The futurist: All hail technology
Steve Blakeman is managing director for OMD in Asia Pacific
It's time to jump into the customised DeLorean with Doc Brown, dial in the year 2022, crank up the flux capacitor and hit the accelerator ... buckle up, we're hurtling towards an altogether more integrated communications destination.
The future is quite literally in your hands. As smartphones get even smarter, the need for a laptop will diminish to the extent the next generation will simply bypass the technology (particularly in Asia).
The implications are immense, but just the simple fact these devices are aware of your location, means more ad dollars will be spent on fulfilling an individual's specific needs in a specific location. The right spaces and appropriate places will matter.
In terms of truly understanding people and the lives they lead, we will finally realise that we should stop referring to them as consumers. Or buyers. Or even worse "our target audience".
News just in, demographics are dead. Not only that, but there will finally be a realisation that desktop research will only take us so far in our pursuit for real insight. In 10 years, we will actually spend time with people, talking with them, doing the things they do.
Acting more like anthropologists, ethnographers and psychologists will enable us to understand them a little better and ultimately engage with them more effectively.
We talk about "social" like it's a new thing. It isn't. People have always been social. It's just we now have so many ways to be social. And, as people have started communicating more with each other, they have stopped listening to brands shouting at them.
And that's why in 10 years, sites such as Facebook (if they don't stop fiddling with the format), Google+ (and several others which haven't even been launched) will become the central conduits for conversation.
And marketers will realise advocacy and evangelism are more important than awareness and frequency. And frankly that's nothing new. We've always known word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of communication... it's just the delivery methods are changing. Talk about "Back to the Future".
Marcus Chew is the head of brand marketing for Adidas China
With the advent of new technologies, we have seen the rapid evolution of how companies are speaking to customers, especially in the digital media space. While interactive media might now be considered a growing trend, in 2022 I believe it will become the main marketing medium to consumers.
This is largely because of the movement of digital migrants (consumers of traditional media who have had to adopt and move into new technology) into their 50s, and out of the target demographic of most companies - the 18-35 year-old digital natives (new consumers of media who have grown up entirely in the digital age).
Communicating to these digital natives will always need to be at least a two-way approach to enable them to understand, interact, share and compare. One-way communication such as static billboards, store windows, boring shoe-walls will undoubtedly be a thing of the past.
The attention span of these digital natives is also becoming increasingly shorter because of living in an age where information is instantly provided. Communication tools will have no choice, but to be more creative to capture the attention of this savvy group.
E-commerce will also take on increasing importance when consumers can use "kinect" equivalent technology where the new-age systems can capture their required sizes. Print advertisements will no longer be static, but will require animation to communicate the brand or product story, enabled with the growing use of tablets in addition to print publications moving into the digital world.
With almost all mobile devices making their transition into the smartphone era and going beyond just performing the simple functions of a telephone, these devices are now providing for a different and more interactive tool for marketers. Modern age mobile devices can now know who and where your consumer is located, so you can customise your messages to reach and connect to each individual.
These communication platforms can no longer be passive, with messages being targeted directly at consumers digitally and empowering them to decide if they would like to engage with you. A one-size-fits-all communications approach will no longer work - one-to-one marketing is now the key to winning the battle of the brands.
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