How next generation marketing technology helps make meaningful human connections and lasting engagements | DMA

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How next generation marketing technology helps make meaningful human connections and lasting engagements


The late Apple founder Steve Jobs once said: “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.” Yet for many brands the pace of technological change leads to bolting on, buying in or building disparate advertising and marketing technologies and stacks across their businesses. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates existing silos between customer acquisition and customer marketing.

Next generation marketing is the convergence of marketing and advertising technology into a customer-centric ecosystem. This new environment uses data and artificial intelligence (AI) to personalize engagement at every stage of the customer journey, from brand awareness and customer acquisition to customer marketing and brand loyalty.

That promises to be a game-changer for brands, because delivers personalised and orchestrated engagement – at scale and across all channels. Previously, such an ambition would have been expensive, unwieldy and overwhelmingly manual. However, today’s technology can deliver consistent messaging and experience to every customer interaction at every touch point.

The evolution from customer experience to customer engagement

Customer experience has been the watch-word of the past few years, with digital transformation at the heart of many brands. Yet such projects prove unwieldy, taking months or even years to complete, involve many different organisational units.

Modern marketers understand that customer engagement, rather than customer experience, is key, and evolving technology helps generate personalised communications that cut digital waste. Next-gen tech should be something marketers easily own and justify in terms of return on investment.

Using the right channel at the right time with the right message

Customer engagement is now a context driven experience. Yet, with so many delivery channels, marketers face a growing challenge – how to deliver the right message at the right time through the right channel. According to a recent report by Atlas, 84% of marketers feel hat a comprehensive cross-device strategy is essential for success, though only 20% feel very confident they are serving the right message on the right device. A survey, undertaken by Forrester Consulting in 2016, showed that even as marketers rush to adopt cross-device solutions, their evaluation criteria are often unclear.

That lack of clarity is exacerbated by the way many businesses are organized. Not only are teams physically separate, but their data spread across different platforms and vendors, with separate and disparate budgets, strategies and key performance indicators.

Next generation marketing technology should bring customer acquisition and customer marketing together.

Owning the data agenda

Brands must leverage all their data to understand customers and prospects. Traditionally, on the acquisition side, data sat with agencies, whereas with CRM, data sits locked in that division. However, in many organisations it is also a case of who actually owns – or has access to – data.

Many software vendors have little incentive to make data portable – their commercial model often depends on locking-in companies and being able to upsell licenses, services and products. Yet by bringing an organisation’s data together, it enables brands to build 360-degree profiles to target with the right proposition. And with access to real-time information, brands more quickly attract new customers and interact with them via email, mobile push or another channel.

Owning and using data helps marketers foresee customer behaviour patterns and calculate lifetime values, while look-alike modelling will ensure brands can identify who their most valuable customers are.

GDPR and drivers for the next generation marketing technology

The new Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) makes it a mandatory requirement for marketers to execute their marketing and overall customer engagement in a more transparent manner.

However, today’s customer is in control and should understand their value from a data perspective. They act, interact and react online and over mobile and social platforms, as well as in the physical world, while technologies such as the Internet of Things threaten to bring more fragmentation and data possibilities. To the customer, there is little difference if they are being approached by the CRM team, customer services or sales – or whether they are searching on mobile, tablet or PC – they see the brand at large, but they do care about brand interactions.

Rapid digital evolution over the past decade fundamentally changed the way customers interact with brands. Yet, while an ‘always on’ culture is a reality, many brands are still more 9 to 5 rather than 24/7. In this ‘Age of the Customer,’ marketing departments adjust their messaging strategies, but many have done so by building on legacy structures that exacerbate the problem.

This is where the next generation marketing technology comes in. Such technology enables brands to leverage all data sources to understand customers’ behaviours in hyper colour.

Evolution, not revolution

The future of marketing needs to be evolution, not revolution, and technology should be centred on giving marketers the access to data that drives initiatives forward. It’s about breaking the organisational silos and building a digital skillset across the marketing team.

A single technology that enables brands to leverage all its data sources, understand customers’ behaviours and orchestrates personalised customer engagement. The evolution from experience to engagement, from content to context.

Any brand that wants to survive – and thrive – in the digital age must fully utilise its existing technology and customer data, digitalise its marketing strategies, close the digital skills gap. By doing so, marketers help deliver well timed, relevant and intelligent messages, making for meaningful and lasting engagement with the people that matter – their customers.

Now is the time for brands to deliver on promise and potential. Next generation technology can help us all make meaningful human connections and lasting engagements.

Omar Janabi is Senior Director of Marketing at Mapp Digital. Mapp Digital is one of the largest, global independent marketing technology companies. Our Customer Engagement Platform, with integrated Data Management Platform and customer-centric services assist mid-market and Fortune 500 companies maximize return from digital marketing executions.

Follow us @Mapp_Digital, or visit us at

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