The great thing about predictions is that by the time you realize you were wrong, everyone else has moved on.  Yet, making predictions is still fun.  And occasionally, someone channels Nostradamus and winds up being perfectly correct.  We fully expect the predictions below to clear that bar.*

I recently asked six of my lovely co-workers the three questions that plague this marketing brain of mine:

In some cases, their answers shocked me; in others, “duh” may have escaped my lips. Today we will tackle the first question, and publish the second tomorrow, and the final on Monday.  Without further ado:

How will marketing change in the next 10 years?

“The basics of marketing will start to become something the average person understands and uses in their daily lives. (Sort of like how social media is now.) There will be even more bad marketing out there as a result and also more noise, which will make it even harder for brands and organizations to market themselves. One would think this would mean a greater need for agencies and consultants but because there’s an idea that “anyone can do it,” work will be devalued and the kind of layoffs and business model cratering that have hit the larger media industry will happen in the agency model, too.”

“Long-form video (2-4 minutes) that feels authentic to the brand will overpower 30-second spots.”

“I think it will go one of two ways. Either it will be all quick video spots because people’s attention spans will be fried by that point (due to all of the content we consume on a daily basis) OR people are going to value brands that go retro and make marketing more like the days of Mad Men.”

“The trend of connecting a company’s conscious/purpose will be the table stakes. Since consumers will evolve to be more sophisticated, marketers who figure out how to trust by solving consumers’ problems (however small they may seem) will win the day.

Despite much more finely tuned metrics that can definitively show a consumer’s journey from interest through purchase, the “art” part of messaging will still be a mystery and the differentiator from brands and agencies.

The marketing agency will be vastly changed as the winning brands will have figured out that they are indeed media entities and the efficiencies gained by internalizing content creation will outweigh outsourcing.”

“Everything will be data-driven, yet everyone will be promoting information privacy/security.”

My take? 

Due to the increased consumer savviness mentioned above, brands will either need to integrate so closely into narratives (think non-obvious product placements in shows) OR acknowledge that they’re selling in more overt ways (breaking the fourth wall, etc.)

User-generated content (reviews, social media chatter) will continue to grow in influence – unsubsidized votes of confidence will mean the most.  Paid influencer marketing will be shown to be a sham because the people’s whose opinions you value won’t be for sale.

*Not really.

What do you think marketing will be like in 10 years?  Let us know in the comments!

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