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What’s the Future of Marketing?

Without marketing, it’s fair to say that a business cannot exist.

Marketing combined with sales is the growth engine every company needs and while most know how important it is, the fact what works today  won’t work tomorrow makes it challenging to stay up to speed.

Marketing has changed drastically over the past decade. While the Madmen days were  a reality before, today, times have changed. Today, thanks to technologies like big data analytics, the madmen days are gone and the mathmen days have arrived.

So, where is all this headed? To get a better understanding of where marketing will take us in the future, we spoke with industry leads and asked:

What’s the future of marketing?

This is what we learned…

Mark Babbitt, CEO & Founder of YouTern

“This is no longer the Industrial Age, where messaging was carefully controlled and delivered. Here in the the Social Age, we’ve grown tired of traditional marketing. Either deliberately through technology, or mentally by choice, we’ve blocked out commercials. So what we say about us no longer matters. Today, it is what others say about us that matters most.

A positive review on Yelp or TripAdvisor. A nice comment on Angie’s List or Porch. Enthusiasm for your product or brand on Amazon or social media. A clever video on YouTube. That is where people are going to learn about your company now – not your carefully-crafted 30-second spot.

Consumers today crave objective input on the quality of your product or service.

We call this the Testimonial Economy – where positive word-of-mouth, digital momentum and a sense of community around your brand makes all the difference.”


Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of VisumCX

“In the future, the way marketers gain insights to their customers will move from being a static approach to a dynamic approach, thus enabling customer journey orchestration.

Today, leading organizations use historical, structured behavioral data as well qualitative research and interviews to derive customer insight. If there is a shift in the market or how their customers buy, this exercise must be repeated. In the future, the use of unstructured data combined with machine learning, AI and natural language processing will enable a real-time, dynamic view into the changes that occur in a customer lifecycle.

This real-time insight will enable marketing organizations to be more responsive in terms of customer interaction, content marketing and better enable a customer centric view to their marketing and sales. For the customer, this will enable a better overall digital and customer experience.”


Tal Chalozin, Co-founder & CTO of Innovid

“It’s clear that the future of marketing revolves around data, but not in the obvious way. Data will help create better stories because the creative side of the marketing house will be driven by performance data and granular data will help optimize and create more personalized messaging. Data will also serve as a true bridge between all marketing outlets and once we tap into all touch points with a viewer, we’ll be able to accurately connect investment with return. I think it’s safe to assume that in 10-15 years, we’ll all be living in a post-privacy era. Every action we take will be mapped and tied to individuals. New “social contracts” between consumers and marketers will emerge with a value exchange. People will own tighter control over what data is known/ shared/ collected and it will be rewarded with equal value such as content, speed, or knowledge.”


Jean-Francois Chianetta, Co-founder & CEO of Augment

“Creating experiences is one of the most important elements in engaging millennials and one of the greatest challenges for modern marketers. For these digital natives, user experience is everything, and marketers are turning to augmented reality to create memorable brand interactions.

Augmented reality is the next wave in user engagement. Marketers are leveraging AR to connect their offline and online channels to create seamless omnichannel experiences.  For instance, thanks to AR shoppers can try products at home virtually before buying.  Augmented reality brings the tangible of brick-and-mortar to an eCommerce store. The interactive experience increases shopper engagement, keeping mobile shoppers around longer and converting at a higher rate.”   


Chelsey Moter, Marketing Coordinator for the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village

“The future of marketing is going to heavily rely on content. Nowadays, everyone is on their phone scavenging through social media and reading the latest and greatest article. Users are most interested in content that relates to them in some way so, companies should be more focused on writing for the user and not so much the business. Anything that seems too promotional is already being overlooked and will most likely be completely ignored in the future. Content is definitely the way companies are going to connect with consumers, create brand awareness and generate a good portion of sales.”


Jesse Weinberg, Founder & CEO of Global Yodel Media Group

“In 10-15 years marketing will be significantly more difficult than it is today and require exceptional execution to be productive. On a busy social web that continues to get busier every day it is hard to stand out, get noticed and communicate brand messaging/exposure. In 10-15 years to have any sort of success marketing in an organic way brands, their agencies and marketers will have to captivate their audience through thrilling, informative, value-adding, inspiring content that is branded.”


