Reflecting about the future of marketing, things are changing dramatically right now but the real marketing revolution is about to happen. All the old marketing books will feel like outdated, almost laughable, textbooks from the ’30s.
We won’t be utilizing the current research tools to find our target audience and interrupt them. Just like the Cold War, at one point one side will give up and say: “This doesn’t work anymore.” And it won’t be people. Brands will move away from annoying people to delight them. How?
Marketers will become curators. They will look for people with comparable interests, passion and desires. And they will bring these people together, delight them with new experiences, extensions of their interests, passion and desires. we will change our mindset from being a general in the marketing war to an empathetic enabler. This will take new structures, new organizations, new people. But, most importantly, it will change marketing from a walled garden existence to an open ecosystem.
We see the first efforts to understand this dramatic shift in the VRM Project, curated by Doc Searls. We see first steps from brands, curating Social Networks and becoming more of a service provider. The end of old-school marketing is very near. And the future very bright.
These are tough times for many businesses. Sales are not as good as expected. Marketing costs are being scrutinized, just to be scrutinized again. We might be in the minority but these are the best of times.
Fat years tend to make us lazy. We spend our marketing budget without questioning if any of this is worth a damn. Recessionary times force us to go back to our roots. It makes us think about the value of our marketing efforts. Mediocrity is not acceptable anymore. The glossy brochure that collects dust might be a great value for your corporate meeting, another piece you can showcase and share with your fellow marketers. But, is it really what people want? Just like the banner ads you produce, the print ads, the commercials.
Recessionary times force us to be more creative. Is there a better way to communicate your product features to people than a glossy, expensive brochure? Can we replace the costly redesign of the product site with an innovative approach that shows people we understand what they need? Can we save a lot of money by cutting commercials and, instead of annoying people, offer them value?
Recessionary times make us focus on the basics of our offerings. And communicating them in new, innovative ways. And getting closer to people. By listening. And reacting. These are the best of times.