Results of my 2023 Marketing Analytics Predictions

01/18/2024 Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Results of my 2023 Marketing Analytics Predictions

At the start of 2023, I placed bets on what I believed were going to be the biggest changes to happen to the Marketing Analytics space during the year. Entering 2024, I wanted to revisit these bets and see how I faired. Below are summaries of the bets I made back in 2023 along with the outcomes, and reports/data points to support my conclusions.

Consolidation of the MarTech Space

The technology sector was hit hard by high interest rates erasing valuation multiples, and souring investor interests in public and private markets. Less lending led to widespread layoffs and a change in the industry mindset from growth to profit. Marketing department budgets were slashed and marketing leaders were up against justifying the tools they were using.

In the decade I have spent in the Marketing Analytics space, I have had a constant flow of spam sales emails from an abundance of MarTech tools, and I always questioned the value the tools provided. Very few had solid value propositions that would make the business a lot of money, or save the business a ton in money and resources. With a limited budget for marketers to spend on MarTech, I believe these tools would be put to the test to determine if they have product-market fit and I believe that we would see a ton go bankrupt or get acquired leading to a market contraction.

Outcome: No and Yes

All data points shared below come from an extensive 2024 MarTech report by Chiefmartec & MartechTribe that is worth a read.

Overall the market has not contracted for reasons I had not considered when I made my prediction. I didn’t see the impact AI would have on the space and since “AI-powered” MarTech businesses have joined the fold there was an 18.5% increase (73% of which are AI-centric) in solutions from May 2023 to the end of the year. While I wasn’t correct about the market shrinking, it masks the health of MarTech solutions that fall outside of the AI world.


If we look at company shutdowns, 639 companies shut down (Based on Carta data) in 12 12-month period ending on May 2023, a 7% churn rate. A high churn rate that can be explained by recent Marketer sentiment:

  • Companies were only using 33% of their martech capabilities capturing my negative sentiment towards the utility found in most tools companies pay for. (Sentiment was at 58% in 2020)
  • 75% of CMOs agree that teams are facing increasing pressure to cut marketing technology spending to deliver better ROI.

These data points paint a different picture of the rest of the MarTech industry and a potentially ominous outlook for 2024 for MarTech companies.

Increase in Data Unification Adoption

I was surprised that data unification/integration had not seen significant strides in the Marketing Analytics space in 2022. With an abundance of tools like FiveTran, Airbyte, and Supermetrics it is surprising that unifying data still commonly happens in spreadsheets. As interest rates change the labor market and businesses look to become cost-efficient, we will likely see higher adoption rates of these tools to reduce resource waste and the need for specialized roles to be able to do these tasks.

Outcome: Plausible

I have struggled to find papers with data on 2023 to support or deny my belief, but there is at least one press release to support the growth I had anticipated. FiveTran the market-defining and current leader in the data integration industry announced in February 2023 a massive 200MM annual revenue run rate milestone that puts it in pre-IPO territory. This 2023 run rate is a 50% increase year over year demonstrating the market demand for data unification and no or low-code solutions. It is hard to justify my prediction solely based on the performance of one business, but in an emerging space where FiveTran, arguably the top business in this space, acquired its biggest competitor and doubled its revenue run rate it is hard to say there isn't more adoption. In addition, data unification features have started to become commonplace in other data tools like CDPs leading me to believe that there has been a market expansion and an increase in companies paying for these types of tools.

Incrementality Goes Mainstream

A welcomed effect of privacy and regulatory changes to digital tracking in the past few years has been the awareness generated for measuring the incrementality of marketing. Despite this type of measurement's immense value to marketing programs, it was widely underutilized until advertisers were impacted by the aforementioned changes. Since then tech giants have brought awareness to this topic through open-sourced libraries and product functionality to facilitate the adoption of incrementality tools into a company's measurement stack, and I anticipate that this adoption will ramp up greatly in 2023.

