Daily Insights

The Marketing Hype Cycle

By: Mike McGuire | Aug 29, 2019

Marketers have heard the “hype” about a bewildering amount of new marketing technology (martech), but sometimes hype is just hype. Vendors might pitch artificial intelligence (AI) as a game-changer and personalization as the next big thing, but how can marketers really know where to invest and what will make the biggest impact? 

The Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising, 2019 names 28 technologies and where they are in their journey from a nascent tool to a piece of marketing infrastructure (and which get stuck along the way). 

In a crowded and fragmented marketplace, brands of all backgrounds are increasing investments in innovative technologies as they strive to deliver meaningful customer experiences. But since 2018, consumers and their unpredictable behavior, mutable preferences and high expectations have propelled brands to take a closer look at their customer data, both in real time and at scale. These market forces—and the pressure to turn technology investments into business value—create the momentum driving a core set of innovation profiles in what is known as the Gartner Hype Cycle.

Innovation profiles like the customer data platform (CDP), real-time marketing and personalization engines are maturing rapidly as marketing leaders prioritize investments in these areas, even as they are forced to cut in other areas. From there, market confusion and varying degrees of success will push the CDP toward the Trough of Disillusionment. Although personalization engines hold the promise of 1:1 marketing, data-quality issues, skill gaps on marketing teams and content requirements slow deeper market penetration and push it further into the Trough.