Connect with us


Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their Programs



An influencer marketing strategy involves more than an influencer and a brand.

“If you want to have robust outcomes, you need to build a relationship with the creator, immerse them in your brand and get their buy-in as a partner. That’s what it takes to produce genuine, trust-driven recommendations their audience will pay attention to,” says Jason Falls, author of Winfluence.

How do you use the tools at your disposal to do that? I asked 16 experts in influencer and content marketing. Let’s look at what they had to share.

Neal Schaffer, author, Age of Influence, says:

Socialinsider helps you analyze a pool of potential influencers once you’ve discovered them. This social media analytics tool allows you to extract public information from potential influencers’ social media accounts. You can do a deep analysis as to what content they publish, what of that content people are most engaged with, as well as publishing and engagement trends. The tool’s “tag” content feature lets you compare and contrast influencers who post similar content to understand who performs better and why.

1651578171 601 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

Jason Falls, author, Winfluence, says:

Tagger has the deep and broad filter – the first step – to driving great influencer collaborations. You can really zero in on the “right” influencers, not just a list of possibilities. Let’s say you want to find the top food influencers in San Francisco with at least 20,000 followers, who have a high percentage of their audience in Sacramento, frequently mention certain wine brands, and have an engaged audience with YouTube content. The extremely specific request can elicit a list from Tagger in a matter of seconds. With most other tools, you get halfway there and then you have to look at each individual’s content manually to go the rest of the way.

If you want to have robust outcomes, build a relationship with the #influencer, immerse them in your brand, and get their buy-in as a partner, says @JasonFalls via @SarahLParkerUK @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Its new Signals product takes it a step further. Using a social-listening strategy, you can find anyone participating in conversations about a keyword or topic and see where those conversations are happening. You can use it to identify influencers talking about the topic or just listen to the conversation among influencers to inform your content strategy, product decisions, and beyond.

1651578171 261 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

Jeanette Okwu, founder and CEO, Beyond Influence, says:

As an agency, it is crucial to work at scale and with speed. As an influencer marketer, I have demoed, tested, and worked with numerous SaaS solutions like CreatorIQ, Klear, Traackr, and a bunch of smaller ones like lefty, Dovetale, and Woomio, to name a few.

We have opted for Tagger for its massive influencer database to help us run international campaigns on all social media platforms. Its direct access to these platforms allows for best-in-class data capture, which is essential when researching influencers for integrated campaigns. We use it to set benchmarks, KPIs, and instant access to metrics and content analysis are the groundwork of what we do daily.

While there are capabilities like searching for creators based on categories and a set of demographics of their audiences that most competitors have as well, the biggest differentiator for me is their affinity engine as a standout unique selling point. But their discovery and campaign workflow are some of the most sophisticated. Another significant benefit is seeing the overlap between the influencer and a brand audience, which tremendously speeds up the decision process.

@taggermedia’s discovery and campaign workflow are some of the most sophisticated, says @jeanetteokwu via @SarahLParkerUK @CMIContent. #tools Click To Tweet

1651578171 804 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

Facebook Live + InVideo

Mari Smith, CEO, Mari Smith International, says:

My influencer tool of choice for some time now is a combination of Facebook Live video broadcasts coupled with some paid amplification and repurposing clips of the video replay for Facebook and Instagram Reels and Stories using a tool such as InVideo. (Mari is a brand ambassador for InVideo.)

InVideo has the best collaboration features of any video tool I’ve tried. It’s super easy to have multiple team members – or agency plus client – quickly create and publish professional videos.

When I team up with a brand in an ambassador/influencer capacity, I craft an end-to-end campaign that includes a highly educational Facebook Live promoted ahead of time to my own audience. And then, after the broadcast, the brand and I collaborate on paid placement to elevate the reach and results further.

