If you think content is king for many brands today, by the end of the decade it is going to be the true difference between success or failure. In 10 years’ time, the big winners will be those who provide content that gets through the noise, rather than just appearing on media channels and reaching eyeballs.
Content will be crowned the indisputable king thanks to the arrival of ultra-high speed Internet via gigabit fibre and 6G/7G. It will make immersive video available everywhere, to everyone. The world becomes connected instantaneously.
Instead of being mildly interruptive, marketing communications will transform into immersive experiences. In effect, marketing becomes its own programme with deep content as the driver of engagement. At the other end of that spectrum, people can talk and interact with each other far more deeply than via “short burst” Twitter and Facebook posts. UGC becomes real content, not just a few scrappy videos.
Devices will converge as we walk around, connected, throughout the waking day with earbuds and glasses that cater to our every need, from making a video call to working on a spreadsheet. Glasses, for example, will project a keyboard so we can touch type on any surface. In addition, voice command, interaction and payment will be a big part of consumers’ lives.
This is all bad news for traditional channels. Mail in envelopes will have changed. The costs of reaching defined audiences via digital will have dropped so far that nobody has as much budget to send printed material. Instead, “promotional parcels” – highly targeted packages – will have taken their place.
Printed newspapers will also have vanished.
Retail shops will showroom rather than sell products, relying on the residual need to touch, try and discuss items that can be bought online at our convenience. In fact, technology will allow brands to predict what we want on a huge scale – the solution consumers have been waiting for (even if they don’t yet realise it).
That said, big tech will have been broken up, either through market forces or regulation. Market giants Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon will still be around, albeit with many more competitors; not least Chinese rivals who are naturally more monopolistic.
This way, markets and audiences become truly internationalised, the consumer global. Instant translation means that custom will come from all corners of the world. The masses of Africa and India will become as important to UK businesses as traditional home markets are today.
Buying power will swing further away from brands, marketers and media owners towards consumers. Driven by social media influencers crystallising the attitudes and actions of individuals, trends will have a shorter shelf life, turning over faster than the seasons to match the speed of new technology launches.
Capturing insights with speed, agility and accuracy will be possible and brands must live or die via their application. These and other elements of the consumer revolution to come require sophisticated tools, marketing automation, advanced algorithms and models to unlock opportunities.
All of this means more noise. More channels to use. More time spent watching. More hours to fill. But also more opportunities than ever before for organisations that champion content over clutter and impact over impressions.
The team at WPNC