Rise of enterprise tech in marketing. Enterprise software companies like Oracle, IBM and SAP, not just consulting firms, will establish themselves as clear usurpers to the former role of agencies. Not content to just provide software for marketing analytics and automation, they will directly compete in media activation following Adobe's pioneering step buying video ad platform TubeMogul.
Rise of STEM marketers. More in the marketing suite will have science, technology, engineering and math degrees, even the leaders. Data, empiricism and inquiry-based thinking are critical for marketing success, and those marketers trained to think, write and act with that kind of fluency will win — over those who can't.
The CRM becomes the new DMP. Most of the data management platforms today were built first and foremost to be cookie management machines. That worked well for the open Web, but the future of digital marketing, particularly cross-platform, will require more durable and more foundational identity graphs like name and address. That is the only way marketers will be able to truly leverage their activities and data across walled-garden environments like Google, Facebook — and, especially, linear TV advertising — and connect them to ultimate customer transactions. That kind of data today lives in companies’ customer relationship management systems. Expect to see those systems be retrofitted with DMP-like capabilities.
Programmatic fades from our lexicon. The word programmatic will lose even more luster as folks realize that it's a term all too often used to hide sins, not drive real value for marketers. The concept of programmatic advertising has always been a powerful one, but not always in its execution. Automated audience-based ad buying in real time, based on analytics delivered with addressability and real-time attribution, is the Holy Grail for so many. However, the term has been tainted in practice by surcharging, opaque trading desks moving cheap — and all too often, fraudulent — stuff fast, with a hard-to-follow audit trail. The Holy Grail will happen, but we’ll just call the solutions by their component parts: automation, analytics, audience-based.
What do you think 2017 will bring?