🔮 What is the future of marketing?
Answers from 17 international experts. From AI revolutions to hyper-personalization and sustainability - how the marketing landscape is changing and what opportunities the future holds for us.
Hello 👋 My name is Florian Schleicher and this is the FutureStrategies newsletter from FutureS. I'm glad you're reading along 💚 If you want to learn strategic marketing, my Simple & Sustainable Marketing Academy is just right for you.
One of them is, "What is the future of marketing?".
Today I invite you to take a look and analyze the impressive, clear, far-sighted, and inspiring answers.
Sometimes the answers are very short, sometimes long.
But always enriching.
🌱 What do the experts say?
** Please note: some interviews are only available in German **
The future of marketing is...
Creating customer experiences and emotions at all levels to promote and ultimately sell products.
The future of marketing will be an even better ratio of "the right user at the right moment, with the right advertising medium". I believe this will be the biggest challenge of the next ten years.
Not the past. But not the failure to recognize the past either. The future of advertising is brighter than the entire industry paints it. Because the faster the pace, the digital pace, the more sophisticated the technologies, the more developed, the more you need ideas and creativity to differentiate yourself. An incredible need and at the same time a scarce commodity.
I believe that we are dealing with AI in completely the wrong way. We are so "tool-crazy" at the moment. Every day we show ourselves the new Firefly and MidJourney, etc. even more awesome pictures. In fact, AI is God's gift to us if we use it correctly, because we can get a lot out of data. We can look into the past, but we can also simulate the data of the future. There is an incredible amount of answer quality in there. We can also play with "what if". Simply look at a lot of design variants, something we haven't had before. It was all more or less like that or you had a full head in your team. But I think that's one of the real game changers, as well as getting away from the "Huh, look, another nice picture".
In my view, marketing will not change at its core. Because it will always be about focusing on what people or consumers need and want. And looking at which relevant messages can best reach them. It will always be about the same thing.
To be significant.
The future of marketing lies in understanding that you can't shout at people, but that you should engage them in a conversation. Literally and figuratively. And stop believing that everyone is interested in exactly what you want to sell.
Hildegard Linsbauer, Brand and communications strategist
I assume that AI will give us supportive measures on the one hand. But on the other hand, it will bring opportunities and risks. That's my opinion. And work and job profiles will change. Many things that are difficult to do now will be done at the touch of a button, while other things will remain as they are. But that makes it an exciting time and gives us new challenges as marketeers.
It is a lot of change, always changing, always adapting. And since what we saw what happend with social media there is now this AI wave. And there will be a next wave. Maybe we go into hyper-personalization. And a lot of new forms of reaching people. On top of what we have now. So I think it’s ever changing - the future of marketing. Which is also the fun part.
I think there will always be marketing. I believe that after Byron Sharp was big a year ago and said, "the main thing is presence", we will get back to really transporting content and telling stories. And getting closer to people again. And I think a lot more will happen when it comes to addressing smaller communities. And to do lots and lots of things for smaller special interest groups. And getting in there in a more targeted way. I think that will be one way. And I still believe that the mass media will remain with us. So without television, posters, that won't work.
The future of marketing is very, very exciting. Brave, full of change, sustainable and always focused on the customer.
I think we came from a place where it was more disconected between the company, the brand, and the consumer. I think there will be way more in general interaction and I think be much higher standards for brands to live up to. It will be less about everyone is shouting “I have the best product” and more about the values that you holistically believe in as a company. And I think Marketing is a way to promote that vision, that company, and that brand. I feel like brands that will survive in the future will be holistic and it will be hard for them to be doing a lot of shady stuff in the background while promoting a product or a service. It’s like everything sort of has to work together and Marketing is a way to bring that out there.
There is no future on a dead planet. As the saying goes. The future of marketing is only happening if we can solve the climate crisis.
