The Future of Marketing in 2016 & Beyond

let’s talk about the future of marketing. At this time of year, this is a big conversation. Everyone wants to know what’s going to happen and where is it all going to go.

The Future of Marketing
Digital projection for US digital ad spend ( Hubspot.com)

The writing is very much on the wall, the future of marketing is clearly digital. We continue to see exponential growth, (see the US figure opposite from Hubspot) in the UK early figures for 2015 showed digital media projected spend to be over half of the total spent on all advertising.  A figure of about 8.2 billion pounds, ( $12 billion) that is a massive amount of money directed towards digital advertising and systems.

Why are they spending so much on digital media?

Because it works is the short answer. The one advantage it has over everything else is the ability to target. You have the possibility to identify your ideal candidate and show them advertising. The success of digital marketing is being driven by the growth of technology and the availability of information about buyer behavior.

The technology is all about smart phones and tablets, but it is the collation of user data that is making the difference. We’re now looking at dashboard systems available to any business, a system that can take feeds from social media, analytics and any number of different places. You can see what’s happening on the paper click advertising account. You can integrate the email systems; everything now is getting to the point where we can identify where the click is coming from and where it is going to.

These low cost services draw all of this information into one place so that that anyone from the sales or marketing manager to the business owner will know the return on investment numbers for the month. All that information literally at the fingertips and it is almost in real time. When the supermarkets first installed scanning till systems it used to be a joke that head office could count the Baked Bean sales as they happened. That facility he here now for any business.

So the future of marketing is about information gathering.

We are at the dawn of intelligent household appliances. It will not be long before your fridge, or even your cupboard will have a facility to understand what food you have and how much you have consumed.

There will be a facility for your fridge and your cupboard to work together to place the Tesco’s order. This kind of future is not marketing it is more about inventory control.  However, it could lock you into a particular supermarket.

There are other levels to this; you may be OK with household appliances knowing and taking care of your needs. If you like a certain Italian pizza, it makes sense that those bits of equipment report that. This opens the opportunity for Google or Facebook to show you adverts for a competitors version of pizza, the same might be happening for your other shopping habits.

Can you see where this is going?

Many people now have a smart TV. In the setup process, there are terms and conditions and a privacy policy that has to be agreed to. You know this TV will record your viewing habits. Most of the current games consoles are track- able within the Google analytic system. It is not a long stretch to assume that anything that you read, touch, view, watch or listen to could be tracked and used to direct relevant advertising.

So you can see the future of marketing is very much up the digital tree. It’s about monitoring customer usage and then using that information to sell them extensions or new versions of the same thing. Now all of this sounds wonderful and very exciting for the commercial marketer that can see this as a banking process, a place of unlimited sales opportunity.

The question is, are we as a society going to allow this?

Part of me thinks that we are complacent, we have already allowed our privacy to be eroded and willingly accept it. But there will come a point when the worm turns so to speak. In some respect, this is already happening. Apple opened the door this year by allowing an Ad Blocker into their iPhone system.

Ad blocking has been around for a while, it is a  program that sits in your browser or the Apple iPhone, and it locks the advertising out. So that when someone visit’s a website those links that would normally open to adverts do not get activated. Ad blocking can improve the user experience. A lot of sites have so much advertising that it make the site crawlingly slow.  With ad blockers, the adverts do not get opened, and websites function better.

So there is a kind of practical for using ad blocking because when surfing around it speeds up your internet searches. But hold on that, is how most of the web is making money by showing adverts. If ad blocking starts to become more prevalent It will destroy the free internet business model.

I suspect the future of marketing is going to be permission base advertising.

We already have a permission system with email, most companies operate a double opt-in process. This is where you click a web link and then receive an email to click another link to confirm the process.

Because the world wide web does not belong to anybody advertising can be a bit a wild west opportunity. However, I guess if I were going to put any money on anything, this is google’s problem. Google has to find a solution; they’re the ones that created the ad platforms in the first place. I guess they will tighten up what they think is suitable advertising or speed of service.

I can see a possibility where Google may have to offer an ad blocking service to their customers. The big G might be forced into this if they want to retain any control and maintain their pay per click revenues.

Currently, you agree to a privacy policy, this may change and evolve to an ad blocking policy.  So it will ask your permission, and you will have to agree to see particular advertising.

What is the future of marketing?

It is digital, there may be a battle for control of user attention. As a business owner, one thing is clear digital cannot be ignored.

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To your success

Paul Harvey

 

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