use AI in their technology solutions. 40% of respondents to a Walker Sands study believe AI will continue to be a buzzword in 2019, though only 32% currently use AI or have plans to invest in it this year.

Finally, the growth of ad-tech capabilities is driving the use of mar-tech, with 54% of respondents to the Walker Sands study currently incorporating adtech into their strategies, making it one of the most-used categories of mar-tech. This can partially be explained by improvements in attribution measurement capabilities, as Big Data is making it easier and easier for marketers to drive ROI. In terms of where marketers want ad tech to help them,  52% prioritize ad spending in social media, while 17% prioritize it for Google Ads. This suggests that driving engagement and conversation, not just clicks and brand awareness, are the most important goals for today’s marketers.

The Bottom Line: Marketers Are Happy with Marketing Technology Investment Levels, Becoming Savvier

While the mar-tech landscape is certainly evolving, marketers appear to be satisfied with their use of the technology. 75% of respondents to the Walker Sands study believe their company is investing in the right amount of mar-tech. This is compared to 63% in 2018, a record high for the State of Martech report. This indicates that marketers are learning how to do more with smaller budgets, and run and measure integrated programs. In 2020, smart marketers will continue to take all of these trends and market shifts into account.

Loyalty marketing includes tools that help marketers engage with consumers. Here are some pros and cons of digital mobile wallets, in-app rewards, blockchain-based loyalty programs, AI-based loyalty marketing and mobile devices with beacon technologies.

·

1. Digital Wallets, Great Organizers of Financial Lives

According to recent data, the average American carries 17 cards. This clearly shows how important it is for consumers to have an overview of their financial life (including their different loyalty programs).  Digital wallets are ideal to help customers organize their financial and loyalty products.

2. In-App Rewards: a Loyalty Marketing Tool

The digitalization of reward programs can be an important driver for customer engagement.  However, most In-App Rewards are based on a gamification context.

Pros:

  • Rewards for better prices, discounts, special offers. In other words, this type of technology can leverage the value proposition to customers.
  • Makes feel your regular customer as a high-value customer, that fact can generate effective recency/frequency and at least more interaction with the brand.
  • Churn strategies; getting back old customers / capture new generations and/or new markets.
  • Leverage Ancillary Revenue / Check-in ratio / Leverage negative performance markets or flights.
  • Incentives for B2C markets.
  • Differentiation from competitors.

Cons:

  • In-App can be very strong to generate engagement but also challenging to generate revenue.
  • Potentially low ROIs due to high operation costs (IT, back-end, front-end).

3. Blockchain-Based Loyalty Programs

Blockchain is a powerful strategy for loyalty marketing because of its inherent safety.  The most valuable asset of a loyalty or Frequent Flyer Program is the data. Blockchain is designed to store transactional data in a secure and decentralized way. Customers appreciate this model because it is a “Loyalty Hub”. This technology can simplify the process of applying and keep customers from having full wallets/apps or accounts/passwords with the brands they want to interact with.

Blockchain is designed to store transactional data in a secure and decentralized way.

Pros:

  • High redemption rates.
  • Analytical and statistical information / more accurate information / give the customer what they need, when they need it and at the right price.
  • Customer incentive oriented: “Buy what you need and I’ll reward you”.
  • Traditional loyalty programs reward you for the extra purchase when customers realize that is a problem. Here the information is secure.
  • Loyalty Hub: customers always appreciate simple and centralized platforms.
  • Points can be changed for cryptocurrency.

Cons:

  • Complex method.
  • High UX costs.
  • High consulting costs.
  • Blockchain technology may not yet be popular enough.

4. Artificial Intelligence

Nowadays is not enough to get customers and generate leads from e-commerce strategies. It is a must for companies to start being AI and Machine Learning oriented in some way. This is not a trend, but a real need. Brand marketers and loyalty marketing experts are looking for deep learning experiences that allow recording and auto-analyzing customer information. AI can enable an extremely high degree of personalization. To get the most out of AI it is important for managers to understand market behaviors, customer preferences, demographics, etc.