I think there are very creative people in marketing. And I would hope the future of that area and that sector is also focusing more on product and how we can change product and services to the climate friendly. And then also be able to communicate about it. I think that’s a major task. And to me, be more proactive on it, and not only be the last one in line to then whose to get to communicate and advertise stuff will be an important shift in the industry.
There are a lot of changes ahead of us. One thing that we are seeing in the field of online marketing is, of course, AI. It’s a big factor when you think about MidJourney, image generation, ChatPGT and so on. I’ve seen a video on YouTube where there was an audience with a few hundred people and the guy on stage asked who is using ChatGPT, and I think 95% of the people stood up. So, it was quite, quite interesting. And of course the adaption will take a little bit of time until it’s so widely known. And it’s really a threat to Google. But one possibility for sure is, that in the future more people will use Large Language Models like ChatGPT and therefore Google and also SEO will become less important. And another factor is also that companies will struggle to get traffic to the websites. Because what if you get your information directly from ChatGPT which crawls through the website by itself. Then more and more websites will struggle to get traffic. If it’s important for them, they will have to be creative to find some ways to to get the traffic. But on the other side, I think Social Media will get more and more important. Because the people are on Social Media Platforms. So I think a big and authentic community and getting in the dialogue with your target audience will become more and more valuable in the future. I think these are the biggest changes I see for the next years. There are some trends ahead of us, for sure.
I hope that marketing and branding will be more purpose-based, this for me means more focused on solving problems than selling problems. And then I think that AI will make content creation, marketing campaigns and so on, much easier and speed up the process a lot. So, I hope this is huge chance for more quality and more time in the creative tasks. And I also believe that this will put a new kind of spotlight on soft skills and real emotions and also transporting real emotions through products, through brands, through offerings. And I hope that we will find more unique approaches then, because time for creative tasks will rise. I hope.
I definitely think very much sustainability is hopefully gonna become such an integral part of everyone’s business. Every business should just be doing sustainability as a standard and it should just be shocking that they aren’t doing it. Kind of how it is with plastic straws. If you see a plastic straw out nowadays, you are very shocked and confused, where it’s literally like two years ago, you wouldn’t have been. So I think that sustainabilty is just gonna become a given. Which I think is really important. I think the kind of digital side of things is so unknown. With X now, if that’s becoming paywalled, is that a whole channel that just vanishes? I feel like the digital landscape is changing so much. I definitely think the future will have a lot of changes. I am sure there is gonna potentially be another platform like TikTok there. ‘cause I remember when we were in lockdown and TikTok kind of really took off. That wasn’t that many years ago. So I am sure there is gonna be something else that comes along and takes us all by surprise and everyone kind of has to suddenly pivot and become something elses. I remember at Too Good To Go, we were having debates about “We really need to go on TikTok”. Some people of the team were not that interested and said it was just for kids and now it’s like if you’re not on TikTok then you really lost a lot of relevancy as a brand. I definitely think you have to remain very open-minded and you can’t have your personal opinions lead what you think for business because otherwise I think you can fall behind times very quickly.
What are my takeaways from this?
🤖 The future of marketing demands and brings more differentiated and targeted ideas. The further development of technology is an innovative driver. And AI has huge leverage here, even though I have yet to see many useful marketing applications.
👸 The future of marketing is full of change and is concerned with customization - more than ever. At a time when we are overwhelmed by content, we as marketers need to understand what really engages, drives and perhaps inspires our target groups.
🌱 The future of marketing will make sustainability an integral part of communication. Companies need to look at their values and visions and communicate them transparently, boldly, and authentically. Customers want to know what contribution the company is making to sustainability. And marketing has a superpower that can be used for this.
What will not change in the future?
Strategically sound marketing needs three things to be successful.
💁♂️ Now it is your turn
How do you think marketing will develop in the future?
Feel free to write it in the comments, I am curious what you think.
See you soon,
PS: I have already many more interviews planned, so you can look forward to hearing what my upcoming guests think about the future of marketing in the upcoming weeks.
PPS: You can also read this posting in German.