No one can accurately predict the future. Yet we can speculate on broader themes and examine what happened in the past. Making informed predictions does not mean absolutely perfect ones. To that end, we should wonder what lies ahead for marketing. Knowing what we’ll see means knowing what will work – and in this way, we benefit our business.
Social is king
Social media has come to dominate the modern landscape, with smartphone users. Even on the African continent, where mobile phone users outnumber even bank users, social media is rapidly spreading. Of course, social media is completely different than other forms of media since it is controlled by the audience itself. That is, they decide what to see but can then interact with major brands like never before.
This isn’t like an audience who could change the channel – on Twitter, Facebook and so on – users and brands can often operate on the same platform and have the same reach. As Inc.com notes:
“The social approach underscores the importance of the increasingly connected, interactive and vocal audience dominant in social networks. With increasing power over the kind of content they produce and consume, users are becoming more discerning. The mass market approach is thus no longer as relevant as before.”
Recognising the growth of social media is essential for any brands hoping to dominate or have some strong footing in marketing. Creating or working with a tech-savvy, socially capable marketing team is essential.
Mobile will dominate
Related to social media, mobile marketing will also continue to be important. What’s important is to recognise what technology is being used for. For example, SMS messages are no longer as prominent as they once were. This means if we’re still sending SMSes in 2017, we might look as relevant as VCR repair people.
But there’s another often overlooked aspect. As Internet Retailer highlights: “The more screens a shopper uses to access an online retailer, the more loyal and valuable she is.”
Customers want more than just what the business offers, in terms of products or services. They want an experience. One way to deliver that is to produce relevant content, tapping into wider social events and happenings. We want customers to feel they are dealing with people, not just a blank name or logo. By showing humanity, in terms of keeping up with social events, movements, thought leadership, we provide more ways for them to interact with us.
These are just some considerations for the future, but we should also keep up to date by doing marketing courses, providing us with more concrete foundations for consideration.