Brand marketers and loyalty marketing experts are looking for deep learning experiences that allow recording and auto-analyzing customer information.

5. Mobile Devices with Beacon Technologies

Frequent flyer travel programs or loyalty coalition programs are common currency in the travel and lifestyle sectors. These programs provide customers the opportunities to use/redeem the points (virtual coins) they win in the regular day-to-day shopping to acquire plane tickets, accommodation, car rental, ancillary airline products, etc. Beacons allow these programs to be farther reaching and help opening new markets, generally abroad.

Roberto Muñoz, Head of Loyalty Travel at Puntos Colombia, a member of the Portada Council System helped compile this information.

Social media plays an ever-changing role for marketers. The strategy’s strength is in the ability to humanize your brand by engaging with the consumer. And engagement leads to conversions. How to stay current as social media changes is a key discussion point at Portada Council System meetings. Learn how Portada Council System’s leading brand marketers offer solutions to keep ahead of social media’s evolving role.

Kick-off Facts 

  • SMS or messaging apps are on the rise with 41% of travel marketers planning on implementing this in the near future. (Sojern)
  • Three out of five travel companies are using chat for customer service with 28% actively using or experimenting with AI technology. (Phocuswright)
  • The majority of marketers (77%) are using one or more social media platforms but only 48% have a positive ROI from these strategies. (Impact

Three Social Media Challenges for Portada Council System Members

1. Managing Brand Reputation and Trust

Related comment: “Your customers don’t necessarily trust Influencers (since most know they are being paid). It is better to win them over organically.”

Social media make it easier to discredit a brand. Companies should try to turn these experiences into something positive.

2. Training Staff to Provide Consistent Customer Service

Related comment: “Right now, the front line staff is composed by people who are not prepared enough for the job.” 

We have to make all messages coincide across roles in spite of the emphasis of each area.

3. Increased Complexity and Cost of Social Media Strategies

Related comment: “It is vital to understand the way each platform works.”

Even though the reach is there, it’s getting gradually more expensive.
Portada, Council System

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

Four Social Media Opportunities Identified by Portada Council System Members

1. Don’t Forget About Traditional Marketing Channels

Globally, travel marketers see Facebook (30%) and Instagram (28%) as the most effective tools for targeting new audiences contrasted with only a 4% rate in connecting with loyalty members. (Sojern)

Related comment: “We are losing sight of traditional communication channels that are still alive and reaching a more traditional target.”

A recent eMarketer study shows a 122% median email marketing ROI, a number 4x higher than other digital marketing channels. (LYFE Marketing)

2. Humanize the Brand Voice and Keep it Consistent

Related comment:Every role matters, and each one can influence the whole in a different way.” 

Practical example: The CEO could humanize the message and community managers should have a “tone of voice” that coincides with the company’s values.

When the head of the company is an activist, this helps the brand’s reputation.

3. Give Staff the Skills to Handle All Types of Social Media Feedback 

Related comment: “Strive for accuracy and timely answers when addressing customers’ comments on social media.” 

Practical example: Provide appropriate training to the social media team so they know how to handle messages with different objectives: communicating, positioning, selling, etc. 

Make sure the whole organization has the same culture and train staff to deal with social media’s evolving role.

4. Use AI to Boost Your Customer Service 

Research from Salesforce shows an anticipated 143% increase in the use of AI for customer service teams over the next 18 months. (Salesforce)

Practical example: Using an algorithm that answers immediately on social media without the customer noticing it’s a chatbot. Instead of having hundreds of people answering, a company could hire less high-profile employees to do it right.

When the algorithm can’t solve an issue, there’s a seamless transition to a human specialist.

Portada, Council System

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge-sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

 

We talked to Eric Tourtel, SVP of Teads Latam about the story behind the recently-announced strategic partnership with Precision, the programmatic division of Publicis Media.  We also discussed the key buzzwords and trends of the near future, and why Teads is ready to tackle them head-on with a revolutionary new tool. 

