What Is The Future Of Marketing?

Posted by Tomorrow Team

May 20, 2014 7:57:00 AM

Marketing News


What does the idea of Futuretainment mean?

The idea behind Futuretainment is simple. The future of marketing requires brands to think like media companies, and media companies to think like great brands. The reason for that is that in an age when you rely on your audience for the distribution of your ideas, content, and marketing messages - only by investing in great content will you be able to achieve the impact and distribution you hope for, but can no longer easily buy.


You have said the future is shaped by people rather than by technology. Could you elaborate a little bit more this interesting idea?

It’s easy to believe that the future is invented just by brilliant scientists in underground R&D labs and well connected entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. The truth is that anthropology can be more influential than technology. The secret behind why some mobile applications go viral, how some technologies reach mass adoption and others fail, and ultimately what shapes the dynamics of how we live, work and play - come down to the interaction of disruptive technologies and new patterns of human behaviour. Winston Churchill said it best - ‘We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us’.


Based on what you have seen and studied, how will the digital future change our behaviors and our business life?

There is no single or simple answer to that question. If you were to pick one thing that defines the present that was simply not the case 20 years ago - it is vibrant and ever-expanding digital social graph that connects us all. Today a teenager growing up in Shanghai has more in common with a teenager in Bogota, than either might have with their parents. The way we make decisions about everything from brands to our careers is now shaped by the ‘extended awareness’ given to us by not just social networks, but a society where all information is accessible and actionable with personal mobile devices in real time.

Now that we have a new generation that was born with the digital revolution (some people called it “Generation Z” or “Internet Generation), Could you name some of the main changes this generation will make in the way we interact with brands?

Brands now exist in a state of radical transparency. The new mobile consumer is in total control. Not only is there no room for a lack of authenticity in the stories that brands tell about themselves, they may not even be able to influence the stories being told at all. But equally - consumers are also more transparent and exposed to brands today as well. The real point of Big Data is not increasing the surveillance of consumers by marketers, but the beginnings of a true, two way dialogue between brands and consumers that turns insights about behaviour and action, into preference and personalisation.

In this market, when you have around 5.000 ad messages per day, how can you get consumer’s attention? Is it possible to reach a massive audience or do you have to identify your target and work specifically with them?

In the pre-internet age, everything was optimised towards achieving maximum reach, for the minimum expenditure. As we became more digitally savvy - we perhaps went too far in the opposite direction, spending large amounts of time and resources chasing micro niches of consumers that generated very little in the way of real results. The truth lies somewhere in-between. Big impact brand marketing and hyper-personalised targeted messaging both have their place. The real impact of the digital revolution is the discovery of an auditable trail of what works and what doesn’t. How you achieve those results, shouldn’t really matter.


Steve Jobs said “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. Do you think that’s the main challenge for brands in the future: to be able to offer products and services before the consumer asks for them?

Consumers can rarely articulate their needs in the neat and tidy categorisations that companies need to justify creating a new product or service. That's why traditional focus group or market research often fail to deliver game changing innovation ideas. However consumers through their patterns of behavior provide clues as to their needs and desires all the time. Products used in unusual ways, makeshift solutions to everyday problems, or the combination of products that might imply new convergences - these are all signals of impending innovation.


You have said “data” is the new gold in this technology revolution. Are we going to face an invasion of privacy from companies trying to know everything about consumers?

It comes down to context. Data allows brands to not only personalise their products and services to better reflect their consumers, but to also create entirely new kinds of experiences as well. There is no clear line between Big Data and Big Brother, other than perception. If you make your customers’ life more interesting, engaging and convenient through the use of data you will succeed. If not, it will be considered a breach of their privacy. And they will regulate the hell out of you.


Many companies have failed when it comes to embrace their audiences through social media. What do you think are their main mistakes? Can you give us advice about the right way to reach your audience through social media?

Where companies fail is when they focus on fans and followers. The number of people that like your Facebook fan page, or have added you on Instagram is completely irrelevant if you still believe that the brand that matters is your own. People will only share your content and marketing messages if it makes them look smarter, funnier or sexier to their own networks. In other words - it is their brand, and not yours - that really matters.

Most of the community managers who work for companies have a deep knowledge about new technologies but they also have a lack of knowledge about sociology. Don’t you think that in order to impact your audience it is important for companies to hire more sociologists rather than technology experts?

Of course! In the early days of social media - if you had a Twitter account, you were an expert. These days merely knowing how to use the tools, does not make you a true master of them. Technology is the last important part of the equation. There will always be a new application, social networking platform or device that is the latest fad. As brands, the people you should hire are those that can seamlessly integrate their knowledge of human behaviour across technologies - whatever tomorrow’s trend might be.


You have said in the future Unite States will not domain Internet. What are the reasons that make you think that?

With the exception of China and to some extent Russia - American built platforms still dominate the Web - but interestingly, the user bases of these same services are already more global than they are American. The usage patterns, business contexts and regulatory frameworks around these global users will ultimately play a much bigger role in shaping the future of the online world, than the simple view that has Silicon Valley entrepreneurs realising their digital utopian visions.

What is the roll that Latin America and Asia will play in the future of the Internet?

What happens in Latin American and Asia will be critical to the future direction of the Web. Latin America of course is not a mono-culture. Despite the prevalence of Spanish, there are radical differences in behaviour among market segmentations - however you can say in general that the highly integrated social network existed in Latin America long before Facebook or Twitter. I expect innovations in the use of social media marketing and mobile engagement to emerge in this region much quicker than in other markets. Asia, with its highly sophisticated mobile youth populations is similarly important - and will also be a trendsetter.

In your opinion how will the virtual world change in the next 10 years? Do you see a new technology coming soon to change the actual Internet?

Tor. If you don’t know what it is, it is probably best that you don’t. Someone might be listening.

Many experts and researches affirm that the ability to adjust and adapt to changes is crucial to survive in business. What is your advice to the companies that are trying to develop that ability and what is the secret to be constantly innovative?

It is not enough just to know what is going to happen next. Most good business leaders have an instinct for how their company and industry are changing. The hard part is allowing change to be bottom up, rather than top down. You can change your strategy on a whiteboard, but to change your company you need a revolution in what all of your employees believe.


This interview appeared originally in Marketing News


Topics: Latin America, Interviews