1651578171 911 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

The most effective #content format across @Meta’s family of apps is unquestionably #video, says @MariSmith via @SarahLParkerUK @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Timothy Hughes, co-founder, DLA ignite, says:

Want a constant stream of leads? How about I pick you up in my car tomorrow, and I drive you to a place where I know all your prospects and customers are hanging out? Sounds great, doesn’t it? All you have to do is go up to them and have a conversation. No need to pitch – in fact, people hate that. Just have natural everyday conversations. Stay as long as you like. The more conversations you have, the more leads you get. That place is LinkedIn. It’s the best tool for anybody who wants to build authority, influence, trust, and get a constant stream of leads.

Brands have the choice to continue to ignore these conversations and keep slapping people with “brochures” from their employees or to empower their teams to have conversations on social and walk the digital corridors.

1651578171 581 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

The best tool for anybody who wants to build authority, influence, trust, and get a constant stream of leads, is @LinkedIn, says @Timothy_Hughes via @SarahLParkerUK @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Andy Crestodina, co-founder, CMO, Orbit Media, says:

LinkedIn is critical for anyone doing organic influencer marketing, especially in B2B. It’s key for every step in the process:​

  • Research and identification: Find people actively discussing any topic. You can see their credentials and topics at a glance. And if you plan to promote the content on LinkedIn, you can see their reach and engagement right there.
  • Networking and outreach: After a few thoughtful comments, mentions, and shares, they’re likely to accept your connection invitation, giving you implicit permission to message them. It’s an excellent place to start a conversation, which is the first step toward a pitch to collaborate.
  • Co-promotion: If the influencer promotion plan has a LinkedIn component, you’re already there. Once the co-created content is live, you can post a quick promotional video with a mention or even host a live conversation. And the engagement on LinkedIn is generally much higher than on Twitter or Facebook.

The LinkedIn platform checks all the boxes for the B2B influencer marketer. I don’t know how to do organic influencer marketing without it.

Although you may not think of it as a tool, @LinkedIn is critical for anyone doing organic #InfluencerMarketing, especially in #B2B, says @Crestodina via @SarahLParkerUK @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

1651578171 486 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

Ashley Faus, content strategy lead, software teams, Atlassian, says:

Employees are the new influencers. The Edelman Trust Barometer shows trust in institutional and formal authorities has been declining for a decade, but people trust people like themselves and technical experts the most. That’s where your employees shine. But it’s hard to track the traditional metrics like reach and engagement for tens or hundreds of individual profiles.

Enter Shield. It allows employees to connect their LinkedIn accounts to a dashboard, so you can see actual reach and engagement over time. It helps your company partner with employees to know which content is resonating with your audience, report high-level reach and engagement trends (plus growth) to leadership, and helps you show the symbiotic relationship between personal profiles and company pages.

1651578171 609 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

Aaron Orendorff, vice president of marketing, Common Thread Collective, says:

Influencer marketing takes time. And sometimes, the “simplest” step of getting your product to an influencer is the hardest part. It’s even harder at scale.

You must collect addresses, sizes, etc. Then you might have to package the product yourself or contact your third-party logistics to flag that order. Or you might go into your Shopify store and create a zeroed-out order. All of which takes time.

The Kynship app lets you significantly speed up this process. It creates orders in no time by efficiently sending multiple products to multiple influencers in a matter of a few clicks. Other competitors offer seeding components, but they require the influencer to use their time to submit what they want, when they want it, and where to send it. The Kynship app puts control in the brands’ hands, giving you the ability to control the timing of campaigns and the quality of relationships.

1651578171 663 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

Jessi Sanfilippo, Founder, Roadie Socia​​​​​​​l, says:

What sets GRIN apart from influencer marketing tools is the deep look at the engagement rates and validity of the influencers’ followings and specifically bots and demographics.

Those two features were critical in projecting outcomes when I worked at a women’s wellness startup. We needed to partner with influencers who had highly engaged, primarily female communities. If you’ve been on the brand or agency side of influencer marketing, you’ve seen a lot of creators or their reps who send media kits with inflated numbers. GRIN really felt like a team member doing the heavy lifting to be sure we would be spending our modest budget effectively and coming as close as possible to the impact and revenue we were expecting.