Last year, Teads closed a deal with Oracle Moat that allows buyers to select any custom billing point of viewability and transact on any viewability requirement. Portada also announced the new partnership with Precision, the programmatic area of Publicis Media, in Latam. Teads is the fast-growing platform that invented outsream video marketing. Now, they are changing the game again on their way lower into the funnel. To find out more, we caught up with Eric Tourtel, SVP of Teads Latam. Here’s all you need to know about the special nature of this partnership. Plus, learn how the company gets the ball rolling when it comes to data and AI.

 

The Importance of Having Allies: The Teads + Precision Partnership

Teads works with all the agencies. However, the partnership with Publicis’ programmatic area is unusual because it has a more significant qualitative component. “We’re going deeper, sharing more information. We have enormous amounts of first-party data and a very strong insights team,” said Eric Tourtel to introduce Portada to the story. As he explained, Teads started at the top of the funnel with good branding results after the launch of the innovative InRead video ad format. then moved to engagement and consideration, but the company has just recently started to focus more on performance.

Not only do we see who the users are, but we also see what they’re reading.

Now, Teads is able to fully audit the consumer journey. In Latam, the company has grown so much that it now reaches 90% of Mexican internet users, for example (source). “We find them within our network from 15 to 20 times per month. Imagine the gargantuan proportions of information we get,” shared Tourtel. “Not only do we see who the users are, but we also see what they’re reading. More than noting which URLs they’re visiting, we’re paying attention to the content they look for in those websites.” Consequently, sharing such information with Publicis will make for a very strategic partnership. According to Tourtel, most of the other partnerships are about price, volume, and discount.

 

Sharing the Teads Potential

“What makes this partnership special,” remarked Tourtel, “is the openness with which Teads will share its platform which most agencies aren’t aware of.” Thus, he had to organize intensive training in Miami with the directors of Precision offices all over Latin America. “We had to make sure they understood our platform’s potential,” told Eric. “We’ll have at least one training session per quarter in order to hear their feedback and adapt to their needs. This doesn’t happen at any other Demand-Side Platform.”

As Tourtel mentioned during our conversation, Teads might not be a very complex company but it is a very complete provider. It used to focus solely on video, but it has now evolved lower into the funnel to offer performance solutions. “Teads’ platform is different from DSPs in that it’s exclusively designed exclusively for Teads’ transactions,” informed Tourtel. “It’s all connected at a data level, as well as at a reach level. We are full-stack: an ad-server, SSP, exchange, buying interface…” In short, partnering up with Teads sounds like a very good idea.

We’ve grown together, that’s why collaboration flows more easily than with other players.

The other special aspect of the partnership was the story behind it. There’s a bond with Publicis that goes way back. “We have a lot of history together,” shared Eric. “I started Teads Latam six years ago and the first agency that took a leap of faith and talked big numbers with their clients for us was Starcom Miami. We’ve grown together, that’s why collaboration flows more easily than with other players,” added Tourtel.

 

Guaranteeing Viewability is no Longer Impossible

The main problem video marketers face is that nobody wants to watch video ads. They’re invasive, annoying, and get in the way between consumers and content. This is a real problem for Facebook and YouTube, but Teads got rid of the invasion factor. And so innovation played an important part in Teads’ process of coming up with a new format that was entirely different from a pre-roll.

The result was outstream video advertising, and it revolutionized video marketing. More consumers are now voluntarily watching ads. “We invented the InRead format,” said Tourtel. “It started with a video between two paragraphs. It’s not covering any content, so it’s not an intrusion, you can skip it if you don’t want to watch.”

Marc Pritchard, CEO of P&G has recently declared that his company’s ads have an average exposure time of 1.6 seconds on Facebook, compared to 13 seconds on Teads,” pointed out Tourtel. ”That’s because we display ads exclusively in profesional articles. We’re not relying on people who scroll down their feed quickly to see if something grabs their interest.”

