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Just as technology and consumer behaviour will evolve in insanely unpredictable ways between now and 2020, the ways marketers react to or maybe even influence these new developments will also change in ways we cannot fully imagine right now. So, who can, well here are a few predictions for what the marketing world will look like in 2020.
Chris Brandt – Chief Marketing Officer at Taco Bell
Mobile will enable more personal interactions between brands and people. The number one possession people have is their smartphone and there are more mobile devices than people on the planet. Mobile is the way people interact with friends and brands. The way they look at content is shifting to small screen & successful brands will be able to create a more personalised experience with consumers. Branding is rapidly becoming a two-way conversation as social media has given consumers a voice unlike anything ever seen before. As brands track individual consumer behaviour in real time, they can use it to tailor the experience for that specific person and their specific behaviours on a mass scale.
Transparency is the new black. Consumers expect more information from the brands they use and expect brands to do good. They want to know who they are and what they stand for. They reward companies that have similar values and ask, “Is the brand good for me (the consumer) and good for society as a whole?” Brands have to be more transparent in a genuine and authentic way – to live and demonstrate their values – they need to walk the talk. If they do, they will win both the hearts and the minds of consumers, which builds sales overnight and the brand over time.
There will be a shift from talking at the world to making the world talk. People don’t necessarily want to be marketed to, so brands should look to create engagement and conversations at every consumer touch point. We aim to make everything we do a catalyst for conversation. In terms of our advertising, we want people to ask, “What’s the product? What’s the music? Who’s the artist?> What are others saying about it?” Everything must be about the conversation. We want people to love our food, care about our brand and want to share with others.
The rise of video and video sharing. With the rise of mobile, video is in high demand because people love visual storytelling. This includes short form, long form, snippets, streaming etc. This shift in consumption shatters some of the conventional marketing models. Brands will become nimbler and will see creative and digital agencies morphing into one as ideas need to be cohesively executed across all channels simultaneously. Content will need to be produced more quickly and efficiently which has big implications for the traditional agency or brand relationship.
Most branded content will come from the consumer. User-generated content will far exceed branded content and brands need to embrace this and accept they aren’t in complete control of their own brand. As such, it is imperative that brands create a strong identity in the minds and hearts of consumers. At Taco Bell, we look at three approaches to content: Create, Co-Create and Curate. Create is our own content, co-create is content created in partnership with consumers, and curate is taking the user-generated content we like and showing it to more people. The most important ingredient in all of this is authenticity. We are lucky we have passionate fans that do wonderful things like create dresses out of sauce packets – now that is true passion!
Linda Boff – Executive Director of Global Brand Marketing at General Electric
Virtual reality has become real. It is a great storytelling platform, particularly for General Electric, because it gives us another incredible way to show how our big machines perform in extreme conditions.
Connected everything: homes, TV’s, cars, jet engines, locomotives, wearables, lights and much more. As marketers, pay particular attention to TV, as the web starts to power your remote control, look for more new players with high-quality content.
New faces to news coverage. Emerging publishers who tailor content, context, and media to younger audiences will surge ahead. Mic, Vice, Fusion, Circa, and Quartz are incredibly well positioned.
Many of the hottest new media apps will help filter the clutter. By either evaporating or simplifying communication down to a “Yo,” brand will need to behave in a similar manner in these places to stay relevant.
Owning your audience. In a world filled with incredible new tools to cultivate community, customers, consumers, and fans are more accessible than ever. Look for more direct conversations.
Matt Jarvis – Chief Strategy Officer at 72andSunny
Doing good will be good for business. People will reward brands who do good and punish the ones who don’t. brand citizenship will move from a defensive, corporate affairs function to a marketing function that drives transactions at scale and creates advantages for companies in the talent wars.
Agencies will become connectors. Brands want to connect with people through artist relationships and artists want brand dollars. Agencies will be the force that brings them together in partnership that are about more than just pay to play.
Good agencies will act like product companies, not service companies. Service companies aspire to be a happy customer and a contract renewal. Product companies innovate quickly and offer better value with each iteration. Agencies who get the Silicon Valley fast iteration memo will lead the next generation.
Big data will get personal. The revolution that has changed how brands go to market will become personalised and allow individuals to use data to pursue their passions and goals. Products and experiences that help people along on this journey will become a much bigger part of our lives. Marketers who participate in this productively and respectfully will form deeper relationships. Those who intrude will get shut out.
Culture will still be king. People will continue to care more about culture than products, so brands that operate on a cultural level will be the winners of the future as they are of the present.