The biggest problem with year-end reviews is that, at least in marketing technology, a year can be a lifetime.
So, to give you a head start on digesting this year of turmoil, here’s a half-time review of this year’s biggest trends. As of midsummer, I see four big buckets of trends-in-progress: Intelligence, Transparency, The Experience and Going Beyond Computers.
Not only is every tool and platform getting way smarter, it’s almost at the point where this new level of smartness isn’t news anymore.
Almost every self-respecting vendor is adding artificial intelligence (AI) to its resume these days, largely built around machine learning’s pattern recognition and predictive analytics’ projection of those patterns into the future.
IBM’s Watson is one of the AI implementations that is extending that smartness into advanced cognition in an increasingly wider sphere of implementations for the “Jeopardy” winner. Just in recent months, for instance, he’s tackled such tasks as intelligent ads for cars, bot integration with live agents and tax prep.
AI has become a key layer in major marketing platforms in recent months, such as Salesforce’s Einstein or Adobe’s Sensei. Dozens of smaller companies have similarly launched or enhanced their AI in the first half of this year, including — to mention a few — Absolutdata, ContentSquare, PaveAI, Stackla, Blueshift, Datorama, Pegasystems and Post Intelligence.
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