 

How Teads Does It

We’re not relying on people who scroll down their feed quickly to see if something grabs their interest.

If you have the right format and you display it in the right place, it has to work. However, if you add to that an artificial intelligence that gathers precise data and continually learns how to classify it, that’s a winning combo. “Five years ago we built a team that created our AI,” told Tourtel. “We gave it one single question. ‘Knowing what we know about this user, what are the chances that this impression will turn into a full view?’.

In fact, technology at this point is a must. “When we started we did all of this manually, but as we grew into the third biggest digital company in Latin America this became impossible, so we created our AI.” Every time there’s a full view, Teads’ AI team looked at their whole file and then looked for similar profiles. Then, the AI gets better after each completion and is able to predict conversions more accurately. 

 

Brand Safety Can Also Be Guaranteed

Teads is proud to say that, apart from offering very high viewability rates, the company has never faced any brand safety-related issues. Teads uses Grapeshot, a well-known software that scans pages to avoid placing ads next to unwanted content that could harm the brand. “But we know Grapeshot isn’t perfect, so we added our own technology on top of that,” told Tourtel. “Our AI helps us read and classify articles. We also avoid breaking news pages because that’s where they show the horrible stuff.” Furthermore, Teads’ ads only appear on reputable publishing media, where journalists submit articles to an editorial manager for approval before they’re released. “It’s not like we’re a social network with 400 hundred people posting every minute,” he added.

Facebook owns social. Google owns search. LinkedIn owns professional relations. We intend to own media and press.

Nonetheless, explained Tourtel, the tricky part is knowing where to stop, as the definition of brand safety is a very subjective matter. “Brand safety means something different to each brand,” he mentioned. “Sometimes a brand will choose not to appear near the word death, let’s say. So you block any instances where the Word death appears, even if it’s something positive that doesn’t harm the brand at all. Imagine a story about an airplane accident with zero deaths, that’s very good news, but you have blocked the word death and thus you have reduced your reach and increased the cost.”

 

What’s Next for Teads?

Where is the company going and how will it use this potential? “Last year, we decided to regroup a bit,” answered Tourtel. “We were diversifying too much, so we went back to our core: media and newspapers. “Facebook owns social. Google owns search. LinkedIn owns professional relations. We intend to own media and press.”

While Teads has relied on acquisitions in the past, it’s now focusing more on building a strong platform that places them closer to the bottom line. “We own all our inventory and all our data,” explained Tourtel. “This gives us enormous freedom and a great ability to adapt because we’re not depending on any other companies with other priorities that could slow us down.”

AI and Reach on Target

The buzzwords going around are AI and data. Analysts and researchers are preparing for how the future of the industry is resting on those two vast words. Therefore, Teads has a new deal in the works with Nielsen that will allow them to take their innovative offering a step further. “Right now, when you sell the segment of 18-42 year-old women, you’re charging for 30-50% of reach on target,” he explained. “Everybody strives for 100%, but that’s like the holy grail. But soon we’ll be able to charge only for those 18 to 42 year-old women Nielsen confirms we’ve impacted on.”

This product will solve most of the problems we’re facing in digital every day.

Just like the InRead format solved viewability issues, Teads’ will boost performance via look-alike modeling, machine learning and massive amounts of first-party data. “We noticed that CTRs of O.01% are normal in the market while our CTRs range from 1% to 3%. We said, ‘We should sell clicks!’ and we came up with this product that will solve most of the problems we’re facing in digital every day.”

 

See a Trend? Own It

The trends are clear: according to Eric Tourtel, clients want transparency, brand safety, and social responsibility. “Brands are pressuring social media to take responsibility for the content they show, to avoid fake news and hate speech,” he pointed out. “We already have these priorities under control. Now, data will help us offer a more precise product. You’ll no longer buy what you don’t need and you won’t lose anything.” This way, the company will offer a full-funnel view of users’ purchase journeys.

