Earlier this year, I collaborated with Jason Baldwin, global head of product management at WPP, on this project to describe five major trends in martech that would shape the decade ahead for agencies and brands. You can download our full paper, including many terrific interviews from WPP executives. I’m republishing it here as a 7-part series. This is part 7.
Each of these five trends in marketing technology and operations on their own will have a significant impact on the practice and profession of marketing. But combined, they will transform our industry.
The common axis of that transformation will be the astounding power that individual marketers will have at their fingertips to create, experiment, analyze, and innovate like never before.
“No code” tools to build experiences and orchestrate front-stage/back-stage workflows. Platforms, networks, and marketplaces to harness incredible diversity of software and talent. Expanding ecosystems of integrated martech products and the ability to embed intelligence and interactivity into nearly every asset that marketing creates via The Great App Explosion. Exponential growth in digital reflexes, empowered by the shift from big data to big ops. And harmonizing humans and machines with ever more advanced AI assistants.
It is the dawn of The Age of the Augmented Marketer.
Early in the previous decade, Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal claiming that software was eating the world. Indeed, software has permeated nearly every aspect of our lives and businesses.
The Age of the Augmented Marketer will see that software-eats-the-world phenomenon grow by orders of magnitude. The total number of “apps” in the world — any digital product or capability, from giant platforms to tiny micro-apps and microservices — will grow by 1,000X or more.
Software won’t just assist marketers. Software will be the clay from which marketing is created.
Software is the “star stuff” within all five of these martech trends. And it’s through the fluidity of software connected in the cloud that they feed into one another, amplifying their effects.
Yet above this panoply of software, marketers will remain firmly in control of their destiny and the outcomes of their work.
While rapidly advancing AI will accelerate or automate many tasks that marketers spend their time on today, we believe marketers will apply the time they recover toward more valuable pursuits — more meaningful time spent with customers, more creative experimentation, and more energy directed into business innovation.
By leveraging ever more sophisticated, AI-powered tools, augmented marketers will achieve new levels of creativity and productivity in crafting magical moments for customers.
It’s going to be an amazing decade in marketing: The Age of the Augmented Marketer.