1convertMore customer focus, more communication with added value, more personalization, more content and less redundancy through automation, are the trends in marketing. Not to mention that in our digitally embossed world, the future of advertising will also be programmatic thanks to modern technologies and sophisticated algorithms. But what really matters in an increasingly digital future without getting on the wrong track in the nirvana of marketing hypes.
Neither the product nor the service is the focus of consumers, rather the consumers themselves who are increasingly devoted to digitalization.

Indeed, the future of marketing is not about possible measures and campaign models, like content marketing, storytelling, influencer relations, adblocker, native advertising, visibility, ephemeral marketing, social media, marketing automation, virtual reality, omnichannel, big data, mobile and video etc., rather it is a matter of a serious rethinking of communication to ensure the survival of one's own brand.

So instead of investing more budget into any new form of advertising or packaging products more beautifully, the core question in marketing should be about which scenario can attack the in-house business model and the brand in the future.

The future of marketing begins in a hyper-heterogeneous world where, from a passion, the individual customer can lead his own competitive side attack on brands. These unpredictable attacks are only intended to transform revolutionary ideas of some customers into own mass marketable business models, with which the world could be conquered overnight.

In the process, the digitization provides every entrepreneurial spirit with the foundation to shake the grounds of old traditions and create a lasting added value for the consumer through a new start-up idea.

In the future, customers and their satisfaction will determine entrepreneurial activities and have a direct impact on marketing. Of course, the beginning is always difficult, so the focus should be on successful, digital business models, in the sense of learning from each other, instead of concentrating on the very own business.

It is only through an intuitive analysis of the digital market change that a basic understanding of digital transformation can be created, so that marketing moves its communication towards the customer and speaks less about the product itself. This means that companies must focus more than ever on the customer's needs, wishes and preferences.

Certainly, it can easily happen that today's consumers change the market as a competitor tomorrow. A glance into the financial sector is enough to understand how small fin-tech start-ups can better serve the needs of customers and challenge traditional banks and insurance companies. But not only your own customers can become a danger to your brand and business model, as self-created consumer media and content are increasingly replacing traditional mass advertising. Such powerful online users can be activated as influencers and brand advocates, if they are supplied by companies with first-hand information without operating purely commercial communication. The prerequisite to do it right is the existence of a brand's lasting influence on brand ambassadors.

Only by being close to the customer in even the smallest of situations, brands will be able to collect brownie points by offering their help and support to the customer. Anyone who can make a small concession, and make a customer happy through social media communication, will benefit from the brand awareness of digital followers. In a very short time, the new discipline of ‘Total Customer Experience Management’ should emerge, which will radically change marketing.

If satisfied customers can be converted into loyal customers, and at the same time loyal customers into brand ambassadors, companies secure the continuity of their own future. Larger and smaller digital players now have the communicative power to revolutionize traditional markets with new services and to abolish old business models in the shortest possible time: For instance, AirBnB is seen as the largest hotel company, although it does not have its own real estate, Uber can provide its customers with the world's largest fleet of vehicles, although none of the mediated cars are registered under the company. Customers naturally evaluate all offers and decide which beds and drivers they order, based on their needs and expectations. Another good example is Youtube, Netflix and Amazon Prime which have sealed the end of the video stores and heralded the end of analog sales of DVD and Blu-Ray. The food for thought I want to provide is simple – “adapt or die!”

By Daniela La Marca