 

. SoImage by Freepik

What: The use of AI on marketing and advertising is turning heads and generating headlines. The latest? Computers select images and colors, improve text, sift through big data to sharpen targeting and lift customer response rates.
Why it matters: Agencies, however, say they deploy AI for more mundane but critical tasks. Those include automating repetitive work. They also encompass sorting and labeling images and videos. It saves thousands of hours of labor. As a result, it frees up in-house talent for higher-level creative output.

The brave new world of AI on marketing is here. Recent headlines boast of AI’s ability to boost customer response rates with better text, content and just the right selection of colors and images in advertising.

AI on Marketing Saves on Labor

Marketers tell Portada, however, that they’re using AI on marketing for far more mundane but still essential agency tasks. Namely, saving thousands of hours of labor and freeing up their best talent to do what creatives do best: create.

“Our initial goal is to automate several of the manual processes that go into the content creative process,” Carmen Garcés, head of digital at Hogarth México told Portada.

Hogarth Mexico, she said, is using AI or “machine learning” to mask, rotoscope, review, organize and tag hundreds of hours of video as well as images, saving the agency thousands of hours of labor.

Artificial intelligence is also being used to sort through Hogarth’s talent database of thousands of worldwide employees to help producers select just the right resources for each project.

The time saved frees up Hogarth Mexico staff to improve and apply their skills and technical knowledge to creative output, Garcés explained in an email.

“There are a lot of talented people around the world with unique creative and technical skills. We see AI as a great support to help us leverage this talent even further and to provide novel solutions and superior output for our clients.”

Apply AI on Marketing

Applying AI tools to recognize, catalog and modify visual content provides exciting opportunities for improving work efficiency and increasing advertising’s effectiveness.

Our initial goal is to automate several of the manual processes that go into the content creative process.

“One element of targeting that is still left relatively untapped is object recognition,” wrote Tim Bosch, associate director at Resolution Media in a recent column published by Digital Commerce 360.

“AI will be the driving force that exposes this massive targeting opportunity.”

According to Bosch, Snapchat has developed the technology to recognize objects posted by users, differentiating between food, pets, and more.

“Imagine this—after analyzing a user’s image inventory, object recognition technology could calculate their individual fashion style. This style feeds into their overall profile which brands can tap into to provide personalized ad messaging.”

Researching AI on Marketing

According to Garcés, Hogarth Mexico is “talking to multiple vendors and research institutes,” about how AI could help further improve the agency’s productivity. That includes using AI to modify videos and images.

“That would allow us to remove entire elements and objects from a scene something that if done in the traditional way could take days.”

Hogarth Mexico is considering AI tools that would allow it to change out the dialogue of actors in a video. It could then substiture “a completely different phrase or even deliver the speech in a completely different language.”

It’s undeniable that the unstoppable progress of AI has made it a tool that is impossible to ignore.

“The most important opportunity for us is to leverage AI to augment our talent. And amplify the creative output of our organization and provide superior customer experience while delivering content to our clients,” Garcés told Portada.

AI Frees up Creative Talent

At Grey Mexico, Chief Creative Officer Humberto Polar is focused on how to use AI to automate the generation of creative materials for advertising. He mentions combining of images and prices, and adapting formats in retail campaigns.

“This type of work today occupies many hours and is subject to a high level of human error. That’s precisely because it is operation-related and not creative work,” Polar told Portada.

“We should put our efforts towards automating tasks. Then people to do more much more gratifying and useful work, thus providing truly creative support to our clients.”

Grey Mexico is also using AI. Namely to analyze data, generating new understanding of the behaviors of consumers. With AI, the agency can apply its same creative thinking, but to much larger data sets.

“It’s undeniable that the unstoppable progress of AI has made it a tool that is impossible to ignore,” Polar says.

 

A summary of the most relevant consumer insight research in the U.S. and U.S. Hispanic markets. If you’re trying to keep up with the latest happenings, this is your one-stop shop.

