Last week I immersed myself in the latest and greatest marketing technology at the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference in San Diego.

Gartner is known for its Hype Cycles – a framework that plots various market innovations into distinct categories based on adoption and maturity.

Most categories move linearly from Innovation Trigger to Peak of Inflated Expectations to Trough of Disillusionment to Slope of Enlightenment to Plateau of Productivity.

But the time period within which each category moves through the cycle varies from less than 2 years to more than 10 years.

Looking at the Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing you’ll see a number of categories where 4C is active.

Real-time Advertising is in the Slope of Enlightenment and less than 2 years away from Plateau of Productivity.

Social Analytics and Social Marketing are in the Trough of Disillusionment but as Gartner Research VP, Marty Kihn, pointed out they will move “Swiftly” to Plateau at 22 – 2022, that is.

Meanwhile, Programmatic Direct Advertising is at the Peak of Inflated Expectations so make sure you get in on the premium private marketplaces available through Scope by 4C while the getting’s good.

And Programmatic TV Advertising is at the Innovation Trigger so the imperative is to test and learn with early adopters gaining a leg up. (In fact, a recent 4C webinar with another research firm revealed that more than 50% of marketers will use Advanced TV this year.)

As ever, the key to success in marketing is to take a portfolio approach across all the different categories to meet your goals.

So, when looking at the Hype Cycle, don’t get caught up in the blank space – you can call it what you want but brands that are fearless will find a love story with consumers forever and always beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

Now it’s time to shake it off with the rest of 4C’s Insights.

Get the rest of 4C’s Insights Volume 109 here.

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