By Published On: July 23, 2020

As part of our agency network affiliation, a study on the future state of agencies from Essence Global – a data and measurement-driven agency – was recently shared with d.trio. Essence Global surveyed approximately 50 advertising and marketing experts with a diverse background of industry expertise regarding their expectations on what will drive the future of marketing.

The research presented 15 possible scenarios that may exist in 2030 and requested feedback on how likely they were to be true. The majority of the questions surround data and technology implications, such as:

  • Will data privacy still exist or will governments and brands have access to an individual’s DNA and GPS data?
  • Will biometric data be the access point for transactions and services?
  • Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) replace human creativity and content generation?
  • Will interaction primarily be done bot-to-bot?
  • Will we spend more time in virtual reality than actual reality?

Nearly 75% of respondents indicated the use of biometric data was likely. Although this study was done prior to the pandemic, we’ve already seen changes in how data is gathered and tracked. Tracking apps have gained significance as governments and medical experts strive to control the spread of the virus. According to a recent JWT report, governments have used everything from facial recognition software to counter-terrorism technology to national defense mechanisms to track and locate potential health risks. Although broader access to data may be a future reality, it’s not a foregone conclusion. It’s likely to be an ongoing issue and a source of hotly contested policy debate for years to come.

Less than half of the responders felt that AI and bot-to-bot transactions would replace human interaction in the next ten years. Overall, they believe automation will continue to enhance consumer relations but will be guided and managed by individuals.  They also felt customers would push back on technology overtaking human contact due to the perceived loss of individual control.

Although there are differences in opinion as to what degree data collection and AI/technology will evolve in the next decade, there are things agencies and businesses can do now to prepare.

  • If you don’t have a strong data strategy, it’s time to take action. Collect and manage your data in a way that is future-proof – allowing for personalized, permission- based marketing to create meaningful and relevant consumer messaging.
  • Digital technology is more important than ever. The quality and impact of your initial message will have a strong influence on your audience. Make sure you’re using the best tools available to ensure customer interactions are positive to increase your chances of being rewarded with customer loyalty.
  • Imagine how your customer journey looks in a virtual world. What additional touchpoints will you need to ensure drop offs don’t increase along the way? Automation can be a key component with reminders or assistance to help customers take the next steps. Make sure virtual interactions are rich and meaningful and suppored with human contact at crucial junctures. Especially now, it’s important to understand how the customer journey has changed for your business – to track and evaluate the changes to service delivery and the impact on the customer experience.

For insights on the current state of marketing and future implications, check out our Marketing Trends blog.

About the Author: Carol Wahl

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