Why the UK is poised to become the global leader in MadTech
Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, machine learning,
interactive video, and mobile multimedia are just a few of the
decidedly buzzword-y innovations tantalizing marketers with
a promise to capitalise on a growing abundance of consumer data.
Underlying these advancements are two less sexy-sounding but crucial catalysts: The marketing and advertising technology industries (sometimes collectively referred to as “MadTech”). From CRM to programmatic to novel ways of tracking customer behaviour both on and offline, savvy marketers are developing increasingly creative ways to put data-driven insights to work.
The UK is quickly becoming a leader in the MadTech space. Below is a brief overview of the current state of marketing and advertising technology in this region of the world, as well as a few examples of companies doing remarkable things in the space.
The state of MadTech within the UK
MadTech is gaining considerable ground both in terms of innovative product offerings and overall influence.
Recent studies, such as Salesforce’s 2017 State of Marketing report, make the motivation for this trend clear: According to the report, 52% of customers and 65% of businesses are likely to abandon brands if a company or vendor fails to provide “customised communications.” In other words, both B2B and B2C organisations must fine-tune their focus on optimising client experiences in order to stay competitive and boost ROI.
The lines of distinction between AdTech and MarTech, which have long been considered related but independent fields, are becoming blurrier by the day. Whereas AdTech has traditionally referred to media-driven initiatives such as programmatic and omnichannel advertising, MarTech has served as more of an umbrella term for SaaS-driven marketing platforms. (MarTech is a particularly convoluted industry as of late; a recent infographic detailing the 2017 landscape reported there are currently a whopping 5,381 solutions available from 4,891 distinct companies, a 40% increase from 2016.)
But more than one source in recent memory has noted that these industries are on a clear-cut “convergence course.” In an oversaturated marketing landscape, companies want to further streamline strategy: Brands are seeking tools not only to make the most of powerful “walled gardens” (i.e. Google and Facebook)’s access to eyeballs, but also to consolidate their marketing stack and inch ever closer to the coveted single customer view.
With venture capitalists increasingly turning their attention to UK-based startups in the industry, the UK is particularly well positioned to leap to the forefront of MadTech innovation. It is, undoubtedly, a ripe market: Earlier this year, the Internet Advertising Bureau UK reported that almost 75% of UK digital display advertising is now purchased programmatically. The same report detailed that digital advertising grew at its fastest rate in nine years in the first quarter of 2017, surpassing the £10 billion threshold; spend on mobile video ads doubled, marking the medium as the fastest growing ad format.