Taylor Ryan, Head of Marketing for Geniebelt.com

“Advanced Customization: Using your search habits and search history, more and more information about every user is possible. This means your search history, emails, and social media posts (pictures too) will be dissected for keywords and weighted based on an algorithm of top performing products and serves you up with content and ads for stuff that compares most similarly to what your online personality appears to represent. It won’t be perfect, but there will be a lot more data out there for it to much closer to our actual interests.

Content / News Blend: Content and news will be blended. News stories will come from agencies promoting a brand. Science news surrounding a new food item will pop up and discerning the difference between news and product placement will be extremely difficult.

Emotion based ads via face tracking software: Using better cameras (in public) with simple face tracking software, a program will discern what type of mood you’re in based off your facial expression. It will then specifically tailor the types of ads your mood.”


Andrea D. Smith, Senior Brand Director at The ADS Agency

“I think the future of powerful marketing will continue to be found in the ability to be HUMAN. To be authentic. To make you feel. It is THE thing that cuts through the clutter and I think it will be 10 years from now as well. The difference is the methods we’ll have at our disposal to be able to reach you in your life – and tech (including AR/VR, drones, etc.) will be an inevitable part of that. Messaging will ultimately end up being seamless – integrated into your home (notifications when you’re about to run out of toilet paper or automated technology that simply orders it for you based on a service you subscribed to). Perhaps we’ll have mini-drones physically deliver you an item you just purchased or asked for. But as always, what we have to be careful of is being welcomed as opposed to being intrusive.”


Brennan White, CEO & Founder of Cortex

“Marketing is currently moving from not-very-targetable, to extremely-targetable. That’s a huge benefit for marketing outcomes and a reason for Facebook’s huge market cap. There is a lot more growth there.

But, once we’re through with obsessing over micro demographic segments, the industry will focus on the final thing: optimizing for conversion.

Ultimately, the only thing that matters is conversion, sales, ROI. We will be leaning heavily on machine learning to automatically optimize our campaigns on things that convert (full stop), skipping the step of worrying about which demographics we think will convert.

It’s currently an improvement, so it’s a boon the industry that demographic targeting is so robust these days, but the industry will again realize that the map is not the territory. That tight demographics are not guaranteed sales. Optimizing for what sells is the ultimate form of marketing and will be widespread in 10-15 years.”


Ben Harper, Co-Founder of Datify

“The future of marketing is going to revolve around removing choices from consumers wherever possible. Data and automation will mean that brands and commerce platforms will know what consumers want to buy before they do – meaning that (with consumer consent), orders can be on their way to you just in time for when you need it.

The new battlegrounds for marketers are going to be around Facebook messenger and other platforms that have built in AI (such as Amazon Echo). Now, marketers battle for visibility on Google search results or in shopping centres and tube stops, whereas in the future it’ll be more about making sure the automated recommendation platforms prefer your brand for their users so that you get the visibility you need. Think of it this way, instead of Googling “running shoes”, you’re more likely to be asking Facebook or Echo “what running shoes shall I buy?” and trusting their recommendation. Getting your brand recommended will be the challenge.”


Roger Wu, Co-founder of Cooperatize

“The future of marketing will be largely out of the hands of brands and agencies. Brands will spark the initial message and purpose but it will be the people, everyone who is enjoying their 15 minutes, that continue to shape, hone, and refine that brand’s message. Marketing messages will represent the lean startup model where brands constantly strive to find the right message for the right audience.”


Jason Parks, President of The Media Captain

“The future of marketing is storytelling. It is that simple. Your business needs to be able to tell a great story and find the right channel to distribute the message on.

If you are very personable, video could be the best way for you to distribute your message. If you are more of an introvert, writing an article on Medium could be the way to go.

At the end of the day, in order to sell your products, especially on social media, you have to have a great story to tell.”


Boni Satani, Inbound Marketing Lead at Zestard Technologies

“15 Years Down the Line I think 90 Percent of the organization would move to permission based marketing & they would appear to promote their content only if you have allowed them by following them or subscribing them. Reason: Organizations have over a period of time realize that Push Marketing now results in a super low result & that permission marketing is best way forward.

Personalized and conversational form of content will replace almost all the existing form of static content. Reason: New forms of content offer much value compared to static content since they are generalized.

Interactive Videos or VR Video Content: We have seen interactive content but in the future we would see interactive videos – which will give super engaged experience to the customers.”


Frank O’Brien, CEO & Founder of Five Tier

“The future of marketing is automation – it’s letting people channel their creativity rather than spending time doing spreadsheets. At Five Tier, we have an automated report builder that allows organizations to eliminate mundane work to prioritize human interaction and customer service. I was inspired to do this because I know people are sick and tired of doing tedious marketing work over and over again. Automation – from chatbots to robots – will ultimately enable professionals to become better entrepreneurs, truly channel their creativity and live life.”


