Marketing industry leaders know that one of the biggest challenges of the industry is anticipating future marketing landscapes based on current trends. In order to prepare for the future and craft effective content, marketers need to be aware of what’s coming.
Despite knowing they should anticipate change, not all marketing leaders know how to identify and deal with the information they receive. To help, 10 industry experts from Ad Age Collective share their predictions for the biggest marketing challenges of the next five years and how agencies might tackle the coming problems.
1. Agencies having to demonstrate their value.
Everyone thinks they can be a marketer these days, despite having little to no experience. It has muddled the waters a lot in the industry. Combined with software companies making exaggerated promises, it's becoming a very difficult industry for new companies to navigate. Agencies need to ensure, in order to demonstrate the value of their services, that they are being transparent with their clients. - Erik Huberman, Hawke Media
2. Making a product stick.
With many channels and options for consumers to give their attention to, a big challenge for marketers will be finding out how to insert their products into consumers' lives and how to make those products part of their lives indefinitely. Dollar Shave Club is an example of a brand that locked themselves into their consumers' lives via a clever video to start, followed by a quality offering that stuck. - Rebecca Bamberger, BAM Communications
3. Automation commoditizing media buying.
The marketing industry is headed for more and more automation over the next five years. There is going to be a massive shift that occurs when automation is the primary way that digital advertising is bought. More and more jobs will become commoditized, and the value of marketers and advertisers will be in creative and strategy more than anything else. - Michael Lisovetsky, JUICE
4. Taking a stand in a smart way.
We are facing a new world of societal crisis, one where brands must take a stand. But there is risk and reward. Nike did it with their Kaepernick ad, but they can weather the storm. Agencies have to help clients identify purpose, values and risks in regards to issues important to their audience. Once done, predictive analytics tied to these issues can help clients know when to take a stand. - Maggie O'Neill, Peppercomm
5. Getting real about the economic climate.
We'll see an economic contraction in the coming years that will impact the marketing industry in a particularly damaging way. During a recession, marketing budgets tend to be among the first cut. Agencies need to prepare by operating with lean overhead and responding quickly to changes in market conditions. Those with VC-backed client bases should diversify, as access to growth capital diminishes. - Mike Skeehan, Salted Stone
6. Ethical collection and use of data.
The ethical collection and use of data will continue to be an issue in the coming years. It will be the responsibility of agencies and their partners to ensure full transparency of how consumer data is being used in campaigns. Building trust back with consumers will take time, but can be done if handled with respect, integrity and authenticity when it comes to the use of personal information. - Tim Ringel, Reprise
7. Taking an omnichannel approach.
Today's savvy marketers need to think about how brands they are serving exist in the omnichannel space. Creating physical and digital experiences is the new model for driving business and brand loyalty. Agencies need to be cognizant of the need to ensure consumers have synergistic brand experiences on all channels. - Kelly Ehlers, Ideas That Evoke
8. Embracing artificial intelligence.
Soon enough, AI will become standard practice. The biggest challenge for the marketing industry will be how to embrace AI without sacrificing the human element of great storytelling. Tomorrow’s leading agencies will be the ones who can effectively collaborate with nonhuman minds and integrate AI into their marketing strategies to inform how engaging their campaigns will actually be. - Alexander Jutkowitz, SJR
9. The broadening role of marketing
Marketing roles today cover more ground than they did twenty plus years ago, and they continue to diversify beyond the “4 Ps.” Marketers at minimum influence—if not own entirely—aspects of technology, customer experience, new tactics, privacy, customer service and more. Agencies must adapt to help our marketing counterparts digest this breadth and synthesize information into action. - Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive
10. Demand for high quality, low budget video
Fractured audiences have created a demand for micro-content that most agencies can't provide given their current structure. A potential solution will be to bring all video production services in-house versus hiring outside production companies. Alternately, agencies could get creative and staff brands with a full-time production team that remains on the agency payroll. - Chris Carter, Videofor