27 June 2023

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The Rise of MarTech: Exploring the Potential in India's Booming Digital Economy

With the proliferation of digitalisation, AI-powered platforms and the internet economy, the potential of enhancing customer experience appears limitless. An insightful look into the fascinating future of marketing technology

As India continues to make strides in digitalization and the internet economy thrives, the adoption of Marketing Technology (MarTech) presents a promising future. MarTech, which leverages technology for marketing purposes, offers marketers smarter ways to reach their target consumers and optimize their campaigns. In this article, we explore the opportunities and challenges associated with MarTech adoption in India, backed by statistical data and industry insights.

Current MarTech Market Statistics: Before delving into the opportunities and challenges, let's take a look at the current statistics surrounding the MarTech industry:

At the Heart of Marketing Strategy
In India, as well as globally, data-driven tactics are fuelling the expansion of the MarTech industry. Marketers are increasingly seeking smarter ways to utilize data to reach their target consumers and optimize their campaigns for success. MarTech provides the necessary tools to unlock the power of data and gain real-time insights, enhancing customer experiences and personalization, which are challenging to achieve through traditional means.

How MarTech Helps
MarTech plays a crucial role in helping businesses and brands understand customers' engagement patterns, behaviours, and transactional preferences. By analysing this data, businesses can enhance customer experiences, personalize interactions, and deliver tailored marketing campaigns. Today's customers are demanding, less patient, and unpredictable. MarTech, leveraging technologies such as AI and Machine Learning (ML), assists marketers in meeting these challenges effectively.

The Indian Landscape
As a global hub for the flourishing IT industry, India is poised for significant growth in the MarTech sector. According to the Mirum India MarTech Report 2023, a majority of businesses in India spend less than 15% of their marketing budget on MarTech solutions, in contrast to the global average of 25.4% reported by Gartner in 2022. This suggests significant growth potential for MarTech adoption in India. The report also indicates that 36% of organizations in India are already using MarTech tools, and 35% expect to substantially increase their MarTech spending over the next three years. Furthermore, the ad:tech and Tyroo annual survey states that 25% of the total marketing budgets allocated by marketers are being invested in MarTech and other innovative technologies.

Additionally, a joint report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company projects exponential growth in India's B2C and B2B e-commerce sectors. B2C e-commerce is estimated to grow 5-6 times to $350-380 billion by 2030, while B2B e-commerce is expected to grow 13-14 times to $105-120 billion, both from their respective values in 2022. These figures further support the positive outlook for the Indian MarTech industry.

Tech Trends
To stay ahead in the evolving marketing landscape, businesses need to embrace emerging MarTech trends. Let's explore some key trends shaping the MarTech industry:

• AI and ML

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have become integral to various MarTech applications. These technologies provide valuable insights into consumer behaviour based on data, map customer journeys across marketing mediums, personalize customer experiences, and automate marketing tasks. Valuates Reports project that the AI market will reach $1.58 trillion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 38.0%.

• Chatbots

Chatbots play a crucial role in maintaining round-the-clock communication with clients and providing more conversational interactions. Machine learning enables chatbots to learn from every conversation, improving their effectiveness over time. According to the Mirum survey, 64% of marketers consider chatbots effective, and 37% have implemented them.

• Extended Reality (XR)

Extended Reality (XR), including technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality, offers marketers the opportunity to provide immersive customer experiences and increase engagement. XR enables location-specific targeting, virtual events, and virtual storefronts, providing marketers with measurable engagement options.

• Social Commerce

Incorporating social media into sales and marketing strategies is becoming increasingly valuable for businesses. As of April 2023, there were 5.18 billion internet users worldwide, with 4.8 billion of them being social media users, according to Statista. Leveraging social commerce allows businesses to tap into a vast potential consumer base.

• Voice Search Optimization

With the rapid growth of voice search, marketers are focusing on optimizing their strategies for this emerging trend. It is projected that the transaction value of purchases made through voice-enabled devices will increase from $22 billion in 2020 to $164 billion by 2025.