1651578171 266 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

Katie Stoller, head of influencer marketing, Fiat Growth, says:

I’ve used over 15 tools, and my favorite in terms of execution flow and efficiency is Activate. I used it before Impact acquired it, but the acquisition led to a strong focus on conversion tracking. That is important as we serve fintech companies that aren’t selling tangible products, so there is no e-commerce tracking available. We rely heavily on link tracking across the customer journey (app downloads, email sign-ups, and subscription sign-ups). Many of our clients use Impact for their affiliate marketing and strategic partnership programs. Being able to include influencer marketing in the mix is incredibly helpful.

Activate has great features that allow you to propose and negotiate in the tool. It also allows you to capture individual Instagram story frames and download them with their related metrics. Activate also seems to shave time off managing programs, especially when working with more than five influencers at one time.

1651578171 153 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

Michael Brito, global head of analytics, Zeno Group, says:

Most of the 40-plus tools in the influencer marketing space offer little to no value for B2B and enterprise technology companies, except for Onalytica. Its discovery module allows marketers to combine bio and content searches. They have also created a robust taxonomy that can segment influencers by industry, job function, vertical, etc.

Users can analyze influencer conversations and engagement. It’s similar to a social listening platform but only listens to the influencers within a project. This is critical for B2B influencer marketing programs. Also, Onalytica is one of the first to launch a B2B marketplace that connects tech influencers with B2B brands.

1651578171 134 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

@Onalytica is one of the first companies to launch a #B2B marketplace that connects tech #influencers with B2B brands, says @Britopian via @SarahLParkerUK @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Crystal Duncan, senior vice president and head of influencer marketing, Tinuiti, says:

In my 15 years in the influencer marketing industry, I have found there isn’t one tool that does it all perfectly for every brand or agency. I always recommend doing the research, having an understanding of what your budget is, and weighing the benefits of the tool, which will make your day-to-day easier.

One of my favorite tools is, as it has tracking capabilities to help showcase sales data from influencer content. Understanding how influencers are impacting the bottom line is hugely important for our clients and campaigns.

1651578171 749 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

Tom Augenthaler, founder, 551 Media and The Influence Marketer, says:

Finding influencers is one thing but vetting their followers to make sure they are legit is another. With many wannabe influencers buying fake followers to look impressive, it’s imperative to know the makeup of their audience, including a breakdown of real people, mass followers, fake followers, suspicious accounts, and other influencers.

That’s when I turn to HypeAuditor. The robust influencer marketing tool can be used to find influencers, track campaigns, competitors, and identify trends. I rely on it to assess the veracity of an influencer’s audience. I really appreciate the charts measuring follower growth over time, so you can see spikes in new followers as well as drop-offs. Spikes in growth sometimes indicate the purchase of followers. Another plus is that you can download PDF versions of the influencer reports. Right now, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are covered by HypeAuditor, but I expect they will add more social platforms moving forward.

Use @HypeAuditor to check that your influencers’ followers are genuine, says @taugenthaler via @SarahLParkerUK @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

1651578171 88 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their


Lenox Powell, content director, Semrush, says:

BuzzGuru brings ease, simplicity, and transparency to the process of finding compatible influencers. It rolls influencer discovery, analysis, and competitive intelligence into one app. Specifically, it gives valuable insight and analytics on influencers’ performance across multiple platforms (YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, and TikTok), so you can find partners who best align with your marketing needs.

Among its top three benefits – streamlined search, global selection, and competitor and industry insights. Its database of over 21 million influencers has met strong authenticity and performance criteria. Advanced filter combinations and search features (keywords, video mentions, etc.) make it possible to find influencers whose audience aligns with your target audience.

