Digital Has Forced Us To Make Things That People Care About
I love this recent quote from Bob Greenberg, founder of R/GA –
“Digital has forced us to make things that people care about”.
His words are a clue to the future of the marketing services landscape we can expect by 2030. Historically our business has created demand by paying actors to play out consumer aspirations on film. But today we’ve recognised the need to create authentic stories and interactions that real people engage with, care about, power and propel across their peer networks in a heartbeat.
We talk about a connected world today but in truth we’ve only scratched the surface of how consumers will relate with brands tomorrow and beyond as technologies such as 3D, wearables, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, mobile commerce and programmatic advertising develop and mature. Then there’s the technologies we haven’t seen yet but which will come for certain.
What will change? Simply everything.
Will we still call it Marketing? I’m not sure we will. A customers experience at any touchpoint is influenced by everything from supply chain, brand, customer service, finance, human resource and everything else in the organisation so why should one entity be charged with managing the customer relationship with the brand?
Will we still be selling ads? Not for much longer. The sphere of product and service design developments being created by tech driven companies for brands today will eclipse the traditional “Ad” business. Just look at volvolifepaint.com as an excellent example of product innovation creating a story around safety for Volvo and we can see where brands will shift to in order to create a meaningful role in their consumers life.
Will we still need agencies? Certainly not in their current form. We’ve more and more experts around the table today to cater for the growing number of silo disciples that add to the complexity of brand communication and activation.
What will matter is not how many agencies but the orientation of the people around the table. We will only need three profiles – Visionaries, Storytellers and Performance specialists all focused on building a brand and consumer relationship that zeros in on the totality of the consumer experience with the brand.
By 2030, we will look back at how slow, inefficient, bloated and fragmented our marketing services approach was in 2015 and hopefully be making things that consumers genuinely care about.
Graham Nolan is Head of Strategy at CKSK. Originally published in the Irish Marketing Journal Agency Issue, September 2015.