• Web3 Marketing

Web3, built on principles of decentralization, transparency, and fairness, empowers users by giving them full control over their data. This paradigm shift in data acquisition for targeted advertising is set to transform the way businesses operate.

• Low-Code or No-Code Tech

No-code and low-code development platforms enable businesses to develop applications without extensive programming knowledge. These easy-to-use tools facilitate marketing automation and are expected to be employed in 70% of newly built enterprise apps by 2025, according to Gartner.

• Push Notifications

As consumers increasingly use mobile devices for online activities, push notifications offer brands a convenient way to engage with their customers. These notifications can be tailored to individual users, providing reminders, updates, and new information.

• The Metaverse

The concept of the metaverse, which bridges the digital and physical worlds, holds significant promise for marketers. The global metaverse market is projected to reach a revenue of $996 billion in 2030, growing at a CAGR of 39.8%.

• Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things enables more effective audience involvement, creating new opportunities for marketers to engage with customers through connected devices and technologies.

• Genuinfluencers

In addition to social media influencers, genuinfluencers have emerged on the MarTech landscape. Genuinfluencers aim to propagate ideas and values such as  gender equality and social justice, rather than simply selling products.

• Generation Alpha

Targeting Generation Alpha, the cohort born after 2010, is a rising trend in global marketing. These young individuals share consumption habits with Generation Z and are well-connected through social media, with a strong awareness of global issues.

• Omnichannel Approach

Adopting an omnichannel approach ensures a seamless and unified brand experience for customers across various channels. A Harvard Business Review study found that 73% of customers use multiple channels during their purchase journey, highlighting the importance of providing a consistent experience.

Key Challenges

While MarTech offers numerous opportunities, there are several challenges that marketers and organizations face in adopting and leveraging these technologies effectively:

Marketers Unsure of ROI

One of the major hurdles in MarTech adoption is the insecurity about return on investment (ROI). According to the Mirum survey, 57% of organizations refrained from using MarTech tools due to difficulties in measuring ROI. This lack of clarity often makes it challenging for CMOs to secure the necessary budget for MarTech implementation.

MarTech Selection and Integration

Choosing the right MarTech stack and successfully integrating disparate technologies into a unified platform can be a daunting task for marketers. The vast and vibrant MarTech landscape makes the selection process complex. Additionally, successful integration requires cross-departmental coordination and collaboration, along with alignment with existing marketing functions and approaches.

Skills Gap

As MarTech continues to evolve, marketing organizations struggle to keep up with the necessary skills required to create effective strategies and implement MarTech solutions. The Mirum survey found that 64% of marketers see the lack of internal skills as a hurdle to MarTech adoption.

Cookie-less World

The imminent shift toward a cookie-less world poses a significant challenge for marketers. With Google, Apple, and Mozilla phasing out support for third-party cookies, marketers will need to adapt their online business practices. An Adobe study revealed that 75% of marketers still heavily rely on third-party cookies, with India's reliance at a high of 82%.

In conclusion, MarTech adoption in India is witnessing significant growth and presents immense opportunities for businesses. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, leveraging emerging technologies and addressing key challenges will be crucial for marketers to unlock the full potential of MarTech and drive success in their marketing strategies. With the right approach, MarTech can empower businesses to create personalized, data-driven, and seamless customer experiences, leading to increased customer satisfaction and business growth.

“Consumers expect brands to connect with them at their convenient time and via preferred channel”

Vivek Desai, Head of Marketing, Roche Diabetes Care, India in conversation with Leaders’ Playbook on MarTech Trends in the Healthcare Space

How would you assess the current MarTech landscape in India from a healthcare point of view? Are we keeping pace with global trends, or do we have to catch up with the leading countries in the field?

