I want to create a series of blog posts discussing the future of marketing because it will be of the essence in how we see our profession from now on. Today is the first one. The world is changing due to many things. The main impact came from the technological revolution we live through, but then Covid-19 accelerated the role of technology in how we do our work. Even in the world's remotest parts, these two factors impact life, including the marketer's life.
As we should all know, marketing is at the forefront of businesses. It is an essential function no matter what product or service you sell. Without marketing, you will not be able to maximize your brand's potential, and you will not be able to create loyal users and retain them. That much we should all know. But also, when I read about what marketing is in some posts and discussions, I frequently find that marketing is reduced to a communications function. Honestly, if you asked me what marketing is and if I was forced to answer with one word only, I would say "strategy." Marketing is foremost strategy, even high strategy. Every action you take for your brand within the capacity of the marketing function should rest upon intelligent strategic thinking. Otherwise, it just becomes an action without the required destination. The strategy ensures that the steps you take are based on what direction you want your brand to move.
So, that can only mean one thing in the context of the future of marketing. Things are going to get more complicated. There is no doubt that considering the newer marketing terminologies, like "engagement," the game plan of marketers should change. When I started being a marketer a few decades ago, we had our brand positioning statements (BPS). And we developed agency briefs in the context of our BPS and the objectives we are pursuing. Of course, I am exaggerating, but that would have been our main task. However, nowadays, things are very complicated. When you take the notion of "engagement" seriously – and you should – you need to constantly be on your toes when dealing with your consumers because the chances are that you are dealing with them in multiple social media settings. Yes, you might still utilize traditional media channels, but omnichannel is the name of the game nowadays. And omnichannel meshes the conventional with the very engaging new social media outlets. So, to "engage" effectively and intelligently with your audiences, omnichannel thinking requires robust strategies before you can take steps into action.
In essence, when it comes to the future of marketing, you will not be excused from developing high strategies. On the contrary, as a marketer, you will be asked to create a robust strategy to engage with your customers intelligently. That would require things like – knowing your customers intimately, your product's strengths and weaknesses, your competition, and the marketplace, which have always been critical. What now changes are to engage meaningfully with your customers at all times, you will need vital North Stars, even more so than in the past. Two strategic thrusts come into play here: Your brand purpose and growth strategies. If you know your brand purpose, it will guide you no matter what – even in the most complex situations and the most mundane situations. And if you know your growth strategies – in other words, if you have a clear idea of how to grow and by what means to grow, you will not be mistaken about what road to take and how to "engage."
So, the future of marketing is going to be fun. It will mesh up what we used to do with what we are learning. But, like all strong creative activities, the best results happen when you take the past and build something new on it. So, don't throw your past practices away. Instead, build upon them to start creating a solid foundation for the future of marketing.