In their podcast on June 15, social media guru Mark Schaefer and Mitch Joel, president of Twist Image, talked about the future of digital marketing. Here are 10 points delivered in the podcast.
a) In the early 90s, we responded to the emergence of the World Wide Web.
b) In the mid-90s, we were on the Web, figuring out how to broadcast our presence to others.
c) In the mid-2000s, social media and mobile moved us from marketing to creation, usefulness, utility, and customer service.
2. As we reach the end of each wave cycle, large numbers of us figure out the technology, but competition gets harder and more expensive and the market becomes crowded.
Enter the new wave.
3. The coming wave is exemplified by such emerging developments as augmented reality and wearable technology (for example, Oculus and Google Glass) and will culminate in the creation of interactive, immersive, useful products and services.
4. In this wave, we'll be learning how to merge the digital and physical. As demonstrated in the failure of many Kickstarter projects, we're also learning that "physical production" takes big bucks and expertise that few have.
5. Nevertheless, ultimately we can imagine a world where virtual reality is the norm, where people spend increasing amounts of time in an immersive virtual world.
6. What does this merging of digital and physical mean to marketers? The amalgamation will embody "integrated marketing." And, though it won't die, advertising will become out of place in this environment that dislikes interruption and favors message merged with actual experience. Meanwhile, product development, too, will be forced to shift, change, and integrate.
7. Customer engagement will build and compound on apps like Zite (recently purchased by Flipboard). Technologies of this type will become irresistible as they learn about individual choices and the content we love.
8. The best managed companies -- for example, CocaCola, Nike, Proctor & Gamble -- are already knocking on the door of Oculus and Google Glass and will lead breakthroughs in this new wave. They are already looking at how to leap the gap between serendipity and targeted marketing in order to take users to a full substantive experience.
9. Ideally, marketing will move from its current position in the corporate vertical structure to a multi-disciplinary position in the evolving horizontal corporate structure. Hopefully -- though not necessarily assuredly -- marketing is poised to take on a key role in the new multi-disciplinary environment, moving beyond its current role as the advertising or communications layer to a new position that can influence the process of bringing products to fruition.
10. With each wave of change, agencies are seeing greater pressure to be both integrated and highly specialized. Trying to be everything to everybody is getting more difficult, while business is being lost to boutique agencies with new specialties and niches. Figuring out the dynamics of this fragmented service environment will be profound.
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