The marketing technology (martech) sector is growing consistently worldwide, with Statista Research finding that there were 9,932 martech solutions available to marketers this year. Referring to the use of technology to accomplish various marketing goals, martech in Southeast Asia is rapidly developing. Some of the strategies used in the sector include using software to manage customers and send promotional emails, collecting data, conducting analytics, digital marketing, using automation tools, and more.

Many martech companies are emerging and receiving investment, such as ShopBack and ReverseAds. The global sector value stood at USD 344.8 billion in 2021, and the number of annual mergers & acquisitions (M&A) in the industry reached 166. 

Challenges in the martech industry

Despite its rapid growth, martech is not without its challenges. The sector faces questions regarding privacy, as businesses are collecting much customer data for analysis and advertising purposes. Secondly, there is the issue of transparency, with companies expected to state clearly what kind of information they are collecting and what they are doing with it. 

A third factor, cost, is always critical for any business activity, and incorporating technology can be expensive for early-stage startups without adequate funding. Cost also becomes a factor if the new company is in a very competitive environment and requires an edge over its rivals to secure customers.

A fourth consideration is the concern over cyber security and ad fraud that is common in digital marketing. Lots of user data is at risk of being exploited by cybercriminals, with customer identities stolen for nefarious purposes. Furthermore, companies are in danger from bots and other malicious actors sabotaging their marketing campaigns and preventing verifiable audiences from participating.

Finally, adopting new technologies can be an issue, and failing to deploy tech properly can undermine marketing efforts. Additionally, social media plays a vital role in marketing. Businesses failing to integrate such platforms with their software and martech tools will need help with their campaigns.

Expected martech trends for 2023

The martech trends 2023 expects to see will revolve around the customer’s needs and targeted and personalised marketing. 

Data management, protection, and insights

Customers are wary of their data being stored carelessly, misused, or sold to third parties. Businesses must manage user data well and set privacy policies for consenting customers over the handling of their personal information. 

In the European Union (EU), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law states that data privacy laws should be unified across the entire region to ensure customers’ personal information and lives are protected against cybercriminals. Southeast Asian countries should also consider tightening their regulations in this regard. 

Data-driven marketing will continue to be the norm in the martech industry, as the valuable insights companies collect will help increase customer conversion rates. 

Technology integration and automation

Startups tend to use different types of technologies for multiple reasons. This approach could be improved as various tasks are better handled through team collaboration, which is challenging if several technologies serve related purposes. 

Firms must integrate their technologies to handle every part of the company’s requirements. They should also work on their research and development (R&D) to innovate novel solutions for the martech industry. Marketing automation ensures that customers are managed well and guided through the sales funnel without much human input. This automation saves teams the time it would take to convert new customers, and they can instead focus on other business solutions.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Connecting with customers and building relationships through context-based personalisation will be critical to successful marketing and meeting their needs. Humanising every interaction makes people feel recognised and special, enhancing their experience with a company.

Community forums, social media engagement, custom solutions, made-to-order products, analytics and insights, coaching, and loyalty rewards can help achieve this objective. Customers who feel connected to your business establish brand loyalty, making them more likely to market your business to their friends and family.

New martech channels

As technology evolves, businesses constantly discover new channels to market their products and services. Startups should search for and utilise emerging platforms to uncover a customer base and sell to them. In addition, marketers should rely on something other than traditional marketing techniques. Instead, they should come up with exciting ideas for connecting with the audience and marketing their products.

Martech in Southeast Asia is growing as a sector, with investments continuing to flow into the region, innovative solutions emerging, and the market becoming more competitive than previously. Startups that are aware of the external factors affecting economies worldwide stand a better chance of positioning themselves to deal with any challenges to the martech sector next year.