In many businesses, you hit a certain size and you become more reactive to change, you become more reactive to channels and your appetite to place large bets reduce, you end up playing it safe and slowly copying or placing last.
Here are a few thoughts on the future of Marketing and Growth and why there are going to be three area’s to jump in as soon as possible and other area’s you have to be realistic about and building long term successes in.
Community (Get Building)
- Building a community of fans and customers to your brand and empowering them with the information, exclusives and ways to interact and be advocates of the brand. This is happening already, however, this is not in plain sight and can be something that can be brought to light and incentivised.
- This can also leverage group buying behaviours and local / campaign discounting,
- On-site or off the platform? Both, ideally build on site, especially how you can leverage notification’s, internal linking, feedback and reviews.
- Buy Or Build? Recommend to buy
As suggested in the future of marketing series, Peloton is a brilliant example of how you build product + community and well worth understanding their steps to success, create a high-end product, offer leaderboards to compete with others, have instructors who are ultra approachable and treated like stars and reset the competition (the participation) on every ride.
Live Shopping Experiences
- Live shopping is something every social network is rushing towards and becomes a way they can control shopping experiences and take cuts of sales, cuts of advertising and marketing budget, this should not be something you should have to do and can be something you can host and host on your site.
Live shopping is going to connect to you becoming a media company and embracing what it means to truly be integrated and connected through your product and personalities.
- On site or off the platform? Both. Recommend to keep as much as possible on-site for cost concerns.
- Buy Or Build? I recommend buying a platform vs try and build.
Culturally it is worth noting that in the Western world we are just as likely to want to watch on demand (when we want vs going live) therefore if you are going to be offer discounts or group buys you consider how many of these purchases can be specifically time-boxed and limited or it could be a drop of x hundred or y thousand.
The Future Unfolding
We are about to enter the super app era.
All brands are overly governed by the app stores, some have created themselves as utility apps you use daily and rely upon, others are disposable.
With the upcoming changes to tracking (ATT) and cookies, we will see the app store breed super apps that you will have to build into like shopping centres and stores than have your own app.
Many apps will become mini-apps on the bigger apps & that will be ok, it might actually take away some of the pain and mass messaging some brands have reverted to.
It is worth researching Tmall and seeing how WeChat operates in the East to understand the power and opportunities as an app in a super app world.
A free hint if you send a push, a text and an email within five minutes of each other you won’t be helping any of the channels win, you will be hurting your sender scores, IP’s and hit rate.
Every Company Will Become A Media Company
Every company is going to have to become (an on site/platform) media company using other platforms to leverage some network effect left on them. It is something many brands have started the slow shift towards.
I am not suggesting this is going to be easy or cheap, however, there are options to leverage paid channels and create ways to boost your rich content across different external channels or leverage the upcoming functionality.
You may have to think about (rich) multi-media (think audio, video, memes, gifs, interviews, live events, interactive games, game shows etc) on your site & then leverage exclusive content and offers through the super apps.
Questions To Answer:
- Being a brand with personalities will help in this transition and many brands will have to consider how they leverage in-house resources and ‘presenters’ vs hiring external ‘presenters’.
- This shift will mean a whole new jump in skills and capabilities within your teams, those with internal creative agencies or cross-functional teams with design and editing resources will be prime positioned to make this work. Consider how you plan to resource for the next three years or how you leverage the right agency or freelance partners to shape you for the future.
Consolidation, Co-Op, Or Dog Fight
Consolidation is likely to keep happening, we are experiencing brands selling to competitors or large international rivals at a fast pace and will have to continue.
The second play is co-op and brand partnerships, these are notoriously difficult but are seeing brilliant creative campaigns and drops.
The third which can be fun but expensive is a long battle or war is it will be all-out dog fights for many brands.
It will be fighting on price, positioning, ads, quality of product, etc.
The dog fight will be moving at a faster pace with advertising giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, TikTok and Audio offering less friction and more options to bid, buy and auction against each other.
If you have the budget consider how you play within the product placement space
Just look at most brand searches, product search SERP’s and TV sponsorship and corresponding ads in the ad break.
As the Marketing lead, you will be in the prime position to understand if you are being prepared for a sale, if this has not been discussed at the SLT, ELT or MT level you should expect to build out time to identify and plan out partners and how much advertising budget you will have to pitch for or find.
Expect CPC, CPA’s, LTV (or payback period) and MQL’s all to increase in price while the advertising competition and offerings ramp up and leverage increased demand.
Your Next Steps As A Marketing Leader
Be prepared for long term planning, build out your business cases, your PowerPoint decks (or video’s we live are moving to the hybrid world) to bring these talking points to the forefront of the c-suite and leadership teams.
Go, gather intel and examples from China, from other industries, from your numerous dashboards, run through and demonstrate how you will be the leading force in your industry.
Showcase you are leading the charge for platform tweaks, repointing the long term budget and collaborating internally with the product and dev departments and how you are going to become a destination and how you really think tactically about channels and their offerings.
Something I would recommend is to create a network of Marketing & Growth leads (aka like-minded future thinkers) who will want to share information and collaborate on the likes of Slack or discord (WhatsApp, iMessage or Telegram groups are convenient but just doesn’t work well for actual conversation)
Best of luck building for the future.
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