The turn of the century brought with it a slew of new technology. Marketing is an industry where technological advances have transformed the way we think, and the way we do business.
Just how fast is the industry changing? A quick look back at the last 20 years puts it into perspective pretty quickly.
It’s only been 11 years since Apple released the smartphone. Seven years since the advent of Snapchat. Fourteen years since Mark Zuckerberg introduced us to Facebook. Eighteen years since Google AdWords launched. Even SEO falls within the last two decades; it was only popularized as a marketing technique in 1998.
As a result of these digital developments, the entire industry has grown and transformed in less than two decades. The channels and touchpoints open to marketers are nearly endless. Growth has been, and continues to be, exponential.
This has brought with it big changes to the industry as a whole. Marketing has shifted into two main branches: traditional marketing and digital marketing. Digital marketing companies are pulled in many directions. With so many channels open for businesses to use, and so much technical knowledge needed to use these channels for full impact, digital marketing has become a booming business.
While it would be easy to say technology improves the marketing industry as a whole, it’s not quite that simple. In fact, it’s the complexity and sheer volume of channels that has complicated the industry. New technology helps create innovative marketing techniques and strategies. However, it also makes it more difficult for marketers to keep up.
What Can We Expect?
The industry will only continue to experience exponential growth. It’s difficult to predict exactly what technological developments will occur, but we can get a sense of where things are headed. Here are four of our predictions for the future of marketing:
1. New touchpoints will create better experiences.
Virtual and augmented reality technology is quickly being developed for mainstream use. Google Cardboard has brought 3D viewing to the masses, and created an entirely new viewer experience. 3D renderings are quickly replacing show homes. AI (artificial intelligence) is now able to help people navigate the shopping experience, as shown in systems such as Amazon Goand many other virtual and retail stores.
The result of this technology is a complete overhaul to the customer buying experience. Along with the new experiences comes a whole new set of consumer psychology. Which brings us to the next point…
2. Marketers will turn to a more simplified approach to marketing as the industry becomes more complex.
As technology expands, marketers will need to focus on the touchpoints that truly matter to target audiences. What experience are they looking for? How can marketing begin to engage senses, evoke emotion, and compel movement using this new technology? And, most importantly, how can we make the bestuse of the technology and touchpoints we choose to use.
The latter is important, because as the marketing channels develop, a layer of complexity is added to the marketing process. One of the biggest questions businesses have right now is “what channels should I be using?” More options and more choice means companies need to navigate through the noise and find the channels that will truly reach out and touch audiences.
3. More collaboration will be seen in the industry as expert niches develop and specialty techniques are required and used.
As digital marketing casts a wider net of options, general “jack-of-all-trades” marketers will fall to the wayside. Instead, marketing companies will need to become collaborative environments where individual talents come together. Visual, content-based, and virtual experience channels will need to work together to maintain brand consistency. Experts in web design, SEO, photography, graphic design, virtual reality, and programming will share ideas to create consistency, while maintaining individual skills to produce their piece of the marketing pie.
We’ve already begun to see this movement occur, and it will only continue to develop. In the future, we’ll begin to see exactly how individually talented creators working in a collaborative team environment can produce truly artistic marketing campaigns.
4. Marketers will shift toward digital artistry to help clients stand out.
This is perhaps the most important development we’re likely to see in the coming decades. Every business is marketing, but not every business is gaining traction. Previously, brand unity was enough to help a business stand out from the crowd. Great content and great use of specific channels was enough. That’s not the case anymore.
With an influx of consumers, channels, and competition, standing out requires extra effort. The question is, where will marketers direct those efforts? We believe that the shift will occur in the quality and “wow” factor of the content being produced. Stand out companies won’t just be creating great online content; they’ll be creating true digital artistry. The distinction is in the methods used to produce the content, and in the ability of marketers to weave together a story that people can experience, rather than simply appreciate. New channels, collaboration, and field specialists are three important parts of the equation. The end result is digital artistry.
The industry is leading us in exciting new directions. How are you going to produce your digital artistry? If you’d like to learn more, watch our recent Mag-Con 2018 video or head to the Magnolias website.