What Will Marketing Look Like in 2030?

We just welcomed our third son, Caleb, into our family. Over the last few months, I have been thinking about the world he is coming in to, how it is changing and what marketing, one of my focuses, will look like as grows up.

Innovation is happening so quickly that predictions like this are a fool’s errand, but for the sake of Caleb and discussion, here are trends I see that I believe will continue to carry through the next 18 years.

Marketing Will Move to the Extremes

Every day it becomes more difficult for marketers to get and keep our attention. In order to stand out, marketing will move to the extremes in order to differentiate and get our attention.

The problem with extreme marketing is it becomes a competition among marketers to either be more extreme or to find a new point to take to the extreme. Unfortunately, many of these extremes are ones we, as consumers, do not want to see.

  • Carpet Bombing. To be noticed above the clutter of competing advertising messages, many advertisers will simply bombard us. Increased frequency is one way marketing stands out, but it often isn’t welcome.
  • Aggressive Interruption. Thankfully telemarketing during dinner has subsided, but marketers continue to look for ways to interject. From real time social media response campaigns to retargeting ads pitching products we looked at only moments before to traditional intercept marketing at malls or resorts, marketers will continue to interrupt what we are doing to get our attention.
  • Gratuitous Creative. From gratuitous foul language and nudity to unrelated contests and giveaways, marketers will stray further from their message in order to get our attention and pull us in.
  • Extreme Value. Standing out from the crowd, some marketers will focus on delivering value to their customers first and foremost, with great offerings supported with information, tools and resources that provide value to the target audience, even if they are not a customer.

The final way to differentiate is the one we, as consumers, prefer and the path I pursue as a marketer. However, we will see all extremes, not just this one, as marketers rush to get our attention.

Information Will Be Everywhere

Today, one of the biggest pain points for B2B marketers is creating content. In the future, getting the information people need in front of them will be the biggest challenge. Behind this trend is the fact that content will be everywhere and in every form.

Systems that serve consumers will filter, organize and deliver answers and specific information consumers need. As a marketer, having the answer will just be the first part of the battle. Having your answer presented will be the war.

Data Will Underly Everything

In Minority Report we saw advertisements targeted to John Anderton as he walked into a store. What made this extreme is not technology, it is identification and data. The technology to suggest products to an identified individual based on their interests and purchasing behavior is widely used.

Data about who we are, what we like, what we buy and where we go will drive personalization of marketing even in environments that today we do not consider personal.

Eighteen years from now, privacy will be a very different debate. I believe companies will have the right to collect data and data collection and application will be widespread.

As individuals, we will have increased access to data about us, but the privacy debate will have shifted to what we can do with the information others have about us, not what information others have the right to collect. [Note this is a prediction, not an endorsement!]

Your Turn

What do you believe marketing will look like when Caleb turns 18, in the year 2030? Please share your thoughts in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake)!

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  • ShakirahDawud

    First, congratulations on your new son, Eric. I think those are valid predictions, from looking around at current marketing trends. So it seems to be moving along the same arc it is now, except then we’ll have a whole lot more data to back up some of the more incredibly obtuse and offensive–I mean creative–marketing stunts that will be performed. The technology will advance, but the resulting marketing will only be as good as the humans using it–and humans don’t change much.

  • Hello Eric,

    First, much congratulations on your newborn son.  May God bless your family with health, happiness, and joy. 

    As for marketing in 2030, I can see your son as an 18 yrs. old heading off to college literally “wearing” marketing in every conceivable way as marketers try to embed themselves in a person’s daily life.  I can’t predict if this will be a good thing or not – my sense is we will do the generational thing and say – “these kids today” and “what happened to the good old days” – and have a good laugh…

    Many Blessings,

  • I’m hoping that in thirty years we’ll be laughing about how, back in the early early 21st century, people used around 4-5 social media profiles on a regular basis.

  • Eric – congratulations on your new arrival! Very exciting!

    I agree with how you see marketing in 2030. I think also, that marketing will become part of the fabric of how things will be (see Tony’s remark) and that marketing will actually have intrinsic value unto itself. 

    Marketing will be part of the value created. 

    Data, of course, will drive everything as parsing will be not just down to the person, but the time of day, location etc.

    Data will to be granulated down to molecules (metaphorically!).

    Again – congrats!

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  • I think that your “Gratuitous Creative” is more than likely going to be the strongest winner.  Just simple trends in older cultures show that as a culture reaches the height of their civilization, the height of the sexual depravity peeks too.  

    I am not trying to preach, i am just pointing out what historically happens.  In America, what we consider risky, is nothing to some European countries.  So our future of advertising, at least in the next 5, will probably become more “twisted.”  Or we could all end up like Demolition Man.  Slingshot effect is always a funny one.

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