Healthcare brands in India are rapidly deploying technology to reach end users. Although the scale and speed of such adoptions may vary depending on the business needs and customer preferences. As far as a medical device category like ours is concerned, we have adopted a hybrid approach in the sense that traditional marketing efforts continue while we embrace tech-led innovations to offer an integrated personalised end-user experience. We now have real-time data analytics in place to drive a better customer experience, thus allowing us to map the consumer journey along the way. It is a combination of both tech and touch, and this works well for a country like India where the urban rural healthcare access and delivery still has some gap to cover.

Besides, adopting technology and adapting to it has its own challenges such as upskilled workforce, regulations, and data privacy. India will see an accelerated pace [on MarTech adoption] and catch up with global benchmarks [on MarTech adoption] in a similar trend that we have seen penetration of software services, digital media, smartphones, etc. As far as the scale of MarTech adoption is concerned, we will do well with our absolute numbers because of our population, however, from a percentage perspective, countries that started digitization early and where tech adoption has been in place for some time now may be better poised to reap the benefits.

In what ways are MarTech innovations transforming the marketing landscape, and how are Indian businesses poised for this evolution?

Technology is moving faster and making lives better than we can imagine, MarTech is already making inroads into companies' budgets. The healthcare sector, particularly diagnostics, has been largely tech-driven and the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the digitization process in the segment. The pandemic threw an unprecedented challenge on the diagnostic segment and innovations followed. The success of the government's vaccination programme via Co-Win app in handling the world's largest vaccination drive is a case study. Its scale, speed, accuracy and contactless operations were truly inspiring. The digitization of the diagnostic sector resulted in category penetration and transformation of consumer behaviour, such that people are now more open to taking charge of at-home diagnostics with personal medical devices that are connected to mobile apps which in turn are linked to cloud-based solutions to provide healthcare providers real-time insights on health parameters at a mass cohort level.

Another positive fallout of the pandemic was the emergence of telemedicine, which was until then not one of the most preferred channels for availing care. Both the doctor and the patient embraced teleconsultation smoothly, making it an integral cog within the healthcare system.

As a marketing leader, which trends do you foresee dominating the Indian MarTech space in the coming years?

It's the age of personalisation and consumers expect brands to connect with them at their convenient time and via a preferred channel. Consumer awareness is high and rising and they want services customized to suit their needs. And thus brands need to create multiple user journeys to ensure they remain available at the time buyers expect them to show up. Content credibility, relevance, size and formats will also see changes because while the time spent on phones is increasing, the time spent on a particular content piece/platform is diminishing.

Could you share your personal experiences in utilizing MarTech tools for marketing campaigns or operational purposes?

We adopt an omnichannel approach to follow the entire consumer journey, covering all touch points. The end users are kept in the loop at every stage and we consider the type of content they want and the format they prefer to consume. Product innovations have ensured that our hardware is now connected to software that is available on smartphones and the data seamlessly flows from patients’ phones to doctors’ offices in real-time. We call this approach Integrated Personalised Diabetes Management (iPDM).

Holistic: iPDM provides innovative digital solutions along the whole patient journey, for all types of people with diabetes. iPDM brings together all kinds of commercial offerings, such as medical devices, digital solutions and services, so that healthcare institutions have a complete vision to be able to apply the appropriate option. It’s an all-in-one solution.

True Relief: We know we can’t make diabetes go away completely. But we want to do all we can to make it less of a hassle – make it suck less – for People with Diabetes.

Open Ecosystem: Our ambition is to support patients everywhere, regardless of the devices or services they use. The ecosystem allows us to work seamlessly with our partners to collect data for the delivery of the best care possible and improved patient treatment and outcomes.

Integrated: Seamless delivery of care across different channels, and between and among specialities for a multidisciplinary approach.

Personalised: Enable the patient to self-manage their diabetes, through the individual measurement of parameters such as weight and food intake. Treatments are tailored to each patient’s needs, with goals that are adjusted to the patient’s condition. The patient has a say in how diabetes management will be integrated to fit their lifestyle. Involving and motivating the patient as a stakeholder in their own treatment ensures that they feel engaged.

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