8 minute read
When you think about the future of marketing, what do you see?
Completely automated workflows and campaigns? Predictive analytics that help us actually achieve the Holy Grail of marketing (right message, for the right customer, at exactly the right time)? Technology stacks that intuitively and seamlessly connect with each other to deliver dynamic insight?
All of those things might come to fruition (some are already here). Or they might not. As most of us know from experience, predictions are unpredictable — just ask former Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer. That said, prognostication is still a worthwhile exercise because it helps us reflect on the past, envision the future, and test new ideas that allow us to get ahead of the pack.
So, what is the future of marketing?
Former HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe on the Value of First-Mover Advantage
“If you’re willing to try things before they go mainstream, that willingness — even if you’re not particularly good at that specific thing — gives you a disproportionate advantage. If something takes off, you’re already ahead of the inflection point. You’ve had time to test, learn, and get really good at it before everyone else jumps in.
That said, leaders don’t seek risk for risk’s sake. They accept risk as a natural byproduct of a worthwhile reward."
MarketingProfs Chief Content Officer Ann Handley on the Rebirth of Quality
“I believe 2016 is the year content marketing grows up. Strategy, processes, and metrics will mean something. Creativity and craft will trump speed and quantity. Marketers will tell bigger stories with a braver focus and bolder voice. That’s the future. Content marketers who don’t adapt won’t like the results.”
Former Campaign Monitor VP Agata Celmerowski on Self-Driving Marketing
“As much as some of our industry wants to pretend otherwise, I don’t believe the advancement of technology excuses marketers from cultivating a basic level of technical literacy.
You don’t need to know how to code your entire website to be a great digital marketer. But when your CMS defaults your clever animated gif to sit right on top of a paragraph of text, you’ll appreciate being able to adjust the padding directly in the code. Beyond small stuff like that, understanding the basic operating mechanics behind the tools you use and the medium you work in is a prerequisite for unleashing the full extent of your creativity.”
Ambassador CEO Jeff Epstein on a New Pillar of MarTech
“Instead of seamlessly managing customer relationships through a handful of cohesive marketing platforms, most marketers today are drowning in a patchwork of point solutions.
That’s going to change. Instead of manually managing and monitoring post-sale customer engagement (NPS surveys, reviews, testimonials, customer feedback, referrals, etc.), marketers will come to rely on a single platform that sews all of that functionality together. This will give marketers full control over customer relationships at scale, which will yield better experiences for end users and better results for marketers.”
What’s your prediction?
While I’m confident the four trends above will play a big role in influencing how we operate in the future, I’m also confident a big part of our future will be dictated by technologies and innovations none of us are talking about right now.
So, what do you see when you envision the future of marketing? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Give me a shout on Twitter @JoshZywien. And if you want to dive a little deeper into each of the trends above (plus three more), download your copy of our eBook below.