In preparation for the new year, PerformanceIN continues its annual tradition of connecting with performance marketing experts to get their single biggest prediction for the industry in 2017.

In this piece, Vipul Mistry, senior business development manager at Intermarkets, talks about the changes coming to enhance creative messaging and intelligence.

Over the last two years or so there’s been significant consolidation with increasing mergers and acquisition activity within the ad tech and martech industries. The largest firms have been combining platforms to unify data sets, DMPs, analytics, email and more, with the hopes of creating one giant marketing intelligence engine.

Data-driven marketers have been building their marketing stacks to combine the best application for their needs. In recent years, Oracle purchased Bluekai, Datalogix, AddThis and Netsuite; Salesforce bought Krux; Adobe bought Demdex, Omniture and TubeMogul. The underlying theme has been improvement in identifying the end customer.

This year, more than 90% of marketers say they collect data on customers and 90% say they segment their data to better target and engage the customer. However, nearly 50% of marketers cite a lack of data quality and completeness. There are many pieces of disparate information that need to be brought together to make the right analysis. Marketers today capture data across websites, mobile apps, social media, IOT devices, in-store metrics, transactional data and more. The recent acquisitions and deals’ aim has been to unify the data with the hopes of driving to true 1:1 marketing.

In 2017, I anticipate that there will be additional opportunities to enhance the way that the intelligence delivers the message to the consumer. I see the acquisitions moving down the funnel. It could be additional email platforms, ways to target or enhance creative messaging. Another potential area for deals will revolve around improved reporting and metrics, and analysis tools, for senior decision makers.

Message creation and delivery will improve in 2017. Artificial intelligence (AI) will become a larger component in the ways that messages will be delivered to the end consumer. The marketer will still be an integral piece, however, he will rely heavily on the data systems in place to orchestrate what to send, who to send to, what time, how often and by which marketing channel.

Expect to see incremental improvements in attribution. Using platforms to measure across marketing channels will improve optimisation and provide granular insights about the consumer. As mentioned above, having proper metrics and dashboards will be essential for making decisions in 2017.