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Jan 17, 2014

The Future of Marketing in the Digital World

The Future of Marketing in the Digital World
Technology is changing marketing once again. Even though up until now most of the influence has been strategic, within the next decade or so, there will be a significant tactical transformation. However, it’s easier said than done. The change will be dramatic. It will involve not only what we do, but how we think as well.   
The shift is back to core public connecting skills and pure brand building via one-on-one engagement. Digital marketing is revolutionizing the way your business will interact with consumers. Though the Internet has made the world much smaller, it has made your potential market much larger, more complex, and more difficult to comprehend.

From Communications to Experience

In the 20th century, promotion was the name of the game in marketing. Though assessing opportunities was valuable, advertising, particularly on TV, took up most of the marketing budgets and as a consequence, tactical thinking. Unsurprisingly, conjuring up the right message and broadcasting to the right consumer at the right time was of the utmost importance.  

Now, digital technology has enabled companies to redirect consumers when they react to a message, this alone has changed marketing forever. The premise is not to “grab” the consumer’s attention, but to “hold it.” This means that brands must learn to become more like publishers and acquire content expertise. In addition, you will have to create an authentic value exchange rather than merely creating enticing ad slogans and price promotions. In other words, the digital world has changed marketing to such an extent that shallow marketing geared to an uninformed consumer will not work. Consumers “are” informed and they are using their power.

Important Aspects of the Future of Marketing in the Digital World

In the next several years, most interruptive marketing will disappear. Instead, marketing will become more customized, tailored, and adapted to what the consumer wants, or opt-ins, which basically means that advertising becomes content. Data will be vital, and users will be paying with their data. It’s similar to a bartering situation.

The consumer gives a bit of information in return for the use of platforms and services. Consumers will form associations with brands that are built on trust. If your company betrays that trust, news will become viral fairly quickly and your company will be done for just as fast. Basically, the digital world has made unauthorized targeted marketing of consumers virtually useless. Consumers are going to “choose” who they want to hear from. They are going to like or dislike things, and you will have to earn their trust.

If your company has a separate marketing department, it will soon disappear. In the future, the “reason to purchase” will be socially motivated. Much of this is brought on due to social media. If a product is fantastic and everyone loves it, people will buy it. Consumers will no longer purchase things from companies that don’t suit their values.

Your company will have to predict how people feel about your brand, and then modify in real-time by altering features, and beginning new conversations with consumers in real-time. In the future, your company will have one immense task; to make certain that the consumer feels appreciated and protected.

Consumer’s “feelings” will be of the utmost importance. If your company disrespects a customer’s integrity, it will spread like wildfire and customers will leave just as quickly.

Your company can collect tons of data, but data by itself will not be enough. You will have to contact consumers on an emotional level. The main thing for marketers will be to “humanize” their product or service. Consumers will no longer purchase products due to trickery or intellectual prowess from companies they will buy because they “really want the product.”

The Digital World takes the Lead

Digital technology is forcing marketers to reorganize their traditional approach to marketing. A semantic economy has developed where the relationship drives value and brands are turning into open platforms and bio-networks rather than assets to be shutoff and protected.

Your company will now have to “jump into bed” with the consumer. You will have to get to know them via social media, vibrant SEO content, mobile marketing, and easy to navigate websites.

2014 Digital Marketing Trends And predictions From Marketing Thought Leaders

2014 Digital Marketing Trends And predictions From Marketing Thought Leaders - infographic

Infographic by referralcandy. image by forumforthefuture.


  1. Thanks for sharing, Irfan! Awesome post! :-)

    1. And thanks to you guys for designing this graphic.