The future is much like the present, only longer,” said base­ball pitch­er Dan Quisen­ber­ry.

Here are some pre­dic­tions for the future of mar­ket­ing in the year 2019 and beyond from some thought lead­ers I polled, plus a few of my own prog­nos­ti­ca­tions.

Here are pre­dic­tions from dig­i­tal growth mar­ket­ing expert and speak­er Lisa Apolin­s­ki, own­er of 3DogWrite, who I met this year when she asked me to help edit her upcom­ing man­u­script. Recent­ly I asked her for some fore­casts and here are three points she made:

  1. Dig­i­tal, Dig­i­tal, Dig­i­tal. “Audi­ences will want bet­ter and more per­son­al­ized dig­i­tal engage­ment,” says Apolin­s­ki. “The dig­i­tal user expe­ri­ence will need to be more seam­less with stronger con­nec­tion between dig­i­tal assets.”
  2. It’s A Scan­dal. “Dig­i­tal con­tent over­load will mean review­ing and opti­miz­ing dig­i­tal mes­sag­ing to keep it authen­tic and rel­e­vant,” says Apolin­s­ki. “With ever-grow­ing data scan­dals, like the most recent one involv­ing Face­book, pri­va­cy set­tings will increase, reduc­ing data col­lec­tion on social and oth­er dig­i­tal chan­nels.”
  3. A High­er Degree. “To stay ahead of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing trends, mar­keters will add edu­ca­tion to their pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment with a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing cer­tifi­cate pro­gram like the one offered at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Flori­da.”

I put the ques­tion to one of my favorite mar­ket­ing authors, David New­man, author of Do It Mar­ket­ing, and cre­ator of the Speak­er Prof­it For­mu­la that works with exec­u­tives and entre­pre­neurs who want to mon­e­tize their exper­tise:

  1. Mar­ket­ing More Per­son­al. “What’s the one thing you can’t out­source or del­e­gate? Your phys­i­cal pres­ence, at least not yet,” says New­man. “Thus, mar­ket­ing strate­gies like speak­ing, net­work­ing, rela­tion­ship build­ing and becom­ing a vis­i­ble author­i­ty will become increas­ing­ly impor­tant as dig­i­tal assets become com­modi­tized. Entre­pre­neurs and exec­u­tives who want to be posi­tioned as thought lead­ers will speak at more indus­try events, present more con­fer­ence keynotes, host edu­ca­tion­al sem­i­nars and CEO round tables, and find oth­er ways to mar­ket their smarts to their cus­tomers and prospects live and in per­son.”
  2. Val­ue Add Adver­tis­ing. “Heck, even adver­tis­ing may final­ly become valu­able and some­thing we look for­ward to receiv­ing instead of an annoy­ing side­bar on a web­site or unwel­come inter­rup­tion to a video,” says New­man.
    Here are two pre­dic­tions from glob­al sales cul­ture expert and author John Waid, who speaks and con­sults inter­na­tion­al­ly:
  3. Human Mar­ket­ing. “As a back­lash to poor ser­vice, scan­dals, and even the cur­rent polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment, mar­keters will focus on treat­ing cus­tomers more like human beings (than cash cows) in the new year and those that do will be reward­ed by cus­tomers buy­ing more and being more loy­al,” says Waid.
  4. Inter­nal Mar­ket­ing Becomes King. “Mar­keters will be asked by their lead­ers to focus more ener­gy on mar­ket­ing to their inter­nal cus­tomers (employ­ees) as employ­ment rates are low and dis­grun­tled employ­ees will be leav­ing in droves, caus­ing reten­tion rates of top tal­ent to plum­met,” said Waid.

Here are three of my mar­ket­ing pre­dic­tions:

  1. Client Attrac­tion Chain Reac­tion. For high-end con­sult­ing and ser­vices, mar­keters will quit look­ing for the sil­ver bul­let and focus on a whole mar­ket­ing approach. The mag­ic is in the inte­grat­ed mar­ket­ing mix. The win­ners will focus on cre­at­ing a self-sus­tain­ing process to attract high-pay­ing clients.
  2. Our Brand Is Gen­eros­i­ty. More free valu­able con­tent, more free tri­als and more free sam­pling will be the order of the day. Even in a dig­i­tal world the fun­da­men­tal truths still apply as time goes by, and the biggest truth is you have to give to get. The Law of Rec­i­p­ro­ca­tion is as sure as the Law of Grav­i­ty.
  3. Fea­ture Fun. Watch for more fun in mar­ket­ing to cut through the clut­ter. Fun can cap­ture atten­tion. As the late, great ad man David Ogilvy said, “You can’t save souls in an emp­ty church.”

Let’s face it, you don’t need psy­chic pow­ers to know that mar­ket­ing will become more dig­i­tal. That means more live stream­ing, more per­son­al­ized video mes­sag­ing, and more curat­ed con­tent with enhanced rel­e­vance to micro nich­es.

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