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3 Marketing Technologies We’re Actually Excited About in 2021

December 04, 2020  /  by  Maggie Stankiewicz

Before we get started with our look ahead at marketing tech for 2021, we have to address the elephant in the room. If you’re familiar with our content, then you know that we’ve experienced the worldwide phenomenon known as MarTech Overload  in the past. We recognize it. We own it. Marketing technology has boomed in the past few years, with the release of new tools, algorithms, and with them, novel challenges.

Some of these tools and technologies just aren’t worth the investment – but many of them are. That’s what we’re here to talk about. The marketing technology and updates that we’re really excited about. The ones that reduce complexities and help businesses drive results. Let’s jump right in.

#1: Getting to Know Google Analytics 4

Technically, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is already out – but we won’t get to see the full spectrum of what it can do until 2021. This Google Analytics upgrade uses Firebase Analytics on the backend to reduce time spent on the collection and aggregation of data based on an event-driven data model. This is good news for analysts, marketers and developers, as it solves problems with metrics associated with page views, sessions, bounce rates and more on sites that run both long and slow processes.

“GA4 gives much clearer insights, provides easier ways to set up tracking and attribution, the data is cleaner and it takes into account all privacy policies affecting your users.”- Natalie Lane, CMO of Roger West on why she loves GA4.

GA4 comes with loads of new features that will make the inevitably rocky transition process from previous Google Analytics versions worth it. Features like:

  • Better Engagement Metrics: GA4 retired bounce rates. That metric is out there in the world playing bocce ball or visiting its grandkids in an RV. The role has now been filled with several new metrics including engagement rate (engaged sessions/session), engaged sessions per user (engaged sessions/users), and engagement time (sum(engagement time)).  So, if your bounce rate used to be 75%, your new engagement rate must be at least 25% because an engagement rate is always greater than the inverse of your bounce rates.
  • More Informed Predictions: You can now group users together in audiences based on 7-day purchase or churn probability using first-party web behavior to generate easily supported behavioral predictions. The AI and machine learning embedded within GA4 functionality gives marketers more insight on product or service demands based in data trends, insight that can contribute to higher ROI and churn rates.
  • Flexible Attribution: Flexibility is the name of the game for GA4, especially when it comes to cross-platform campaign attribution. Roll-up data with ease to create focused audiences and appropriate logging of all user touchpoints, across campaigns and platforms. For example, GA4 fixes cross-device attribution by allowing marketers to determine which users began their purchase journey on a mobile app before visiting a website to complete the purchase.
  • Privacy, Please: Privacy is a big deal, and GA4 respects it. The updated platform will grant users more control over what data is collected, to aid in privacy regulation compliance. These capabilities will also offer more intelligent tracking without creating additional privacy concerns for users or governing bodies.

#2: Machine Learning Will Elevate Analytics

Analytics are critical to digital marketers. They help us measure and manage the performance of marketing campaigns and provide us with valuable insights on ROI. Without these things, marketers would struggle to develop effective marketing strategies and budgets. SEMrush recently updated their algorithm to improve the accuracy of traffic analytics through advanced machine learning to:

  • Increase accuracy for all domain sizes
  • Provide more granular detail on subdomain performance, top pages, traffic journeys and more
  • Deliver better accuracy on web audience estimations

According to a Salesforce report, machine learning will be more accessible to small- to mid-sized companies and B2B businesses in 2021 than ever before. Machine learning is growing more sophisticated with each passing day and is proving to be an invaluable tool when it comes to understanding consumer behavior and the decision-making process. By accurately capturing traffic and purchasing behaviors of consumers, marketers can create better experiences for buyers, boost ROI, increase conversions, and implement wildly successful campaigns.

#3: The Rise of Marketing Mix Modeling

2020 threw a lot at marketers and businesses alike. In a pre-pandemic world, we were updating websites in response to privacy policy bombs courtesy of CCPA and GDPR and championing for agile marketing. Little did we know that these things, and more, would come back to haunt us. It’s not all bad though. The response to these challenges has forced us all to pivot and adjust for success in “the new normal”. (I know, ugh.)

The marketing mix modeling (MMM) approach to attribution will finally get its chance to shine in 2021 after a year of privacy policy, pandemic and even restaurant marketing adaptation. MMM is an easier, more accurate way to measure marketing success.

This holistic analysis technique offers insight into the efficacy of campaigns using goals and conversions while considering other factors such as consumer behavior, trends, influencers and more. MMM leverages information from multiple channels – including traditional and digital media. MMM is used by industries that use their marketing budgets to cover location-specific and seasonal advertising – like automakers and hospitality businesses. This is because the proper aggregation of data from different channels like radio, television ads, print ads, sponsorships, and more is important for measuring ROI and effectiveness.

Is That Enough Tech Specs for Ya?

It’s safe to say that MarTech is alive and well and will continue to thrive despite any unexpected curveballs. It’s also safe to say that despite the technology being created to simplify our lives – sometimes it does the opposite. Integrations, transitions, and migrations are a necessary evil but they don’t have to uproot your entire marketing plan.

Make adopting these new technologies a breeze with an experienced marketing agency to fully realize the power of technology and your brand. Roger West is here to help you make it happen. Let’s talk.