 

  • Accenture’s 13th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers has found that Americans expect to spend $637 on holiday shopping this year, on average, with approximately six in seven respondents planning to spend either the same (57%) or more (28%) than they did last year. Consumers are expected to do half their purchases in physical stores, with lower prices cited as the top (82%) factor that would tempt them to make an in-store purchase. 

 

  • For the first time, consumers in the U.S. might do more of their holiday shopping online than in physical stores, according to a new survey. In its annual Holiday Outlook, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP found that 54% of respondents will opt for the convenience of their smartphones, laptops, and PCs, and even in-home voice assistants, compared to 50% last year.

 

  • CGS has announced findings from its 2019 CGS Customer Service Chatbots & Channels Survey. CGS surveyed more than 1,000 Americans and found that 86% of consumers prefer to interact with a human agent. Moreover, 71% of respondents said they would be less likely to use a brand if it didn’t have human customer service representatives available. Only 30% believe that chatbots and virtual assistants make it easier to address customer service issues. However, for respondents under 35, confidence in AI-based solutions reached 43%. 

 

  • Recent research by Deloitte shows that consumers’ tolerance to advertising varies according to the type of shows they like. A new survey which polled 2,000 U.S. found respondents whose most-watched type of show was talk shows had the highest tolerance for advertising  (11.6 minutes per hour), and the ones who prefer scripted comedies or dramas have the lowest  (7.2 minutes).

 

  • According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey of 7,400 U.S. consumers, 68% of Americans said they plan to celebrate Halloween. Sixty-nine percent declared they will hand out candy, while 49% will decorate their homes and 47% will dress in costume. In total, they are expected to spend US $2.6 billion on Halloween candy, about $25 dollars per person. 

 

  • A recent CodeBroker survey of over 1,100 U.S. consumers on coupon and offer personalization found that sending custom offers to past consumers is a good opportunity for brands. The results show that 73% of respondents answered with a definite yes to the question, “Do you prefer to shop at stores that send you custom discount offers based on your purchase history?”.

 

We are introducing a bi-weekly summary of the most exciting recent news in marketing technology and trends. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

Phrasee’s AI-powered Copywriting Tool Attracts $4M in New Funding

Investors will pour U.S. $4 million into the digital marketing software company Phrasee to power the expansion of its Artificial Intelligence tools that help brands like Domino’s and Virgin write better subject lines for emails. Brands also use Phrasee’s tools to write more effective Facebook and Instagram ads. The new funding will help Phrasee, based in London, to open offices in San Francisco.

Facebook is reportedly building a stand alone shopping app for Instagram, sources tell the media outlet The Verge. The app will allow Instagram users to use the app to buy goods from merchants they follow. Instagram is keeping mum about the new shopping platform. According to Facebook, there are 25 million businesses with accounts on Instagram.

Artificial Intelligence is rapidly changing how brands create content. The Tel Aviv firm Bidalgo has a new AI-powered tool that measures KPIs for the different elements of creative content, including words (messaging) and images (including video). MediaPost also reports that McCann Erikson Japan has launched the world’s first robotic creative director that analyzes key elements of past award-winning ads to then develop new ones.

The retail customer analytics firm Custora has won $13.75M in new financing for its software that uses Artificial Intelligence to help retailers segment and better understand their customers and as a result provide more personalized offers. Retailers also use Custora’s machine learning to analyze the impact of discounts and price points and forecast the lifetime value of each customer.

Investments in mobile advertising increased by 25% in the second quarter of this year compared to last, and more and more brands are choosing to place their ads within mobile apps, according to PubMatic’s Quarterly Mobile Index for 2018. In just the last year, spending on mobile video ads has increased by 239 percent, with a 688-percent year-over-year increase in advertising within mobile apps, the PubMatic release said.

The online flower delivery company Telaflora is using Artificial Intelligence to match offers to individual customers’ desires and preferences. Using AI tools from Bluecore and Custora, Teleflora succeeded in matching customer data with products to increase year-to-year sales by 50%, according to ClickZ.

