The marketing technology ecosystem is about to be expanded with more emerging technologies. An interesting phenomenon, however, is that there seem to be major differences between the technologies that marketers want to use more in 2017 in the US and those which are ranked highest on the list of marketers in other countries.
If we look at non-US marketers, specifically marketers from the UK, Australia, Germany and France, the Internet of Things (IoT) takes a clear lead in the technologies marketers want to include in their marketing strategy this year (43.75% of all non-US marketers surveyed).
Second ranks virtual reality (37.5%) and third comes artificial intelligence (27%), just before predictive analytics.
US marketers want predictive analytics
In the US, however, a whopping majority of marketers says they want to include predictive analytics in their marketing strategy this year (69.55%). The Internet of Things ranks second with only 29.09% and the third spot is for machine learning with 25%. Virtual reality is in the plans of only 4.55% of US marketers.
What is even more puzzling is that a large majority of US marketers expect that consumers will be using the Internet of Things (62.73%), whereas this is only the case for 21.25% of non-US marketers!
The high attention for virtual reality (VR) by non-US marketers is more understandable as 43.75% of them anticipate that their customers will be using VR in 2017. Still, that seems like a high number to us.
Potential reasons for the regional differences
An explanation could be that marketers aren’t always aware or in the know about the exact meaning and definitions of the various technologies they could choose from in the survey, which was conducted by marketing automation vendor Marketo.
Moreover, many of these technologies are really sets of several technologies and possible applications. IoT is a clear example of this. As a lot of the respondents come from Western-Europe (except of course the Australians), the higher attention for IoT does correlate with findings on IoT spending across the globe.
As IDC found, consumer IoT spending is more important in Western-Europe, certainly in the coming years. While consumer IoT will only jump to the third spot from an IoT spend perspective in 2020, by then it will already rank second in Western-Europe. Today, consumer IoT ranks fourth globally and the main IoT industry remains manufacturing (the so-called Industry 4.0 phenomenon).
We also need to take the panel into account: the usage of the Internet of Things is, for instance, higher among retailers so, depending on the industry where the respondents come from this could explain some of the differences. Last but not least, the several technologies are clearly connected and some can’t even work without the others.
As the infographic below indicates the technologies marketers could choose from were machine learning, IoT, predictive analytics, AI, augmented reality, virtual reality and others.
Marketo states that, as marketers continue to prove demonstrable value and ROI, they cite reporting and analytics as a critical need, with 37% of everyone surveyed listing it as a top priority.