Marketing is an industry that is characterized by rapid technical development and disruptive changes, which makes it difficult to work into the future. Rani Arsanios looks to the year 2030 and speculates about how the industry will develop and change.
According to Etymologists, the term “marketing” first appeared in the sixteenth century and referred to the buying and selling process in a market. If a time traveler had told you what marketing is like today, it would have been impossible to explain.
In order to understand the future, we must study the past, said many distinguished historians and philosophers. But is that entirely true in marketing? Perhaps studying our history tells us a lot about who we are and provides interesting arguments for the development of our society. And yes, it can tell us how marketing and the business world are going.
But what can really tell us where we are going is the recent technological developments and disruptive changes all around us.
Take Facebook, for example. Marketing was very different ten years ago, before Facebook was what it is today. Back then, Facebook advertising wasn’t even on the map, let alone a central advertising channel for most global brands. In the first quarter of 2021, Facebook generated $ 26.17 billion Revenue, mostly from advertising – that’s over $ 100 billion in advertising dollars a year.
The question arises, where was that money spent ten years ago, before advertising on Facebook was a thing? Well, it was mostly given out in traditional forms of media like radio and television. And when you add up other digital giants like Google and Amazon, you get a good sense of how much marketing spending has shifted over the past decade. If hundreds of billions of billions of advertising money are being shifted from one form of advertising to another in ten years, what can happen in the next ten or even five years?
Maybe there won’t be a big shift. Or maybe new technologies will pop up again and paint our business and advertising models right under our feet.
Here is another fascinating finding. The number of Marketing technology solutions grew from 150 in 2011 to 8,000 in 2020. That’s 5,233 percent growth in 9 years. Below is a map of the current marketing technology solutions as of 2020. It’s a creepy beast. To think about how this can develop over the next decade is an exciting but overwhelming thought.
With this in mind, I expect nine ways marketing will evolve and change by 2030.
Much of the speculation below is speculation. However, data, science and logic can give us the assurance that they can be realized.
Advertising for brain interfaces
Elon Musk and the team of scientists at Neuralink build tools that communicate with the brain. And their website says, ‘With the right team, the applications of this technology are limitless.’
If that doesn’t sound bothersome, I don’t know what it is.
The neural implants they are developing allow people to connect to computers and devices. Micrometer-sized threads are inserted into areas of the brain that control movement. Each thread contains many electrodes and connects them to an implant, the link.
By 2030, this technology will be much more viable, advanced, commercialized, and widespread. And maybe advertising will become a reality right in the brain. In this case, brands and advertisers will be looking for ways to connect with the human brain to advertise and get instant feedback on their products.
We don’t know exactly what this will look like and what ethical and data protection implications such a technology will have. But when it becomes a reality, the world will be turned upside down again.
Location-based and AR-based advertising
Experts predict By 2027 there should be 41 billion IoT devices worldwide.
Between 5G networks, the evolution of AI and the exponential growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), the world will be hyper-connected.
New advertising methods based on the physical location and presence of people are becoming much more effective and workable.
Imagine waking up one day looking for a new dress. You see an ad, go to the website, and consider buying. Later that day, you drive to pick up your children from their martial arts school. There is a digital screen on which they share news and updates, but advertisements also circulate. An ad immediately appears on the screen for the exact dress that you searched that morning.
Or better, you go to a mall and there is an Augmented Reality (AR) booth where you can review products using AR technology and as soon as you walk in they will show you the dress that you were previously browsing.
And that’s just one example of how location-based retargeting can evolve.
Businesses will use offices, restaurants, public transportation, and all kinds of facilities to personalize their advertisements based on users’ behavior, time, and location.
Your content and marketing copy won’t just appeal to people. You address and sell to bots. That’s true. Bots.
People will have less and less time to do the essential routine activities and decisions like “What should I buy for my cousin’s birthday party” and instead a bot will do it for them.
Whether shopping for groceries or buying gifts, people will have AI-based shopping apps that will do the shopping for them based on their criteria and shopping behavior.
Businesses and brands need to customize and optimize their advertising and content to connect with the AI tools for personal shopping to maximize their sales and ROI.
Attention is the most important currency in marketing. According to various sources, we are seeing up to 5,000 ads per day or even more today. Regardless of what that number actually is, we all agree that it has increased significantly over the past few decades.
So how can your advertising be effective when you’re battling thousands of other advertisers for your target audience’s attention?
Advertising based on storytelling and lengthy copywriting will be less effective than it is today. Not because people don’t like stories or long content, but because we run out of time or hear a long story.
People will want to know the value proposition right away in order to decide whether to buy it or not.
If your video ads are 60 seconds long today, they probably need to be 45 seconds long by 2030. Figuring out how to get impactful marketing messages across in shorter ads is a challenge and opportunity for brands.
Content quality and originality
AI will be able to write content for all types and purposes. Whether for SEO or social media posts, a range of intelligent software creates content in no time at all. And some of that content will be good. And soon these tools will flood the market and be widely available and cheap enough to be adopted by most companies.
But would that content be good enough? Can we tell if the content was written by bots? Will we care?
My bet is that people will want to see a lot more originality, creativity and authenticity in content than they do today. Companies and brands need to invest more in original and unique content and develop a higher level of creativity.
Personalized product marketing
Drop shipping will be dead. What was once a cool and trendy way to start an ecommerce business is no longer going to be practical or financially sound.
Technology will allow us to add value to buyers in ways that we could not have imagined.
Instead of mass production, manufacturing automation, “production shipping” – that is, the manufacture of personalized products on a large scale – will be possible. The buyer determines what they want and their specifications are put into production the minute they place an order. And this model will be financially feasible for many sectors.
E-commerce is more about personalized products than mass production and sales. Fashion brands produce and sell items that are tailored to buyers’ measurements and tastes.
Auto and vehicle based advertising
Many vehicles will be self-driving and automated by 2030. In addition, cars will be much more connected to most devices.
If cars are self-driving, what do we do when we are in them? Maybe we watch a movie, talk to a client, or listen to music.
Radio is still a reasonably effective advertising channel for drivers and commuters. But when we don’t have to drive anymore because our cars can do it, will we tune in to our favorite radio station or check our phones, tablets and PCs?
What if next-gen cars have smart, embedded screens and devices that advertisers can use to serve ads while you’re on your way to work?
Audio and visual car advertising is becoming an effective way to reach people and generate sales.
Give it a try before you buy marketing
Virtual Reality (VR) based content marketing will be enormous. Instead of going to a restaurant and risking not liking the atmosphere or the surroundings, imagine that you could feel what it feels like to be there without actually leaving. Many industries and sectors will leverage VR and AR based experiences and content so customers can get a taste of the experience before they commit full-time and financially.
Diversification of marketing channels
Diversification will not be optional. It will be the only reality.
Companies will have a mix of marketing channels that is much more diverse than it is today. There will be a shift in focus and mindset. Instead of focusing on the advertising platform, brands will focus a lot more on advertising by people.
If you look at the marketing mix of most businesses, and especially SMBs, you’ll find that they have two to three main channels in focus. Perhaps they are primarily focused on Facebook Ads or Google Ads and run content marketing initiatives as a secondary channel to generate sales.
By 2030, marketing efforts will be much more fragmented and diversified. Even startups and SMBs will realize that they need to invest seven to ten marketing initiatives / channels to be competitive and successful.
Rani Arsanios is the founder of SAVV Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Sydney, Australia.
Photo by drmakete lab on Unsplash.