Yasmin Khan, Marketing Manager at Bonafide

“I believe the future in marketing lies in content. I know this doesn’t sound groundbreaking, but as it is now, many SEOs and marketers focus on link building to boost their sites. While this is still an important ranking factor, the quality of the content, going forward, will be much more important. How valuable the content actually is to the reader will be taken into consideration. For example, is your content directly answering the search query, and how well? Along that line, content should contain short, valuable quotes that can be easily featured as Google rich snippets. Also, keep in mind that voice search and voice commands are on the rise! More conversational keywords will overtake the traditional fragmented keywords.”


Aaron Norris, VP of The Norris Group

“The number one issue I’m contemplating is what happens when the screen (computer or mobile) is no longer the user interface of choice? When I ask Alexa, Google, Cortana or Siri for a suggestion, we already know that one million search results are not being viewed by the consumer. If my personal, digital assistant is delivering to me highly geotargeted, personal recommendations. I won’t need to necessarily look at my screen if AI can deliver one or two best choices. But, how is AI making those decisions?”


Heather Clark, Marketing Manager at Video Brewery

“The current level of marketing messages delivered to prospects will continue to rise over the next 10-years. Effective marketing plans will leverage technology to target individual prospects with tailored messages to their stage in the buyer’s journey. Successful companies will be the ones that focus less on noise and more on providing value and building relationships with existing customers and new prospects.

Marketing automation software and data analysis give us the incredible ability to test messages and segment visitors based on insights from existing customers. Technology is going to allow us to better track incoming leads across multiple devices and offer the right offers at the right moments (if you commit to testing).

At the moment, implementing these systems can be challenging for marketers without a development team and database managers. Within the next 10-years, solutions for small marketing teams will be available that minimize the cost of implementation.”


Simon Bollon, MD, Owner & Head of Strategy for We Are Boutique

“There will be plenty who talk about automation, programmatic processes and refinement of spend in accordance with personas. These are valid but these are mostly inward concerns for brands and agencies.

What we all really need to be more thoughtful of is consumer demands and desires. We may be time poor, but consumers are more savvy, more selective and more engaged with brands and marketing. Modern consumers ‘get it’. With that in mind, the brands that will win are those that truly engage their audiences across every channel.

Knowing who and where consumers are, knowing their route to purchasing products and services, and interrupting that journey with the right message, at the right time. Ultimately, marketing will need to work smarter, not just harder, to win the consumer pound. Every market will see new entrants and marketing will help the best thrive. Marketing will change the world.”


Jeff Kear, Founder & Head of Marketing at Planning Pod

“To be honest, nobody can accurately predict what marketing will look like 10 years from now because the rapid innovation that has taken place over the last 5 years in marketing will be even more dramatic over the next decade. With that said, over the next 10 years you will see a refinement of more customized, one-to-one marketing strategies as technologies and platforms make it easier to customize tactics and campaigns in a granular fashion. We are already seeing this in email marketing and search engine marketing, but as the web becomes smarter and collects more data on users, marketing will get much more targeted (and more creepy) in reaching people based on their demographics, personal preferences and web usage.”


Cyril Lemaire, Managing Director of Traktek Partners

“Digital agencies and advertisers will continue to shift media spend to retargeting and intelligent targeted display based on past search and browsing behavior as they continue to generate the highest ROIs.

In the travel sector, tourist boards, resorts, and cruise companies will start using virtual reality to market vacation travel packages to bring their brand experiences to life.”


Lou Altman, Founder & CEO of GlobaFone

“In the future, consumers will finally understand that lowest price and value are very different. Is there a difference in the widget you buy online vs. at a store? No, but if you ever need help, your online provider will waste your time with forms and ‘Customer service’ queues. Low price, not much value. Compare that to just going into the store and dealing with the person you already know. You may have paid a bit more, but you will certainly get a lot more – value. We all do business with people we know, like and trust. Live people build trust and have more skin in the game that some online selling who can hide behind his or her handle. The future of marketing is client retention; the only real marketing metric that matters. Selling value, real value will be the future, when the ‘lowest-price-is-best’ mentality dies.”



About the author

Nick Hastreiter

I write about the future of business. I approach this by interviewing founders, CEO's, and other game changers to share their vision for the future of their industry.

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