MarTech in 2023: What caught CMOs’ attention?

With MarTech making great strides, Generative AI, Machine Learning, Customer Data Platforms and Voice Search were some of the topics that kept marketing heads busy this year. We explore why

by Team PITCH
Published - November 30, 2023
5 minutes To Read
MarTech in 2023: What caught CMOs’ attention?

Picture a world where AI doesn't just predict consumer behaviour but almost reads minds; where the metaverse ceased to be a concept confined to sci-fi and became the next frontier for brand immersion or machine learning isn’t just an algorithmic tool but a strategic advisor. This is the world we live in today, the world that marketers are also navigating and learning, with every step they take.

In this rapidly evolving landscape, the MarTech toolkit has emerged not as a choice but as a lifeline for CMOs navigating the choppy seas of consumer expectations, digital transformation and the pursuit of relevance.

As the curtains draw on 2023, it’s evident that the year wasn’t just a chapter in the annals of marketing history; it was a paradigm shift, a turning point where CMOs weren’t just observers but pioneers steering the ship into uncharted territories.

The MarTech trends that defined this year were somewhat foundational pillars shaping the future of marketing — where buzzwords like data and AI converged to redefine not just how one markets, but how they connect and experience brands in an increasingly digitised world.

AI: Beyond Prediction to Personalization

Speaking of AI (one last time this year hopefully!) Ruchika Malhan Varma, Chief Marketing Officer of Future Generali India Insurance Company shares that with the boom that it saw in 2023, AI has propelled insurers into a new era of personalised marketing. “With AI algorithms, we are now able to analyse customer data with unprecedented precision, delivering content, offers, and recommendations that are tailored to the customer. In 2023, AI showed us that it is time to bid farewell to the traditional one-size-fits-all approach,” she said.

Shubhranshu Singh, Chief Marketing Officer, Tata Motors agrees that 2023 indeed was a year that saw marketers harnessing the power of AI and Machine Learning in marketing automation, ushering in a new era of precision and personalization.

“Generative AI tools have enabled more agility, innovation and effectiveness for marketers and it's just the beginning as its full potential will unfold with time,” added Sumeet Singh, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Info Edge.

Marketing expert Samriddh Dasupta who was formerly the CMO of Heads Up For Tails shared that this was also a year that saw Machine Learning grow. ML-enabled consumer cohort creation is a trend that he noticed this year. “It is super useful to have sharp cohorts segmented through unified data across browsing behaviour,” Dasgupta said.

AI/ML was not all though.

Resilience of Customer Data Platforms

When one speaks of MarTech, one cannot help but explore the concept of Customer Data Platforms aka CDPs. CDPs have been around for quite some time now. They might be old in the game, but not forgotten as yet.

CMOs are still heavily relying on CDPs as a MarTech tool, and they feel that with every passing year, the importance of CDPs is just on the rise.

Varma says that sifting through the huge amount of customer data spread across various touchpoints is a challenge. “However, unified platforms offer a streamlined solution for data collection and management. Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) is a powerful asset as it creates a unified customer profile, offering a centralized hub for comprehensive customer insights, which help elevate targeting strategies,” she added.

Sumeet says that the growth of customer data platforms and their adoption by companies are enabling more data-based marketing decisions which are headed in the right direction.

Voice Search: The Conversation Shift

Another trend that picked pace this year was Voice Search. It emerged as a formidable force in 2023, transcending novelty to become an integral part of consumer behaviour.

With smart speakers and voice-activated assistants seamlessly integrating into our daily lives, CMOs recognized the need to optimise their strategies for voice-based interactions. This shift wasn’t merely about adapting keywords; it was about understanding the nuances of conversational queries and tailoring content to suit these interactions.

Speaking about the shift from traditional PPC to visual and voice search, Aabhinna Suresh Khare, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer & Head of Strategy at Bajaj Capital said that there’s an observable shift in priorities, with increased emphasis on visual and voice search technologies.

Dasgupta added that now more voice search is being solved for, especially with vernacular languages and Indic keyboard dependencies going up.

Other MarTech Horizons

Among other key MarTech trends that the marketers caught this year are the rise of Augmented and Virtual Reality, Conversational Marketing using chatbots and marketing automation tools becoming more mature through deeper and richer data sets, allowing marketers to create sharper journeys in real-time.

Varma shared that AR/VR technologies have helped FGII in customer engagement. “The immersive experiences through virtual try-ons, interactive AR ads, and VR-based brand storytelling have completely redefined our engagement strategies,” she mentioned.

Shubhranshu believes that as we embrace the future, MarTech will not only adapt but lead the charge, offering a synergy of technological advancements and human insights. “It is not merely about tools; it's the coming together of customer-centric ecosystems, enabling narratives that resonate across diverse touchpoints,” he said.

According to Sumeet, the lines between marketing and technology are becoming thin and marketers are evolving as marketing technologists.