About Irakli Beselidze
Marketing strategist, keynote speaker, anchorperson, marathoner.
Quite often people think about the future. Being a marketing expert, I do not just make plans for the future but also try to imagine how marketing and advertising will look like. No doubt the development of new technologies will make communications more and more sophisticated. But what’s the ideal marketing communication of the future? It’s a personal message to a user created with due account for his/her interests, tastes, mood and location.
And now let’s imagine you’ve got an assistant who knows everything about people you need to talk to – their preferences, psychological status, location… This indispensable person is called “contextual intelligence”.
Well, in fact, a great part of our fantasy can already come true today. Social networks collect and keep data not only about users’ gender, age, education and place of work but also about their favorite actors, music, places, TV programs, cafes and location. And as for search engines, they analyze the previous knowledge about users (e.g. their previous searches) and provide results that appear to be the most relevant ones.
According to Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, in the nearest future users will hardly get information not meant for them. It means the end of the mass communications epoch and the beginning of a new epoch where each message will be formed individually for each user. And certainly, contextual intelligence will play its role here.
Let’s try to imagine how contextual intelligence will work in the future helping a seller to create useful marketing communications for buyers. We’ll take smartphone advertising as an example.
Let’s say there’s a girl called Kate. Her social network’s profile and activities say she likes watching “Doctor House”, on Sundays she goes to a café with her friends, most often she communicates with Mary, and frequently uploads photos with Jack using the Weihua smartphone.
Future marketing communication with this girl might look as follows. While watching a serial film, the doctor House himself addresses her, “Hello, Kate. I saw you with Mary in the ‘Beaujolais’ café on Sunday. I noticed that because of a low-speed Wi-Fi, small display size and out-of-date camera Weihua you didn’t manage to meet your friends on time! If you want to impress Jack and make photos more eye-catching, read my message telling you about the new iPhone 77 …”
What will be Kate’s reaction to such a commercial? And will the company need to contact her again to be noticed? I think the answer is quite obvious.
Incorporating content into the buyer's context helps not only deliver a marketing message but also build trustworthy relations with a buyer. Nowadays buyers become the core of all marketing activities, and this trend determines the development of communication technologies. It may happen that product’s popularity won’t be enough for buyers to make a purchase. They may start looking for products that are valuable in terms of solving their problems. And marketers should be ready to communicate with potential buyers.
We may also predict that all non-contextual communication channels like TV advertising, banners, and leaflets distribution will disappear. And even outdoor advertising has almost no chances to survive. As for glossy magazines, they won’t completely disappear as photos of beautiful people and things always have an artistic value. In 10-15 years there might appear a law obliging advertisers to get customers’ consent to delivering advertising messages.
Today marketers are faced with the task to create their own unique content based on buyers’ insights, integrate marketing messages in to the existing content and use them in real time. Real-time marketing implies searching for the context relevant to your product and immediately incorporating a marketing message into it.
While now contextual advertising is available just in search engines, the development of new technologies will help all online marketing be based on contextual advertising. It’ll work like this: once there appears some context relevant for placing a marketing message, robots will find some relevant content, customize it to the general tone of the resource, the location of users, the week day and the time, and then publish that message. For example, the above mentioned Kate is interested in buying a smartphone, and she asks her Twitter friends for some advice. Such an activity serves as a signal to contextual intelligence: there’s a chance to advertise mobile phones, it’s high time to show buyers’ testimonials, especially in case there are Kate’s friends among them.
In the future marketing experts will focus on developing algorithms for monitoring prospects’ signals, personalizing marketing messages about the product and delivering them in daily emerging contexts. They will create an information area around the product, service, brand or a person that helps attracting people and informing them about the product’s value.
Looking around, you’ll find examples of marketing messages integrated into the context. Let’s think about the well-known series “Sex and the City.” It may be the perfect context for delivering marketing messages. Moreover, this context has a direct association between the words “sex” and “shopping” as main heroes spend most of the time (and money) on shopping.
The development of new technologies will let integration appear in the process of consuming content rather than in the process of content creation.
How do you imagine the future of marketing communications? Share your ideas in the comments.
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