Outcome: Correct

There was a significant push in 2023 from major advertising publishers to spread awareness of incrementality techniques and roll out product features to support them. Publishers like Meta and TikTok released new ad product functionality to support MMM, and conversion studies, while also supporting the larger ecosystem with 3rd party partnerships and open-sourced tools. Meta alone has been building out open-sourced incrementality tools like Robyn, a Marketing Mix Modeling tool, and GeoLift, a geo experimentation package (although not currently maintained 🙁) to help scale the growth in the space.


While it is hard to quantify this surge in interest and technology outside of the volume of press releases, I feel like the best proxy is the number of downloads for open-source packages. Using R library downloads from Robyn, arguably the most popular MMM open-source package available today there is a 42.7% increase in total downloads year over year. A sizeable increase and one that paired with the investment Big Ad Tech is making in the space cements the importance of this measurement technique.

The True Value of “AI” is Still Too Early to Determine

Generative AI has been the zeitgeist for technology since 2022 with impressive product releases from OpenAI, Midjourney, and just to name a few. The primary products released by these companies take any idea you write into a prompt and turn them into accurate visual depictions in a matter of seconds, captivating both the interests of individuals and businesses. However, despite these landmark results, the technology is still in the early stages, and prone to errors and hallucinations. What this means is that to create something of marketing value you need a good amount of human input, resources, and time to perfect. Not much value is added to a skilled worker doing the same task.  There is also the lingering potential of exposure to the grey area of legality in which the models were built. For these reasons, I believe that in terms of the application of these technologies for marketing purposes, we won’t see massive breakthroughs and widespread adoption in 2023.

Outcome: Incorrect

I was wrong. There are countless examples of Generative AI for use in advertising. Publishers jumped on including the technology in their advertising tools, and the severity of the technical issues I had mentioned in my prediction seemed to almost be nonexistent by year-end. In a Q4 2023 report from Gartner, 81% of marketing leaders expect to Generative AI to have a moderate to significant impact on their marketing organization and 56% believe that content creation, the area that I had felt was a ways away from providing utility as the most impacted marketing activity by AI. Utility isn’t the only thing I didn’t predict, but also CMO sentiment towards AI indicates bigger bets being placed on the technology in the year to come. From another Gartner survey, CMOs plan to focus on building AI-enabled teams in 2024 with 22% of CMOs looking to replace some staff with AI in the next 18 months. I was completely wrong about how fast this technology would evolve in the marketing space, and I am now more bullish on its disruption possibilities in 2024.

Focus on first-party data and segmentation

With the ability to use third-party data signals with digital advertising efforts diminishing, businesses will prioritize optimizing first-party data as their replacement. The focus will be drawn to customer segmentation, testing, and optimization that can drive growth by being leveraged with existing ad networks. Advertising publishers will switch their product focus to utilizing this first-party business data to adapt to the changing world and avoid greater hits to revenue.

Outcome: Correct

Government pressures on user privacy remain at an all-time, and OS gatekeepers, like Apple and Google, continue to introduce measures to be privacy-minded indicating that there is no stopping the fall of third-party data use in advertising. While it might feel like the death of targeted advertising, the popularity of data clean room technology as a replacement has never been greater. Data clean rooms allow advertisers and publishers to circumvent third-party limitations by sharing first-party directly with advertising publishers to match their own data points in an anonymized, privacy-safe manner.


They were a major topic of interest in the marketing analytics space with 64% of agencies, brands, and publishers saying that they have already adopted data clean rooms in 2023, with another 21% considering it. Much of this activity has been supported by aggressive marketing pushes by ad publishers and cloud service providers to get advertisers to adopt before too much change happens and budgets start to get cut due to inefficient targeting and performance. A clear indication of business interest and adoption of one of the many technologies utilizing first-party for marketing purposes.

Final Thoughts

I’m pretty proud of the accuracy of my bets in 2023 despite understating how difficult the data collection process would be given many annual reports are being released around now. Reflecting on this experience has been a positive one, and I hope my original predictions encouraged readers to do their research and even get ahead of the trends. I know I benefitted personally and professionally from using these predictions as a north star, and now that I have put 2023 to rest, my mind is filled with new curiosity and research that I hope to share throughout the year.

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