Future Marketing

Future Marketing

Today is my daughter Emma’s 3rd birthday. Obviously, she’s on my mind today even more than usual. I’ve been reflecting on how fast she’s growing up. How fast she’s changing. Three years has gone by in a blink.

The picture above was taken a couple of months back while Emma was video chatting with her grandparents that live back east. I like to joke that it was her putting in a hard day at the office. But all kidding aside, that photo got me thinking about what Emma might be when she grows up. What if she chooses to walk in her Daddy’s footsteps and become a marketer? What will marketing even look like in 25 years?

When I talk to clients I’m usually pigeon-holed into the category of “social media marketer.” On the surface they see me as someone that can help them better use Twitter and Facebook to accomplish whatever goal they may have. But, if you strip away all the tools, I’m still using time-tested marketing philosophies to build a brand, increase awareness and foster engagement. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are just the tools du jour. At the heart of  any great marketing initiative there should be a philosophy and a story. That’s what separates the wheat from the chaff.

What will marketing look like in 25 or 30 years? When I watch Mad Men, I’m entertained by advertising in the 1960’s (I’m also in awe of anyone that can drink scotch all day, every day and still function in a pitch meeting, but I digress). The distribution tools have obviously expanded to move beyond just television and print and the brands are different (Lucky Strike anyone?). But what surprises me most about the advertising industry 50 years ago is that our fundamentals are mostly still the same. At the end of the day advertising and marketing is about telling a story that resonates with consumers. Is your brand something that customers align themselves with? Does it represent them? Do they trust it?

Is there any reason to think that these underlying philosophies will change over the next few decades? Would Emma the marketer have to content with a whole new fundamentals or just a different set of tools? Should this shape the way we approach marketing practices today?