In addition to filtering your search by platform, ad mentions, advertising budget, etc., you can refine by broadcast language and country. You also can search competitors, market leaders, and others in your industry to see if they’re working with influencers. You can see who they’re partnering with, the types of campaigns they are running, their budget, and the influencer’s performance.

1651578171 688 Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

Clint Mally, content marketing educator,

Use your YouTube channel, podcast, or other platform as the reason to connect with influencers in your target industry. I recently created a YouTube video, podcast, and article from a one-hour conversation with Andy Crestodina.

Then, I used SparkToro to find other influencers who have some connection to Andy and are more likely to say yes since Andy had worked with me earlier. I found influencers who could contribute quotes under the social section, future collaborators under the podcasts and YouTube section, and influencers to pitch for guest blog submissions under the website’s section.

Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their

I was also able to connect with people like Ann Handley, Rand Fishkin, and Mike Stelzner who might never have talked to me otherwise. All you need is for one person to say yes to make this work.

Finding what’s right for your program

Jessy Grossman founded the networking organization Women in Influencer Marketing. She’s seen over a dozen of the most popular tools demonstrated in their virtual event – The Best in Influencer Tech.

“There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for anyone. The pricing varies wildly, she says. “The ideal is that they’d all come together to provide one suite of tools. Since that’s highly unlikely, I suggest that – if the budget allows – to use a few of them to mix and match.”

Want to learn how to balance, manage, and scale great content experiences across all your essential platforms and channels? Join us at ContentTECH Summit (May 31-June 2) in San Diego. Browse the schedule or register today. Use the code BLOG100 to save $100.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat



Building Customer Trust: Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat

Addressing customer issues quickly is not merely a strategy to distinguish your brand; it’s an imperative for survival in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace.

Customer frustration can lead to customer churn. That’s precisely why organizations employ various support methods to ensure clients receive timely and adequate assistance whenever they require it.

Nevertheless, selecting the most suitable support channel isn’t always straightforward. Support teams often grapple with the choice between live chat and chatbots.

The automation landscape has transformed how businesses engage with customers, elevating chatbots as a widely embraced support solution. As more companies embrace technology to enhance their customer service, the debate over the credibility of chatbots versus live chat support has gained prominence.

However, customizable chatbot continue to offer a broader scope for personalization and creating their own chatbots.

In this article, we will delve into the world of customer support, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of both chatbots and live chat and how they can influence customer trust. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of which option may be the best fit for your business.

The Rise of Chatbots

Chatbots have become increasingly prevalent in customer support due to their ability to provide instant responses and cost-effective solutions. These automated systems use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to engage with customers in real-time, making them a valuable resource for businesses looking to streamline their customer service operations.

Advantages of Chatbots

24/7 Availability

One of the most significant advantages of custom chatbots is their round-the-clock availability. They can respond to customer inquiries at any time, ensuring that customers receive support even outside regular business hours.


Custom Chatbots provide consistent responses to frequently asked questions, eliminating the risk of human error or inconsistency in service quality.


Implementing chatbots can reduce operational costs by automating routine inquiries and allowing human agents to focus on more complex issues.


Chatbots can handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously, making them highly scalable as your business grows.

Disadvantages of Chatbots

Limited Understanding

Chatbots may struggle to understand complex or nuanced inquiries, leading to frustration for customers seeking detailed information or support.

Lack of Empathy

Chatbots lack the emotional intelligence and empathy that human agents can provide, making them less suitable for handling sensitive or emotionally charged issues.

Initial Setup Costs

Developing and implementing chatbot technology can be costly, especially for small businesses.

The Role of Live Chat Support

Live chat support, on the other hand, involves real human agents who engage with customers in real-time through text-based conversations. While it may not offer the same level of automation as custom chatbots, live chat support excels in areas where human interaction and empathy are crucial.

Advantages of Live Chat

Human Touch

Live chat support provides a personal touch that chatbots cannot replicate. Human agents can empathize with customers, building a stronger emotional connection.

Complex Issues

For inquiries that require a nuanced understanding or involve complex problem-solving, human agents are better equipped to provide in-depth assistance.

