Building From The Ground Up: The State Of Martech In New Zealand

New Zealand is lagging in martech adoption by global standards, but talent and AI-driven technology are keys to closing the gap.

by Suzanne Steele

posted on 09-19-2019

Three things are essential to delivering exceptional customer experiences in today’s experience economy: technology, talent, and data.

But when it comes to the first pillar, some markets are more advanced than others, especially regarding their marketing technology (martech) capabilities, and the New Zealand market is still evolving.

Adobe and FCB New Zealand recently partnered to examine the state of martech adoption, capability and investment in New Zealand. The report, titled New Zealand MarTech 2019 State of the Union, found that lack of investment in talent and technology were the biggest barriers to widespread adoption.

That said, getting to a more customer experience-focused, martech-powered place is quite attainable. Here’s where the region is right now and where it needs to be going forward to ensure New Zealand businesses can better compete in an increasingly experience-focused global market.

Key challenges and opportunities

Adobe and FCB New Zealand surveyed marketing technology professionals from SMBs to large enterprises from a cross-section of industries including retail, manufacturing, financial services, software technology, government, healthcare, and education.

These industries are at various stages of martech adoption, yet most marketers in the region understand the importance of the technology, the survey found. However, there is still a huge gap in capability.

These are some of the key trends the survey uncovered:

Survey respondents also said their main goals over the coming year would be to improve marketing efficiency, expand customer engagement throughout the sales cycle, streamline lead management, improve sales alignment, and increase investment in marketing automation.

That said, businesses will need to build their talent pipeline, bridge data silos and maximise the potential of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to accomplish these goals and gain a competitive advantage.

Forging a path for martech success

Most businesses in New Zealand now use third-party vendors for their marketing technology, but most haven’t gone far enough. While many have successfully integrated CRM into their platforms, that will only go so far to achieving real martech success. Advancing experience capabilities will require the integration of technologies that unify data, along with the simultaneous upskilling of staff to use these tools.

New Zealand businesses can accelerate their martech capabilities by adopting a platform approach to customer experience management rather than relying on disparate technologies from different vendors.

An AI-driven, open, extensible customer data platform (CDP) will allow businesses to consolidate data from various touchpoints into a unified customer profile. Additionally, with the help of AI, companies can automate data collection, storage, and analysis, and streamline mundane, repetitive tasks, allowing their teams to focus on delivering real-time, personalised interactions along the customer journey.

But getting the technology right is only half the battle, and high-performing organisations require skilled talent. There is currently a digital skills shortage in ANZ, so companies need to create learning opportunities and develop training programs to prepare their workforces for the future. AI and machine learning will transform how we work so it’s crucial to enhance workers’ soft skills in the areas of creativity and critical thinking and teach them how to apply these skills to extract more value and insights from customer data. Granted, this doesn’t mean all employees will become data scientists. But, at a baseline, they should understand how to use these emerging technologies to solve business problems.

You also have to build a pipeline of marketing talent. To accomplish this, leaders must be talent magnets and understand that mentoring is different from managing. Your organisation already has high-potential talent, so it’s vital to be able to identify and nurture it through targeted digital skills training programs, company events, summits, and mentoring opportunities.

Additionally, collaborate with educational institutions to keep your digital talent pipeline full. Adobe has done this through a strategic partnership with Swinburne University, where our cloud applications are incorporated into the university’s business, arts and media, and communications curricula. This is just one approach your company can adopt to make progress.

The future of martech in New Zealand

Martech will make marketers more efficient, enable data-driven customer engagement and provide more effective measurements of success.

New Zealand marketers understand the value of technology, as revealed in the MarTech State of the Union report, but they need to invest more in people, processes and technology. However, this investment shouldn’t just cover marketing, it should be the domain of the entire organisation.

You can’t solve customer experience challenges in a silo. All parts of your business need to partner to bring talent, technology, and data together. This, in turn, will greatly enhance your marketing and technology capabilities to provide the best customer experiences. That’s what we’re moving towards in New Zealand and, together, we can succeed.

Read the full New Zealand MarTech 2019 State of the Union report here.

Topics: APAC