Thoughts on “A Glimpse Into the Future of Marketing”

Earlier this week, I shared some thoughts on a session I attended at last week’s FutureM conference. Here are a few things I picked up from another panel discussion, “A Glimpse Into the Future of Marketing.”

Learn to listen better, not just talk.

Chris Brogan (president, New Marketing Labs) is The Man when it comes to social media. He pointed out that social media tools aren’t just for marketing your business — they’re also great monitoring tools. If you want to find out what your customers are saying about you, then check out sites like Google’s blog search or Twitter Search. Listen. Find out what you should be doing better.

It’s the quality of content, not the volume.

What’s the use of creating a white paper if no one wants to read it? Chris said that if you’re going to spend time and money on content creation, make sure you’re giving your audience information that they need. He cited HubSpot as one company that excels in this area, referencing their truly awesome Website Grader.

Video is primed to dominate.

David Kenney (president, Akamai Technologies) had two predictions that really stood out for me:

  1. A big convergence between TV and digital is coming very soon — within five years, TV and the Net will become synonymous.
  2. In the next three to five years, more people will watch television programming on their phone or over the Net than on their TV.

As a result, said David, “Storytelling will become the basis of competition.” Now more than ever, marketers will need to be able to engage their audience by telling a good story in order to stay relevant.

Your customers are a marketing channel.

Josh Bernoff (author and senior VP, idea development, Forrester Research) said that 500 billion impressions are made on other people in online social environments in the U.S. each year. (!)

What does this mean to marketers? Your customers are now a marketing channel. Your challenge is to make your customers so happy that they will make the effort to say good things about you on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

As more companies monitor online channels for customer comments, they must be prepared to address criticism. This means empowering your employees to be proactive in handling customer complaints, said Josh. Earlier, Chris had a similar recommendation, urging companies to “please be human” by investing more in customer service.

I’ll have one more post on FutureM next week.

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