Trust Building

Customers often trust human agents more readily, especially when dealing with sensitive matters or making important decisions.


Human agents can adapt to various customer personalities and communication styles, ensuring a positive experience for diverse customers.

Disadvantages of Live Chat

Limited Availability

Live chat support operates within specified business hours, which may not align with all customer needs, potentially leading to frustration.

Response Time

The speed of response in live chat support can vary depending on agent availability and workload, leading to potential delays in customer assistance.


Maintaining a live chat support team with trained agents can be expensive, especially for smaller businesses strategically.

Building Customer Trust: The Credibility Factor

When it comes to building customer trust, credibility is paramount. Customers want to feel that they are dealing with a reliable and knowledgeable source. Both customziable chatbots and live chat support can contribute to credibility, but their effectiveness varies in different contexts.

Building Trust with Chatbots

Chatbots can build trust in various ways:


Chatbots provide consistent responses, ensuring that customers receive accurate information every time they interact with them.

Quick Responses

Chatbots offer instant responses, which can convey a sense of efficiency and attentiveness.

Data Security

Chatbots can assure customers of their data security through automated privacy policies and compliance statements.

However, custom chatbots may face credibility challenges when dealing with complex issues or highly emotional situations. In such cases, the lack of human empathy and understanding can hinder trust-building efforts.

Building Trust with Live Chat Support

Live chat support, with its human touch, excels at building trust in several ways:


Human agents can show empathy by actively listening to customers’ concerns and providing emotional support.

Tailored Solutions

Live chat agents can tailor solutions to individual customer needs, demonstrating a commitment to solving their problems.


Human agents can adapt to changing customer requirements, ensuring a personalized and satisfying experience.

However, live chat support’s limitations, such as availability and potential response times, can sometimes hinder trust-building efforts, especially when customers require immediate assistance.

Finding the Right Balance

The choice between custom chatbots and live chat support is not always binary. Many businesses find success by integrating both options strategically:

Initial Interaction

Use chatbots for initial inquiries, providing quick responses, and gathering essential information. This frees up human agents to handle more complex cases.

Escalation to Live Chat

Implement a seamless escalation process from custom chatbots to live chat support when customer inquiries require a higher level of expertise or personal interaction.

Continuous Improvement

Regularly analyze customer interactions and feedback to refine your custom chatbot’s responses and improve the overall support experience.


In the quest to build customer trust, both chatbots and live chat support have their roles to play. Customizable Chatbots offer efficiency, consistency, and round-the-clock availability, while live chat support provides the human touch, empathy, and adaptability. The key is to strike the right balance, leveraging the strengths of each to create a credible and trustworthy customer support experience. By understanding the unique advantages and disadvantages of both options, businesses can make informed decisions to enhance customer trust and satisfaction in the digital era.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


The Rise in Retail Media Networks



A shopping cart holding the Amazon logo to represent the rise in retail media network advertising.

As LL Cool J might say, “Don’t call it a comeback. It’s been here for years.”

Paid advertising is alive and growing faster in different forms than any other marketing method.

Magna, a media research firm, and GroupM, a media agency, wrapped the year with their ad industry predictions – expect big growth for digital advertising in 2024, especially with the pending US presidential political season.

But the bigger, more unexpected news comes from the rise in retail media networks – a relative newcomer in the industry.

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain how these trends could affect marketers or keep reading for his thoughts:

GroupM expects digital advertising revenue in 2023 to conclude with a 5.8% or $889 billion increase – excluding political advertising. Magna believes ad revenue will tick up 5.5% this year and jump 7.2% in 2024. GroupM and Zenith say 2024 will see a more modest 4.8% growth.

Robert says that the feeling of an ad slump and other predictions of advertising’s demise in the modern economy don’t seem to be coming to pass, as paid advertising not only survived 2023 but will thrive in 2024.

What’s a retail media network?

