After all the havoc wrought by COVID in 2020 and 2021, we all thought things would settle down at least a bit in 2022. But 2022 said, “Here, hold my beer!” and proceeded to wreak its own havoc. From political issues – local, national and global – to an uncertain economy, along with changes and continued advancements in technology, 2022 was quite a ride.
A major issue last year, of particular interest to marketers, was the rapid rise of AI, most notably the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Unless you’ve been under a rock or hiding in a cave for the past few months (that actually sounds kind of good, doesn’t it?), you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with ChatGPT and its potential for creating written content.
Here are three MarTech trends to look for in 2023:
- The changing role(s) of AI. While AI has been around for a while, it has primarily been used for automation purposes, such as workload and processes, chatbots, analytical models for performance and detection of patterns in system and operational data. These are all mainly back office uses. But as the natural language processing functions of AI improve, there will be more uses on the customer side for experience improvement, such as voice and visual recognition for point of sale. As AI advances, it may be used to guide customers along the conversion path rather than pushing them down a path already determined by a brand.
- Privacy, security and data governance. As data privacy laws began to come into effect a few years ago, companies have had to work hard to be in compliance. Other factors, such as the sundowning of third-party cookies, have had an impact as well. Companies are now relying on zero-party and first-party data strategies for data collection. New solutions for dealing with second-party data are coming online, such as data clean rooms, data networks and data exchanges, but work is necessary to use the strategies – data must be masked, encrypted, transferred and secured before it can be transmitted. All this requires proper data governance.
- The dawn of the metaverse. The metaverse is a “new toy” that many companies are still figuring out. For those companies that are ready to dive in to the metaverse, they will be considering factors such as:
- The integrations necessary across the various perspectives – data, technology, decision-making and content
- Necessary innovations for data collection, analytics and automation
- Building customer trust in your metaverse as part of the branding mix, so that customers will perceive communications as authentic and transparent.
Even as you embrace any or all of these trends and start to feel comfortable with them, just remember: Never get complacent. Technology will continue to evolve and change, and you need to be able to pivot and change along with it.