12 Astonishing Marketing Predictions (no. 9 is controversial)
The digital age is moving at astonishing speed
Here are twelve predictions that will prepare you for the opportunities.
(Number 9 is controversial).
1. Internet use will rise
More mobiles in more hands means greater online activity.
2. The web will win the attention race
The race for cost per view is being won by the internet.
The players with the strongest set of cards are internet giants Facebook and YouTube.
Facebook knows more about you than any media company in the world. That knowledge is power.
Furthermore, no other media offers the micro targeting capabilities like Facebook. That’s powerful for the marketer.
All media and advertisers are competing for your attention. Marketers will no longer pay the hefty price on traditional media. More will migrate to social media channels. It’s cheaper and arguably more effective.
3. Video will rise
Every social media channel is increasing their video capability.
Facebook recently announced their foray into live video.
Video is the most engaging type of content and should be at the forefront of marketing and communications.
Miss the movement at your peril, as Gary Vaynerchuk explains:
“Video has always been the deepest way to engage an audience. The wide and fast success of television and movies shows us that; the internet hasn’t changed that at all, but it’s certainly made it more apparent. And not only has it amplified the importance of video as a way to connect, it’s also put the tools to make it into the hands of so many more people. Creating engaging content has never been easier, and the social networks that are winning big right now are winning because they have placed such an emphasis on video.”
4. TV will get into bed with the web
The days of TV networks scheduling our lives around programme start times are finished.
Millennials and the generation before them are multi-device consumers. If they are watching TV, the other device is a mobile.
TV networks need to recapture their slipping audiences. Those audiences are migrating to the likes of Netflix, YouTube and other online options.
It’s time for TV to play catch up. Chanel Seven in Australia is making up for lost ground, by recently announcing a deal with Google.
The other key play that will integrate TV into the web is product. No company has yet produced a product that synthesizes TV and the web.
Much will depend on which company can serve the customer with a dual online television product.
5. Live video will rise
Get ready, live video will streak ahead.
From Social Media Examiner's Michael Stelzner:
Facebook is increasing their focus on live video. It’s the future, and they are ramping up against rival YouTube.
There will be challenges and opportunities with the explosion of live video.
Opportunities include incredible content. More than ever, the public are the consumers and producers of content.
Expect an influx of new creativity and breaking news from people outside of the professional circle.
Challenges will arise from the disruptive nature to the traditional media model.
Live TV sport continues to produce high viewer numbers. In Australia, the State of Origin 2015 series was the most watched show.
But what’s stopping someone from broadcasting a State of Origin match live via their Facebook page?
Somewhere in the world there will be a mighty tussle between a TV network and a social media company over live broadcasting.
If there isn’t a showdown, there will be some kind of group hug.
For the forward thinkers, there will be an acknowledgement that live video via social media is the future, like the NFL have done.
Coupling the rise of live video will be an increase of video producers, video services and DIY video equipment. Expect to see a Canva type video service that will make video editing easy and accessible.
6. Celebrities will not break the internet
The latest stunts from the likes of Kim Kardashian threaten to take down the world wide web.
While my internet connection is working just fine, expect to see the rise and rise of celebrities.
Why? Because celebrities (if social media savvy) become their own media channel. Just ask Taylor Swift, who is nearing 69 million Instagram followers. On many levels, they don't need traditional media channels, because they have their own.
Celebrities control the message. So expect more self-made video, more Instagram moments and more tweets.
7. We will pay greater respect to the masters
The science behind copywriting, the words that create action, will soar to greater heights.
Traffic can be bought or earnt. But the trickier part is converting that traffic into a customer transaction.
Online, every click, every movement is measurable now. Does headline 1 outperform headline 2? How about the green button versus the orange button?
Now we know which online action delivers more revenue.
The conversion optimisers of the internet age will be the most sought after talent by digital recruiters. Their dark art will shine with big pay packets.
And from all this, we’ll return a respectful bow to acknowledge the wisdom of copywriter’s great fathers including Dan Kennedy and Ogilvy. They didn’t have the benefits of Google Analytics.
8. Email will grow in size and importance
Advertising on social media is becoming a pay to play medium.
Marketers will turn to other alternatives to get the attention of (new) customers. Some will move away from social media advertising and turn to the powerful cost effectiveness of their owned media.
An email marketing list is owned media. Email enables a business to control the communication.
9. Newspapers will die
With major Australian titles like The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald seeing year-on-year circulation declines of 10%, the end is nigh for newspapers.
Online news will be the future (and more video). They will be driven by clicks, which is driven by advertising revenue.
More important news will be replaced by what is more popular (click worthy).
Modern history has been shaped by breaking news stories from print. Think Watergate from The Washington Post, or The Boston Globe taking on the Vatican.
If we are served by the most popular (celebrity nonsense), journalism’s crusade of truth and serving the public’s interest takes a frightening path.
10. Bloggers will demand a new job title (something fancier)
Newspaper journalism is on the way out. Bloggers, who desire a better sounding job description, are on the way in.
As the Australian Financial Review writes, bloggers have the power:
“According to Brand Data – a new daily ranking index of digital and social media identities and 5,000 brands – Australia's top six bloggers now have a larger combined audience than the highest-selling magazine, newspaper and TV program collectively."
Expect infiltration of newspaper journalists into the blogging community. They too will demand a new job title.
11. Snapchat will rise
This social media channel began with a smutty reputation.
But the verdict is changing. Gary Vaynerchuk is big on Snapchat right now:
“One major reason Snapchat is winning, and will continue to win, is not only its focus on video, but how you create video content. The storytelling capabilities around how people create content on Snapchat is fantastic. There is so much room for creativity, and it reminds me far more of a space like YouTube than Twitter.
It’s also an especially interesting platform because the consumer attention it has is very deep. Snapchat hasn’t quite matured or “sold out” yet, but it’s boasting an enormous amount of daily active users.
In December, 36% of Americans aged 18-29 had an account, and they are now reporting 7 billion videos views each day, rivaling Facebook. But while the platform is big and has lots of opportunity, it’s still quite young.
We are just now starting to see the first signs of Snapchat aging up. It’s about to go through its first 20-to-40-year-old renaissance, and that is very exciting. It’s a huge platform, but it still has a solid 24 to 36 months ahead of it that will be of great importance.”
12. Remarketing will increase and more people will unplug
Remarketing advertising (stalking) will cause unrest. More users will go incognito online, or get off the grid entirely.
James Cameron, who foreshadowed a robot apocalypse via the Terminator franchise, has done the same. He doesn’t have a smart phone.
The case for digital privacy will increase.
In The Huffington Post, journalist Glen Greenwald asserts the right for privacy:
“When we think we’re being watched, we make behavior choices that we believe other people want us to make. It’s a natural human desire to avoid societal condemnation. That’s why every state loves surveillance -- it breeds a conformist population."
Pulling it all together
In the digital era, the delivery and appetite for content and advertising has changed.
Just ask Channel 10, who are in trouble. And then ask Netflix, whose unique model has grown to 1 in 3 Australians subscribing to the service.
But while the tech and channels change, human emotions do not. Humans are still powered by the same emotions, with the same needs and desires. Start with understanding humans first.
This article was first published in March 2016
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