Accessibility Links

The future 'has arrived for marketing'

10/06/2013

We might not be floating around in hovercraft or ruled by disembodied brains in jars of ammoniac fluid, but according to a number of experts the future has already arrived when it comes to the marketing industry.

The "social newsroom" - roughly speaking, the nexus of information presented by sites like Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook - means that marketers now need to be attuned to the present rather than towards some distant goal in the coming months or years.

Jim Coleman, managing partner at social media agency We Are Social, told Marketing Week that the biggest shift seen because of this technological advance is that consumers now expect a two-way discussion from brands rather than a simple monologue.

"If a brand is able to participate in a wider conversation, they are aware of the context and can add to that community and improve their ability to better connect with their consumers," he argued.

This adaption is proving especially problematic for older, more established brands, which are often tempted to treat social as simply another marketing channel without recognising the way in which it has fundamentally altered marketing discourse.

A major part of digital marketing recruitment over recent years has been refreshing the talent base of these big organisations, bringing in new ideas and concepts about how online and social can improve customer management.

Jason Barrett, creative technology director at ad agency McCann Erickson, explained: "The key for brands is to listen to what consumers are already talking about and ensure that they are giving consumers a big enough reward for engaging with them."

However, this also poses challenges for marketers, with the concern being that badly thought-out attempts to respond to real-time events can leave them open to criticism from the public.

One thing is certain - marketing professionals need to be more engaged with the world around them than ever before if they are to help brands develop successfully.