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At the end of the year, we spend time to reflect, learn and look ahead to the new year. Taking a look back at the past year in the martech industry, one thing comes to mind: growth. With more than 6,000 solutions available for businesses, the martech industry is continuously solving day-to-day problems for companies of various industries in efficient, effective, and innovative ways.

Each day, martech leaders are looking to innovate and to create new technologies. It will be no different throughout 2019.

Consider machine-learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI): We understand that AI and ML can identify trends that we're unable to see as humans, but AI and machine learning will soon identify buying trends across integrated systems, such as sales enablement, training, and Web browsing, so that each informs all. That integration will expand opportunities in both sales and marketing to help provide better experiences and drive results.

However, the increased inclusion of machine-learning and artificial intelligence covers only a fraction of what the more than 6,000 martech solutions are capable of accomplishing in 2019.

Below, I connected with several leaders in the martech space to get their 2019 predictions on a variety of topics, ranging from Facebook marketing to meeting automation.

ABM Platforms to Advance in 2019

"With many new marketing trends, products are released that are good but not great. Everyone's racing to market, and the technology is really in an MVP state. I think this has been the case with many ABM platforms, but, in 2019, I believe the sophistication will really ramp up. ABM platforms will begin to connect with more core systems and data sources marketers use, bigger players will acquire smaller ones, and you'll start to see more all-in-one leaders emerging. In addition to that, the sophistication of buyer intent and predictive analytics will likely get much better." —Ashley Walsh, VP of Marketing at Formstack

Easier Integrations for Email Marketing Platforms

"In 2018, we noticed the need for easy integrations for email marketing with other platforms. With email marketing becoming more dependent on automated email campaigns, the simplicity of integrating with other platforms like Facebook, Salesforce, etc. will be greatly increased in 2019." —Eric Diamond, CEO at PushSend

Data to Help CRM Qualify Leads

"In 2019, we'll see the availability of quality data at a fair price. This will definitely help small to midsize businesses know more about their customers and use this to support decision-making. Some concrete examples that we expect to see are data that helps to qualify and quantify a lead so you can focus efforts on the most valuable leads (i.e., lead scoring), helps to understand if a customer will pay their bill, and helps understand if a supplier will stick around if you pay them up front." —Duncan Stockdill, CEO at Capsule

The Evolution of Facebook Marketing

"We will continue to see the transition from static creative to animated creative—driven by the proliferation of Stories on Facebook and Instagram. Many retailers are taking advantage of dynamic advertising, which leverages the product catalog to power the images shown in ads. However, the ability to completely do this with video has not become widely available. In 2019, we'll see more automated solutions pop up that will enable retailers to scale video across ads." —Conor Ryan, CIO at StitcherAds

Meeting Automation Platform (MAP) Adoption to Increase

"Heading into 2019, we expect to see the MAP adoption rate accelerate as the category becomes more mainstream. Industries that are quick to adopt MAP, like technology, telecom, and healthcare, will reap the early rewards to doing so, and other industries such as retail, finance, and transportation will follow suit. Meeting automation platforms will add value to an organization's ability to increase B2B engagement where strategic meetings occur, allowing them to gain insights on the impact on advancing revenue pipeline, the return on investments in events, briefing centers, roadshows and ultimately drive business forward." —Ravi Chalaka, CMO at Jifflenow

Martech Must Take Advantage of Machine-Learning

"The entire Martech landscape consists of more than 6,400 brands. If these brands do not incorporate machine-learning resources into their products, they will soon realize that they will be unable to stay afloat. Currently, there is so much data being provided to marketers that it is a disservice to companies and their customers if they do not take the time to use tools that can help analyze this information. In doing so, they can develop better experiences, messaging, and more. In the next year or so, marketers should make it a goal to build a singular stack all working under similar machine-learning frameworks." —Marty Muse, CEO at Vennli

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Carson Conant

Carson Conant is the CEO and founder of sales enablement company Mediafly, which has landed on Inc.'s 5000 fastest-growing companies list for four consecutive years, Inc.'s Best Workplaces of 2018 list, and Top 10 Best Place to Work list by Crain's Chicago.

LinkedIn: Carson Conant

Twitter: @CarsonConant