Five Revolutions that Will Shape the Future of Marketing

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Revolution #5: From Selling to Sharing

Since millennials and digital natives have been aggressively marketed to their entire lives, they are also extremely savvy about the media they consume. Direct, blatant pitches don’t work on them. They hate being sold to, and to them, commercials are just the things you fast-forward through to get back to the program. Also, since they are wary of institutions, they are much more likely to trust the opinion of a friend than anyone else, hence the rise of social media as a powerful marketing tool.
 
In the future, selling is going to be less about persuasion and more about participation. Brands that position themselves as a trusted “friend” have a much better chance of succeeding in this environment. That’s not a new idea; the key is truly being worthy of the customer’s trust. For example, Whole Foods knows that its customers care about the ecological, political, and social impact of the food they consume. To help make that information more readily available to its customers, the company is investing in IT infrastructure to support its vision of total product transparency — a move it hopes will inspire the sort of trust and loyalty all companies are looking for in the 21st century.

The market is full of trendy terms — Big Data, the Internet of Things, digital natives, globalization, social media, etc. — that attempt to describe the complex technological and social changes that the world is currently experiencing. However, there is a danger in reducing complex social dynamics down to a few catchy buzzwords – trendy terms can act as intellectual shortcuts that fool people into thinking they understand these ideas when they really don’t.
 
Yes, everyone knows change is coming. And everyone can see it happening around them. But in the next 20 years, so much change is going to happen so quickly that large portions of the populace are going to have a difficult time keeping up.
 
And it won’t just be individuals. Underestimating the speed and impact of these changes will be the downfall of many businesses large and small in the coming years. In a world of constant disruption and uncertainty, however, marketers who truly understand the key forces behind these changes will be in a better position to adapt and survive. Looking ahead, there are several horizon-level revolutions that everyone in marketing should be aware of, because they are about to be felt with a force that is difficult to overstate.

Owen Shapiro is the author of Brand Shift: The Future of Brands and Marketing. Shapiro is a market researcher, strategist and speaker and spent more than 30 years in customer insights and market strategy. He has a career-long interest in helping launch innovative start-up companies, several of which have become well-known brands, including Staples, PetSmart, Sports Authority, Ulta and Five Below. 

 

Related Topics : Vulnerabilities and Patches, Resellers, Broadcom, Broadband Services, Supercomputing

 
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