We are introducing a bi-weekly summary of the most exciting recent news in marketing technology and trends. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

LATAM retailer SACI Falabella will purchase the online retailer Linio for US $138 million. Linio operates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama. E-commerce in Latin America is expected to grow by 19% in the next five years – well above the global average of 11%.

Investors will pour US $4.5 million into the influence marketer FLUVIP to help it grow in Spain, Latin America, and the US. FLUVIP uses machine learning and predictive artificial intelligence to measure the impact and cost of influence marketer campaigns on social media platforms.

Your customers could be turned off if you only talk to them using artificial intelligence, a Capgemini worldwide survey of internet users has found. The survey saw wide acceptance among shoppers for AI interactions, but it also discovered that shoppers are happier when chatbots and virtual assistants come with live-human interaction options.

Compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is costing Fortune 500 companies US $7.8 billion, according to Fortune. A survey by PwC pegged the cost for 200 US companies of 500 or more employees at between $1 and $10 million.

A majority of US marketers view the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a threat to their ability to target audiences. Digiday talked to 46 US marketers who said they were more concerned about restrictions on reaching key market segments than the cost of fines for noncompliance.

Conversions of inbound marketing leads into sales is a lot lower than you may think at just 13 percent according to a study by Implicit, as reported by PMG360. Look for a 20 percent improvement when you nurture inbound leads with personalization, targeted reach, lead scoring and timely response.

 

What: Alberto Pardo, Parker Morse, and Cesar M. Melgoza, founding partners of Portada’s Council System, gave us their views on how technology will help the evolution of marketing in the near future.
Why it matters: AI is already impacting the media buying industry and it is expected to revolutionize the space with the automation of simultaneous processes.

Artificial Intelligence Will Increase Efficiency

According to a recent Salesforce study, 51% of the world’s marketing leaders (3500 participants answered the survey) are already using Artificial Intelligence in their organizations, and the technology has an anticipated YoY-growth of 53%. Moreover, 64% of these marketers agree that AI has “greatly or substantially increased their overall marketing efficiency”, and this technology is expected to grow more than any other.

“Everything will be about utilizing more technology, more data, more AI to be able to do things more efficiently,” asserts Parker Morse, founder & CEO of H Code, and member of Portada’s Agency Star Committee. “But it still needs to have people and the artistic touch of creating a creative experience that really engages the user, and machines can’t do everything. It’s about trying to find the balance between utilizing data and machines and the human element of creating the emotional connection with the user.”

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5G Networks Will Bring a Mobile Explosion

Alberto Pardo, founder & CEO of Adsmovil, is pretty certain that “The future of marketing will absolutely be focused in three or four things: first, AI is going to change the way everything is done, everything we know is going to change in the near future because of the erosion or explosion of big data. Data is going to be more and more relevant and AI is going to be a very important part of it.”

Further, the member of Portada’s Council of the Americas asserts: “Second, mobile will have an impact everywhere. It’ll explode because of the 5G networks that are coming maybe this year or the next to Latin America and of course the U.S., so this’ll have a huge impact in the way we interact with mobile devices. I think video is also going to be very relevant in terms of investment, in the advertising industry, and there’s also going to be a big change in people’s roles, what people do today is going to change dramatically in the next 5-6 years.”

Data Helps Connect to Consumers

“What’s next is actually what I like to say is ‘back to the future’,” comments Brand Star Committee member Cesar M. Melgoza, founder & CEO of Geoscape, which was acquired by Claritas at the beginning of this year. “Connecting with consumers, engaging in very relevant, impactful ways will never go out of style, the question is how you do it, through which screen, at what time of day, in which context, and what that engagement results in.”

Connecting with consumers will never go out of style, the question is how you do it.

The amount of data will grow with every passing day, but marketers will need to increase the sensitivity that is needed to interpret it and make good use of it. To be effective, you need to create an emotional connection with consumers, which is impossible without the human touch, as other executives have expressed in previous marketer interviews. AI and big data are already shaping how marketing is done, the question is not “what will happen”, but as Melgoza says, how.