We are in one of those great historical periods that occur every 200 or 300 years when people don’t understand the world anymore, and the past is not sufficient to explain the future – Peter Drucker
We live in a great time, when business-minded people have abundant opportunities. There are as many opportunities now as there were in June 2010, when Uber was just a crazy idea, and Airbnb was unthinkable.
Today we are using most of tomorrow’s technologies, just as the cellular phone in 1990 was a precursor of the smartphone that followed 20 years later.
Here are some predictions of marketing technology that is coming our way.
From text-based to voice
In the future, companies will hire more voice-over professionals for their websites and other written content. Sound engineers and voice professionals will be required more and more, so train your voice and drink honey! A lot of newcomers to the industry will make a lot of money in the next 10 years.
Today, text-to-speech software allows visually impaired people to browse websites by listening to a computerized voice. In the same way that marketers work on visual brand recognition, they will be working on brand-specific voice and music signatures. I compare today’s bland computerized voice to the bland screens people encountered before Web 2.0 introduced cookies.
Today you walk down the street and see people walking and looking at their phones. In the future, they will be able to browse websites with headphones and verbally “click” on voice meta tags. That hands-free capability will surely increase safety and take podcasts to a new level.
Digital brands are fighting for attention, and they will be looking at options to increase their exposure. This will expand the existing digital marketplace in three key ways: (1) the sheer number of connected devices, (2) the need for intermediary platforms that will connect the devices that are not yet compatible, and (3) the consulting services that will help companies analyze and navigate the new digital markets.
Intelligence is king
We went from content is king (1996, Bill Gates) to context is king (2016, Gary Vaynerchuk), and now we are going into global intelligence, in which interconnectedness rules. The goal is to create links between people, apps, content, and contexts. Customers expect brands to have smart approaches to their challenges, needs, and wants. This is how the most relevant companies will stay successful. Large brands such as Walmart, Bank of America, and other giants are racing to buy these skills that they don’t have the resources to develop internally, due to historic limitations. They don’t want kids to talk about them in the past tense in 10 years, like we do iconic brands like Kodak, RadioShack, or Blockbuster. Other brands that want to ignore this shift in the market will die facing super-powerful startups. Plain and simple.
From personalized marketing to individualization
In the future, websites will be built in modules, which will allow brands to provide individualized experiences by adding or removing sections. This browsing experience won’t be limited to an online screen—it will go offline to stores and restaurants with smart beacons and visual-recognition technology.
Marketers will be able to manage large data thanks to artificial intelligence (AI). Companies that are just getting comfortable with marketing automation need to adapt faster. Very soon, they will have to get into greater depth with AI to manage more data points, anticipate trends, and make more accurate projections. This individualization that comes with advanced AI is a double-edge sword, because it will help people make better decisions for themselves. More decision-making, however, requires sharper reasoning skills. People will need to develop their critical thinking ability to avoid being manipulated by opportunistic brands.
B2B practices will extend to the consumer market
I’ve mentioned it several times in the past: modern marketers are working with smart buyers, and they will be even smarter in the future. The customer obsession and the attention that B2B buyers receive will be applied to high-value B2C items.
We have gone from few companies selling the same product to a lot of customers to many companies selling to pockets of very knowledgeable buyers in a crowded market. The B2C sales cycle is becoming more complex because B2C buyers have so much knowledge about the brands THEY decide to purchase. The high-quality touch from B2B will bleed into B2C, and conversely, the #human2human aspect that we have in B2C will bleed into B2B. The challenge will be to conduct high-quality B2B interactions with more people, more accurately, and on time.
These projections are only the tip of the iceberg. Amazon, which was a fledgeling online bookstore 20 years ago, grew to become one of the most powerful companies in the world. Your profession can also be transformed! Digital technologies and marketing will definitely power your growth.