MarTech companies have been focusing on incorporating datasets outside of traditional marketing data to create a more robust identity of a target consumer. With the rapid evolution of MarTech this past year with blockchain, AI and machine learning—what’s next?

2018 has been an exponential year of evolution for MarTech. Blockchain, AI, and machine learning have enabled MarTech to process and make sense of more data than ever before. On a high level, MarTech companies have been focusing on incorporating datasets outside of traditional marketing data to create a more robust identification of a target consumer from web, call centers, point of sale, social, television, and print.This expanded reach into 360-degree persona identification has evolved further by combining this data with DMP data to create look-alikes capture real-time online behavior, and purchase media against it. Lastly, MarTech has incorporated data from internal customer data platforms to manage the entire sales cycle to include post-sales analytics to increase customer retention rates.

So where does MarTech go from here in 2019? Culture.

Tackling this aspect of human behavior sounds daunting but 2018 has shown us the power of culture marketing. From Black Panther, the top-grossing movies this year, to Nike’s stock-busting Colin Kaepernick campaign, 2018 has been a turning point in highlighting the power of culture marketing. Understanding what is happening from both a cultural zeitgeist perspective and what resonates with a particular group of people is the holy grail of MarTech and it is right around the corner.

Here’s how we get there in 2019:

1. Data Representation. In order to get at what will resonate on a cultural level for consumers, MarTech will need to focus on representing the diverse spectrum of consumers in the U.S. Hispanic, African-American, Asian, and LGBTQ consumers are not always represented in the datasets MarTech traditionally relies on. Focusing on data representation is a critical first step in codifying culture from a MarTech perspective.

2. Cultural Segmentation. Much of the segmentation MarTech currently focuses on is intent and purchase driven. While this makes sense, as the ultimate goal of MarTech is to increase sales and awareness, this year also taught us the power of culture marketing. Focusing on cultural segmentation in addition to the intent and purchase segmentation can enable MarTech to predict, and even seed, cultural marketing campaigns that will help drive the deep brand affinity we have seen work in 2018 on a more regular basis.

3. Behavioral Tracking. As Facebook and other tech giants begin to tighten their third-party data access policies it will be critical for MarTech to begin to focus on generating its own behavioral data from mobile and website platforms. Many companies are tackling this issue from different angles and incorporating smaller scale solutions to help bridge the gap Facebook and other tech giants have left in the data marketplace.

Codifying culture is not an easy task and we will likely never get there, however, beginning to understand the importance of cultural marketing and its role in creating successful marketing campaigns is critical to the evolution of MarTech in 2019.

Are you up for the task?

This blog post was originally published on MarTech Advisor