Sunday, March 13th, 2016 | 4 min read
Virtual reality devices, location-based technology, personal broadcasting networks—just five years ago, these things still seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie. Now they’re on the cusp of being quotidian, and they’re transforming the way brands connect with consumers.
But so far, we’ve only glimpsed the tip of the iceberg. We asked seven forward-thinking marketers from organizations like HTC, McDonalds, and AARP what marketing will look like in 2020. They painted a future dominated by values-based marketing, VR-infused social media, and ephemeral communication formats, where Big Data allows brands to create better customer experiences.
“The next big thing in social will be Virtual Reality. Social media will be the medium through which customers use VR to connect with brands. Let’s say we’re ringing the bell at Nasdaq; someone can put on a headset at home and experience that through VR.”
“We’ll move from social and content marketing to more contextual marketing. With this, the important question will become: as marketers have the ability to use social data or health data and serve it up on [everyday objects] like a refrigerator, how do you do that in a meaningful way without ruining it? We need to make sure we’re using this technology to make people’s lives better through contextual experience.”
“I think it will be harder to see what users are sharing in social. There will always be loudmouths, yes, but the rapid ascent of Snapchat heralds a communications change from ‘Permanent and Archived’ to ‘Fleeting and Fun.”
“Gen Z is going to change the way we tell stories. I see a shift away from lifestyle messaging towards values and belief-based messaging. These kids aren’t religious in the traditional sense, but they are spiritual and principled! Leading marketing in 2020 will invite people to join belief-based culture tribes and appeal to attitudes and values, not demographics.”
“Big Data is where we’re looking to not just master the hardware and technology but also understand what [the customer] experience will be like. What is the personal experience for a member or someone who interacts with us? [The important question is]: how will AARP provide people with a seamless experience across all this new Big Data technology?”
“Where I’m spending most of my time right now is Big Data and machine analytics. I put my bet on machine learning and the algorithm.”
“Marketing in 2020 won’t be about targeting consumers but about value creation, connections, and moments. Winning brands will be those who can create valuable, relevant moments using data.”