On to the bigger news – the rise of retail media networks. Retail media networks, the smallest segment in these agencies’ and research firms’ evaluation, will be one of the fastest-growing and truly important digital advertising formats in 2024.

GroupM suggests the $119 billion expected to be spent in the networks this year and should grow by a whopping 8.3% in the coming year.  Magna estimates $124 billion in ad revenue from retail media networks this year.

“Think about this for a moment. Retail media is now almost a quarter of the total spent on search advertising outside of China,” Robert points out.

You’re not alone if you aren’t familiar with retail media networks. A familiar vernacular in the B2C world, especially the consumer-packaged goods industry, retail media networks are an advertising segment you should now pay attention to.

Retail media networks are advertising platforms within the retailer’s network. It’s search advertising on retailers’ online stores. So, for example, if you spend money to advertise against product keywords on Amazon, Walmart, or Instacart, you use a retail media network.

But these ad-buying networks also exist on other digital media properties, from mini-sites to videos to content marketing hubs. They also exist on location through interactive kiosks and in-store screens. New formats are rising every day.

Retail media networks make sense. Retailers take advantage of their knowledge of customers, where and why they shop, and present offers and content relevant to their interests. The retailer uses their content as a media company would, knowing their customers trust them to provide valuable information.

Think about these 2 things in 2024

That brings Robert to two things he wants you to consider for 2024 and beyond. The first is a question: Why should you consider retail media networks for your products or services?   

Advertising works because it connects to the idea of a brand. Retail media networks work deep into the buyer’s journey. They use the consumer’s presence in a store (online or brick-and-mortar) to cross-sell merchandise or become the chosen provider.

For example, Robert might advertise his Content Marketing Strategy book on Amazon’s retail network because he knows his customers seek business books. When they search for “content marketing,” his book would appear first.

However, retail media networks also work well because they create a brand halo effect. Robert might buy an ad for his book in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal because he knows their readers view those media outlets as reputable sources of information. He gains some trust by connecting his book to their media properties.

Smart marketing teams will recognize the power of the halo effect and create brand-level experiences on retail media networks. They will do so not because they seek an immediate customer but because they can connect their brand content experience to a trusted media network like Amazon, Nordstrom, eBay, etc.

The second thing Robert wants you to think about relates to the B2B opportunity. More retail media network opportunities for B2B brands are coming.

You can already buy into content syndication networks such as Netline, Business2Community, and others. But given the astronomical growth, for example, of Amazon’s B2B marketplace ($35 billion in 2023), Robert expects a similar trend of retail media networks to emerge on these types of platforms.   

“If I were Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, HubSpot, or any brand with big content platforms, I’d look to monetize them by selling paid sponsorship of content (as advertising or sponsored content) on them,” Robert says.

As you think about creative ways to use your paid advertising spend, consider the retail media networks in 2024.

Like what you read here? Get yourself a subscription to daily or weekly updates.  It’s free – and you can change your preferences or unsubscribe anytime.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


AI driving an exponential increase in marketing technology solutions



AI driving an exponential increase in marketing technology solutions

The martech landscape is expanding and AI is the prime driving force. That’s the topline news from the “Martech 2024” report released today. And, while that will get the headline, the report contains much more.

Since the release of the most recent Martech Landscape in May 2023, 2,042 new marketing technology tools have surfaced, bringing the total to 13,080 — an 18.5% increase. Of those, 1,498 (73%) were AI-based. 

Screenshot 2023 12 05 110428 800x553

“But where did it land?” said Frans Riemersma of Martech Tribe during a joint video conference call with Scott Brinker of ChiefMartec and HubSpot. “And the usual suspect, of course, is content. But the truth is you can build an empire with all the genAI that has been surfacing — and by an empire, I mean, of course, a business.”

