Exciting times lie ahead in marketing. While automation has been the talk of the town in recent years, what role will it play in the future? How will creativity and personalisation look in 2030? We interviewed five industry experts to find out what lies ahead.
Klaus Weise, Managing Partner of Serviceplan Public Relations, emphasises the increasing importance of data:
"Agencies need to upgrade and ensure their digital communication teams can work with data effectively. To do this, they should hire trained SEO experts and performance marketers. The evaluation of data, for example from search queries, will become just as important as skills like dealing with journalists or TV commercial creation. In the future, agencies will have to work offline and online, fully integrated, create content and react - wherever opinions are being generated, be it in conversation, in private, in Instagram comments or in TV commercials. The age of advertising and PR as stand-alone disciplines with nothing to do with data is definitely coming to an end".
Klaus-Dieter Koch, Brand Expert and Founder of Management Consultancy BrandTrust, explains the value of emotional storytelling.
"If brands wish to play a future role in people's lives, then the managers responsible must from now on believe in the power of convictions and express these from the heart and on an equal footing with the audience. Even if the term "purpose" runs the risk of becoming a buzzword: it doesn't change the reality. People are looking for orientation and are asking why. Then consumption will result. For this reason, established brands in particular should examine the potential for meaning and impact within their work."
Christian Fuchs, Owner and Senior Consultant at agency fuchsundwald, emphasises the changed needs of young customer groups:
"The future belongs to the millennials and to Generation Z. It’s all about fulfilling their desires. For this you need to be brave, entertaining and abandon standard product advertising. Marketers and companies have to be on an equal footing with their target groups. Stay true to yourself and everything which makes you original. The future will be colourful, emotional and personal.”
Gilg Frick, Managing Director of the Marketing Agency NPIRE, also talks about the value of a good story able to be retold through additional channels:
"Successful marketing will always require a strong brand and, above all, an exciting story. Marketing measures are moving from visual to audio - in recent months podcasts have gained a lot of attention and smart speakers and voice control will also play an increasingly important role. The smart use of community marketing is also gaining importance - groups, recommendations, influencers.
Everything is becoming increasingly digital. Measurement, attribution, aggregation and automation (keyword AI) are all increasing in relevance. So far, automated marketing systems have been able to track the behaviour of customers and align marketing measures accordingly. In the future, customer needs will not only be identified, but also forecast. This applies to both naturally occurring needs and artificially created needs. And if the algorithm controls all marketing activity, then it is financially advantageous for platforms such as Google and Facebook. Then creativity plays a role again and old ideas will no doubt see a revival - billboards, SMS and offline marketing."
Sven Olaf-Peeck, Managing Director of the Content & Online Marketing Agency Crowdmedia, questions the market power of the US tech giants:
"Away from the ubiquitous buzzwords AI and machine learning – and their influence on marketing can only realistically be assessed by very few people - the central question for me as an online user is: will the big four or five be allowed to continue despite their monopoly position? If so, then I see a phase of evolution: Google and its subsidiary YouTube are synonymous with search. With its subsidiaries, Facebook remains a big fish in terms of reach and advertising. Regulation might put a stop to this. The GDPR was a first step, cookie consent is just around the corner. All things that aim to give control back to the user and as a side effect make life difficult for marketer. Perhaps when we look back to 2018 we will say "at this point the Wild West in online marketing finally came to an end".