5 Marketing Predictions for the Next 5 Years

8FE8F7A9-D524-4069-8273-C420F3D7F11F 1.First-party data will emerge as the single most valuable asset anyone can have. More control (and power) will be given to individual customers over their own data, which makes any first-party data that a company can generate even more valuable. In some parts of the world like Europe, regulations are going into effect that require brands to obtain extremely specific, and explicit consent from customers to collect this first-party data and clearly state how it will be used. A sound marketing strategy must account for this. Cookies expire and only track web visits in the moment. They are not a long-term way to identify customers. But an email address is a great digital ID that can be used anywhere to represent a specific customer. Taken one step further, we could introduce a new kind of digital identifier, an encrypted blockchain that would contain all of an individual customer’s data but would also be used for identification in conjunction with an email address, essentially establishing two pieces of digital identification for each individual customer. 2.Customers will demand full control of their personal data. Up to now, brands use cookies to track a customer’s journey through a website, but as the need for digital personal IDs grows, cookies will be replaced by a technology, like blockchains, that still allows companies to track customer behavior. The difference is that with blockchains, the data itself will be encrypted to provide individual customers with security and control. Blockchains and similar identification technologies have enormous implications concerning how brands will interact with customers in the near future. Blockchain encryption and customers controlling their own data directly impacts the way you can market to them. You must first ensure that you have clear consent from individuals that you are collecting their data and then explicitly state what you will do with  it. A transparent policy here would not only comply with the new encryption technology to meet the demand for data control from customers, but it’s also good for the brand’s reputation. 3.Location data will become the most accurate indicator of not just where, but who we are. Location services provide location data in two ways. Foreground tracking happens when you have an app open and are allowing location services to track you. Many companies (but Google most of all) already have a good foreground picture of you. Foreground services have the most currency, though companies will have to give users the ability to opt-out. Background tracking takes place when nothing’s open and you haven’t given explicit permission to be tracked. Even though some companies, like Apple with their newest iOS update, are making their background location tracking more transparent. This will lead to an increase in the number of people who turn off background services and essentially opt-out of providing brands that data. 4.Companies will emerge to broker data that will teach machines algorithms. When customers do control their own data, it will not necessarily be harder to market to those customers. They will still share their data with all the brands they want to. Over time, there will be more and more data repositories, companies with libraries of anonymized customer data who are ready to lease the data for machine learning. Beyond the additional revenue stream, brands will have a greater opportunity to collect their own first-party data and market in a more personalized way. 5.Augmented Reality will become a common way to interact, especially while shopping. A retailer might use AR to allow customers to try on clothes virtually and design the AR tech to provide a 3D image of the customer with their dimensions. In addition to enhanced fitting, AR can also make personalized recommendations to customers, such as notifying them about clothes on sale as well as recommending clothes that best fit the customer and match what they’ve purchased before. AR isn’t only powerful online. The technology provides an easy way to display special sales, promotions, end caps, services, and other advertising in brick-and-mortar stores. In-store AR can also make use of location data (beacons and geofences) and provide more information about a particular store or restaurant based on your location, notifying you of current sales, providing menus, and even tying into other companies like dating apps.   Data is one of the most valuable things on the planet, and as we look for ways to improve security, data — especially first-party — will only increase in value. The democratization of data is coming, where a handful of companies no longer control all of it, and this will create new opportunities for the marketer and those companies who can recognize the emerging trends with the greatest potential and build a strategy ahead of the curve.   How is your organization preparing for the coming marketing shift over the next 5 years?

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