William Gibson, speculative fiction writer, has several times
is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.
The truth of this statement lies in the fact that trends are
formed by the adoption of something new that facilitates an unchanging human
motivation: a need, want or desire. For instance, the advent of Facebook and
other social media did not create the desire to share our lives with others,
but they have enabled the ability to share more easily, immediately and widely
than ever before.
So whatever the future holds, its roots are here with us in the
present. The real trick is to predict which thing is going to be the next big
thing, which is why Mark Twain was right when he said:
The art of
prophecy is very difficult, especially with respect to the future.
Here are three mini scenarios for 2020. My question for you is
what will really happen? Do these seem likely or do you envisage an alternative
Scarcity of Time
- People find themselves increasingly short of time, and can no
longer get by with less sleep.
- Lifestyles become less planned, more immediate and
- People become reliant on technology and brands to facilitate
- Consumers expect to be able to get what they want when they want
it, leading to a boom in on demand and delivery services. Product brands seek
to add levels of service and just in time accessibility to their offer.
- People expect
packaged goods, food and drink, to be resupplied automatically. As a result,
brand owners must focus on initial brand adoption rather than encouraging brand
2. Battle for Control
Faced with a barrage of “almost relevant” advertising in digital
media, consumers demand more transparency and control over targeting
technologies. Some are willing to pay to opt out of the advertising ecosystem,
and media companies and brands face increased political pressure on the privacy
front with “do not call” and “do not track.” As a result, all addressable
marketing becomes opt-in.
3. Scarcity of Truth
As consumers grow ever more confused by the plethora of choice,
knowing who to turn to for advice becomes more difficult. The advice of friends
can no longer be assumed to be unbiased, as brands incentivize followers to
promote them. Product placement becomes more manipulative, and shows and sites
are regularly called out for being biased. As a result, new social media sites
seek to match advice seekers with independent and trustworthy advice givers.
As my colleague Graham Staplehurst once noted, whatever we
think, the future will be something else. Decades ago, people predicted that
today we would have flying cars and video phones, but instead, we have budget
airlines and Skype. They serve the same need but with a different solution.
what do you think the future holds for marketing? Please share your
Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Nigel Hollis, Chief Global Analyst Millward Brown
Sponsored by: The Brand Positioning Workshop
FREE Publications And Resources For Marketers