Content tools accounted for 34% of all the new AI tools, far ahead of video, the second-place category, which had only 4.85%. U.S. companies were responsible for 61% of these tools — not surprising given that most of the generative AI dynamos, like OpenAI, are based here. Next up was the U.K. at 5.7%, but third place was a big surprise: Iceland — with a population of 373,000 — launched 4.6% of all AI martech tools. That’s significantly ahead of fourth place India (3.5%), whose population is 1.4 billion and which has a significant tech industry. 

Dig deeper: 3 ways email marketers should actually use AI

The global development of these tools shows the desire for solutions that natively understand the place they are being used. 

“These regional products in their particular country…they’re fantastic,” said Brinker. “They’re loved, and part of it is because they understand the culture, they’ve got the right thing in the language, the support is in that language.”

Now that we’ve looked at the headline stuff, let’s take a deep dive into the fascinating body of the report.

The report: A deeper dive

Marketing technology “is a study in contradictions,” according to Brinker and Riemersma. 

In the new report they embrace these contradictions, telling readers that, while they support “discipline and fiscal responsibility” in martech management, failure to innovate might mean “missing out on opportunities for competitive advantage.” By all means, edit your stack meticulously to ensure it meets business value use cases — but sure, spend 5-10% of your time playing with “cool” new tools that don’t yet have a use case. That seems like a lot of time.

Similarly, while you mustn’t be “carried away” by new technology hype cycles, you mustn’t ignore them either. You need to make “deliberate choices” in the realm of technological change, but be agile about implementing them. Be excited by martech innovation, in other words, but be sensible about it.

The growing landscape

Consolidation for the martech space is not in sight, Brinker and Riemersma say. Despite many mergers and acquisitions, and a steadily increasing number of bankruptcies and dissolutions, the exponentially increasing launch of new start-ups powers continuing growth.

It should be observed, of course, that this is almost entirely a cloud-based, subscription-based commercial space. To launch a martech start-up doesn’t require manufacturing, storage and distribution capabilities, or necessarily a workforce; it just requires uploading an app to the cloud. That is surely one reason new start-ups appear at such a startling rate. 

Dig deeper: AI ad spending has skyrocketed this year

As the authors admit, “(i)f we measure by revenue and/or install base, the graph of all martech companies is a ‘long tail’ distribution.” What’s more, focus on the 200 or so leading companies in the space and consolidation can certainly be seen.

Long-tail tools are certainly not under-utilized, however. Based on a survey of over 1,000 real-world stacks, the report finds long-tail tools constitute about half of the solutions portfolios — a proportion that has remained fairly consistent since 2017. The authors see long-tail adoption where users perceive feature gaps — or subpar feature performance — in their core solutions.

Composability and aggregation

The other two trends covered in detail in the report are composability and aggregation. In brief, a composable view of a martech stack means seeing it as a collection of features and functions rather than a collection of software products. A composable “architecture” is one where apps, workflows, customer experiences, etc., are developed using features of multiple products to serve a specific use case.

Indeed, some martech vendors are now describing their own offerings as composable, meaning that their proprietary features are designed to be used in tandem with third-party solutions that integrate with them. This is an evolution of the core-suite-plus-app-marketplace framework.

That framework is what Brinker and Riemersma refer to as “vertical aggregation.” “Horizontal aggregation,” they write, is “a newer model” where aggregation of software is seen not around certain business functions (marketing, sales, etc.) but around a layer of the tech stack. An obvious example is the data layer, fed from numerous sources and consumed by a range of applications. They correctly observe that this has been an important trend over the past year.

Build it yourself

Finally, and consistent with Brinker’s long-time advocacy for the citizen developer, the report detects a nascent trend towards teams creating their own software — a trend that will doubtless be accelerated by support from AI.

So far, the apps that are being created internally may be no more than “simple workflows and automations.” But come the day that app development is so democratized that it will be available to a wide range of users, the software will be a “reflection of the way they want their company to operate and the experiences they want to deliver to customers. This will be a powerful dimension for competitive advantage.”

Constantine von Hoffman contributed to this report.

Get MarTech! Daily. Free. In your inbox.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading