What do marketing and psychotherapy have in common? Both marketers and people going through therapy should clearly understand one thing: only the change is constant. Everything else is fleeting and is destined to eventually end, giving way to something new and unexplored.
So, anyone hoping for a checklist of comprehensive marketing to-do strategies should obviously reevaluate one’s professional attitude. Sadly, there are no fixed rules, and, like every new profession, marketing is associated with constant learning and self-improvement.
Still, despite the absence of fixed rules and techniques, present-day marketing is neither Book of Ra nor Russian roulette. Yes, marketers will always be facing unexpected changes, but it does not mean that all marketing trends are 100% unforeseen.
Today, we can already observe tendencies that will determine the marketing future and its trends. Most likely, those are just the tip of the iceberg — but at the very least, that’s the tip we already see.
Biggest Trend That Determines the Future of Marketing: Brand Purpose
Every stage we’ve already been through seems less challenging than the one we are experiencing now. The same is true for marketing transformation — if you ask any experienced marketer, they’ll tell you that things were way easier than they are now. A couple of years ago, marketers only needed to showcase their products’ strong (or selling) points. Now, they need more than that — a purpose.
Most consumers today will go with the brand that is changing this world for the better. Today, 80% of consumers think businesses should take an active part in acute social issues; 91% believe companies should support a good cause; 67% have already switched to a new brand that tries to make a difference. Not hard to predict that in the next five years, 100% of customers will be looking for brands with distinct purposes — and marketing goals will have to adjust to this shift.
It’s All About the Customers… And Their Experience
Today, customer experience is a marketing buzzword. In a nutshell, it goes down to providing an excellent service that keeps people coming back to you. But then again, nothing is as simple as that — different audiences will have different expectations from brands and service providers. Sure, one can point out several essentials, including convenient payment methods, friendly and knowledgeable staff, quality products, etc. Those are all important parts of any online B2B Marketplace domain.
Still, the keyword is ‘experience.’ In today’s competitive market, ‘experience’ often implies positive emotions. If your goods or services make people feel good, they will come back for more. So, that’s where we’re all going — engaging consumers and appealing to their emotional side.
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Digital Automation And AI
Artificial intelligence is another buzz word, but unlike customer experience, it tends to be a bit scarier. How will the bots change the way we sell goods and services? Does the change mean some professions will go out of business? Which gaps will artificial intelligence fill? There is a lot of talk about content creation, website development, strategic planning — all with the help of AI. Still, it’s highly unlikely that bots will ever replace human marketers — after all, this a human, creative job. Still, there is reason enough to believe that bots, chat messengers, in particular, will make marketing messages and marketers’ jobs easier. One aspect is message personalization — something most consumers are looking for these days, and something any basic AI will be able to provide soon.
Data Analytics And SEO
Last year, Google reached an unprecedented stat on zero-clicks — the number exceeded 50% mark. In other words, we should no longer see Google as the search engine but rather as the answer engine. Snippets with answers will make data analysis and SEO different from they are today — but still essential for any marketing strategy. So, even today, marketers should get ready to answer their prospective clients’ questions with quick snippets of information. Once again, this is a job for people with profound data analysis skills because it bridges the gap between technology and talent.
Brand Strategy Across Multiple Platforms
Consistency and authenticity are not new terms for marketers, and most likely — those two will become ever more relevant in the next few years. As already mentioned, the biggest change in marketing is that consumers are looking for brands that do something good. As people get ever more aware of social, political, and environmental issues, the brands must adjust to meet their customers’ expectations. Of course, it would be difficult to embrace all three, but there is always a way to focus on one — or, better yet, one minor aspect of one of these facets. Not everyone can be green, or plastic-free, or socially conscious and willing to help children in Africa. But practically every brand can present its products and services from an angle that makes this world a better place.
Since Google is turning into an answer engine, not a search and information engine, marketers will have to shift such messages to social media. Video, images, and other visuals will be getting ever more influence in the content marketing world. So, that’s what one should focus on in the first place.
Employee-Friendliness & Its Importance
One of the last and the most important steps is conveying your brand’s message within a company. This, first of all, means employees. Before you get customers to care about you, people working with you should care. Quality employee experience also results in better-trained, better-informed, and overall friendlier staff. Friendly and knowledgeable staff, in turn, contributes to quality customer experience — because no one likes a sulky, demotivated employee. See? Eventually, it all ties down together.
The bottom line, marketing of the future will be a scalable system with several interconnected elements. The message your brand conveys, its authenticity, as well as consistency across different social media platforms, and overall marketing personalization results in higher employee and customer experience. Even now, we can see that brands who care about their services, sell. Those who are just here to make money, go out of business. Or do you think the 1980s money-making shark style will once again become a trend?