Every year, professional press releases a list of trends marketers should follow. Trends such as a focus on interactive content and video posts can pop up one day, but most of them are irrelevant the next. While marketers should keep an eye on trends, they need to be ready to adapt to the broader changes marketing and the marketing profession are facing.
Here are the four ways in which the marketing profession is changing:
Marketing moves toward ‘agile marketing’
The marketing environment is becoming increasingly complex. At the macro level, new technologies are introduced to the market nearly every day and new features are incorporated into existing technologies. Marketers have to figure out how to incorporate emerging technologies into their strategies and marketing tactics.
At the micro level, consumer behaviour is constantly changing; how consumers shop for products and interact with brands. Such changes are intensified by technologies. Marketers have to use those technologies throughout the consumer journey to facilitate the consumer experience.
The complexity of the marketing environment coupled with the speed at which changes in technology and consumer behaviors take place are the biggest changes marketers face. To be able to keep up with those changes marketers have to adopt an agile mindset and be able to quickly adapt to the changes.
It is more than sell, sell, sell
Wellbeing, sustainability, and Net Zero are more than buzzwords.
Consumer wellbeing has to be at the forefront of marketing activities. For example, marketing can influence consumer wellbeing by providing information and bridge the gap between ‘information haves’ and ‘information have nots’.
Marketers should also prioritise consumer financial wellbeing. This is particularly important while serving younger consumers who may fall into a trap of ‘buy now, pay later’ or other non-viable payment options.
Taking care of consumer wellbeing will support sustainability and the Net Zero agenda. Reducing the emphasis on selling and focusing on satisfying needs, will limit unnecessary consumption, which, in turn, will reduce the negative environmental impacts of product production, consumption, and disposal.
For many firms, a shift from selling to wellbeing will be a difficult yet inevitable choice. To facilitate a smooth transition, marketers need to clearly communicate the value of wellbeing, sustainability and Net Zero.
Is data a ‘new gold’?
Data is everywhere. Marketers already recognise the value of data and they strive to adopt a data-driven approach to marketing where data underpins their core actions and business innovation. While marketers recognise the value of data, they still need to develop data literacy skills to be able to use it effectively.
Marketers need to know how to access data and understand how tools such as AI work so that they can effectively incorporate it into their actions. While many marketers prioritise quantitative big data, they seem to overlook the value of visual data which is readily available and much easier to interpret.
Indeed, there is much more data than meets an eye. Before harnessing the power of data marketers have to consider data ethics and question the notion of ‘data as a new gold’.
Digital transformation for all
The Covid-19 pandemic forced many firms to undergo digital transformation. This opened new business opportunities for firms such as the possibility to sell products online via e-commerce or online marketplaces. It also provided many commercial opportunities, which firms are yet to explore. Marketers have to be aware of the impact the digital transformation of firms has on their strategies and tactics.
The University of Edinburgh Business School have just launched the Future of Marketing online programme to keep marketing professionals ahead when it comes to the digital transformation. For more insights, or to sign up for the January intake, visit the event page: