Are We There Yet? Predictions For The Future Of Marketing And Technology

Are We There Yet? Predictions For The Future Of Marketing And Technology
SHARE
THIS



In this opinion piece, Isobar’s strategy director Samantha Hardman discusses her favourite findings from the Australian Edition of Isobar’s 2016 Trend Report which aims to not only classify some of what we’re seeing into manageable trends, but also highlight the opportunities and challenges that exist as a subset of each of these trends to start the discussion around the inevitable so what.

At this point, (almost) no one is kidding themselves. In centuries to come, the era in which we currently live will likely be described as the most significant in generations. Though an even casual consumption of mainstream press (or your garden-variety social feed) would have you believing we’re one minor event away from Armageddon, as Angus Hervey wrote late last year, there’s a lot of evidence to the contrary.

Franklin Roosevelt once said: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” And if we apply that criterion to the world as a whole then 2015 was a very good year indeed.

The first self-driving truck is on the road in Nevada and Google cars went almost two million miles without an accident. Singapore has a goal of making a third of its taxis driverless by the end of this year and the Netherlands is just weeks away from launching a driverless shuttle. Solar cells are twice as cheap as they were about 18 months ago and drones are delivering medicine to remote areas like Haiti or even rural Virginia, and delivering mail in Switzerland. Meanwhile 3D printing is estimated to require as little as 10 per cent of the amount of material needed in conventional manufacturing.

But in practical, day-to-day terms, what does this all mean? What are we supposed to do at an organisational level today to not just survive but thrive in this environment?

At Isobar, we’ve just released the Australian Edition of our 2016 Trend Report which aims to not only classify some of what we’re seeing into manageable trends, but also highlight the opportunities and challenges that exist as a subset of each of these trends to start the discussion around the inevitable so what.

Our overarching theme is the continued rise of what we call brand commerce. Through the connected world, the once substantial gap between the point of inspiration and the point of transaction is rapidly closing. Once upon a time (not so very long ago), inspiration came in the form of television commercials, billboards, print advertising, celebrity endorsement or recommendations from friends or family. Whilst those are all still very much points of inspiration today, the key difference is that there are not only more opportunities for inspiration, having that product or service in your hot little hands can be just a tap or swipe away… and increasingly, within a matter of hours. No longer is there a significant transaction decision event. Even substantial transactions can be made almost as a matter of impulse.

This world of brand commerce manifests in a number of ways, each of which we see as being underpinned by a series of sub trends with their own challenges and opportunities and this is what we unpack in our trend report. Broadly speaking, we cover four key areas:

1. The rise of artificial intelligence. It’s fast becoming a constant part of our lives and we’re starting to see the transition on behalf of consumers out of being surprised by these highly predictive and tailored interactions and into minimum expectation territory. In other words, if you’re not getting clever about how you use your data and automating the application of it, you’re going to get left behind.

2. The on-demand economy. A new economy is growing up based on fulfilling the needs and expectations of the new on-demand consumer. This is the Uber model applied across a host of other industries, creating a flexible, on-demand workforce, enabled by mobile and powered by a new currency – trust.

3. Invisible interfaces. What we commonly understand to be an ‘interface’ will dramatically shift over the next few years as we experience the rise of the invisible interface and we’ll see more and more sophisticated interactions, from authentication to transaction, taking place with minimal conventional interaction.

4. The new storytelling. It almost goes without saying, but all this juicy data and unprecedented connectivity of consumers presents us with some pretty spectacular opportunities for reinvigorating brand narratives in ways which are highly tailored and meaningful to customers.

I won’t spoil it, but in preparing the Australian edition I got pretty excited about more than a few areas in particular. Or more to the point, what I believe to be the obvious potential in the intersection of a few of these areas.

Here are just three.

Auto replenishment

Today the concept of auto replenishment is surprisingly rudimentary given where we’ve got to from a technology perspective – both societally in terms of uptake and capacity. As it is, all current forms of “auto” replenishment are far from actually being automated, relying on time lapses in the case of subscription services like Dollar Shave Club and Pet Circle or manual intervention as is the case with Amazon’s dash button.

When considered in conjunction with the wider predictions around connected homes however, it’s not a big leap to suppose that in the near future we’ll be living with true auto replenishment – consumables that trigger their own repurchase based on usage without human intervention.

Useful aside, consider for a second the considerable impact such a model would have on the relationship brands have with their customers. As it is today, a brand – let’s say a laundry liquid – must constantly compete for customer’s favour and dollar. And it’s easy for them to be lead astray by price, packaging, placement and so forth. With this new model however, a brand need only keep their customer just happy enough to prevent them actively terminating this automated arrangement and creating a new one. Getting and retaining customers then will become a very different world than it is today.

On-demand, dynamic delivery

The last mile – that is, the last part of the journey made by an item which has been ordered remotely – is unquestioningly going through a huge time of turmoil. There are three subtrends in this category which we call out in our report; on-demand delivery (for example, the four hour delivery offered by The Iconic, enabled by StarTrack, responsive delivery and, well, drones.

On their own, these are interesting but perhaps not game changing. They’re nudges in existing services, simply responding to the whims of an increasingly impatient consumer. What I’m really excited by however, is the intersection between on-demand delivery and dynamic delivery – that is, the ability to alter the destination of a delivery in-flight, or to deliver to a device rather than a fixed address. In real terms, this creates a new service model of impromptu, pop-up anything. Sunscreen and a swimsuit delivered on Bondi Beach on a Saturday afternoon. An impromptu midweek warm-weather picnic in the botanical gardens. A collared shirt for that last-minute client meeting, delivered to your table at lunch.

Better yet, overlay this capability with new data sets – weather, events and so forth – to predict the demand of such things and be ready to strike when they occur.

Speaking of data, it’s a nice segue into my third passion point from our report…

Big data + small data = new industries, opportunities and markets

As an industry, we’ve been bandying around the term ‘big data’ for some time now. With programmatic and other such areas however, data at scale has had meaningful and demonstrative application. The potential goes well beyond the realm of marketing, but it’s in the two-way flow of this data that I’m most interested.

Farmers in Australia are using yield monitors to act like personal agronomists supplying information to optimise the real world – dial down the fertiliser here, up the water there. With this data, equipment can be programmed for optimal results, not only resulting in increased yield but also decreased costs which can run into the late six or early seven figures depending upon the size of the farm.

At this stage, the data is used mostly by individuals, however the opportunity and capacity for sharing and associated macro analysis is enormous. Let’s think about that for a second though. How valuable is this data as a commodity in its own right? And what happens when we layer it with other data sets such as historical weather patterns, global market demands and so forth? Crucially, this data isn’t just useful en-masse. The application of that data and the inherent insights are useful back to an individual level.

But before I get ahead of myself and start solving for world hunger and hypothesising as to the impact of new commodities on Wall Street, what might the application of such advances be in our industry? Consider the possibility of consumers not just using the aggregate data of other people like them to inform their purchase decisions, but placing a value on having their data being available for this use. In a sense, we’ve been working up to this for years with stores like Amazon and their ‘customers who bought this item also bought…’ and more recently with Apps such as The Net Set allowing users to see which items are trending around the world. But what about for insurance, health or fitness where both the provision and availability of data potentially has real value?

I’ll stop here; clearly I’m excited by where the world is going. Fundamentally we’re in the process of our entire economic system being tilted on its axis and I’m thrilled that I’m around to see it happen. There are so many possibilities on the cards today and one look at a trend report like this illustrates the exponential rate at which they’re being spawned. We can pretend it’s not happening, we can wait and see where it goes, or we can get in there, get our hands dirty and be part of history.

See the Isobar 2016 Trend Report: Australian Edition here. 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Network Ten Creditors Approve CBS Deal
  • Media

Network Ten Creditors Approve CBS Deal

It seems the fight for Ten between CBS and media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon may finally be over.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
MKTG Signs Exclusive Commercial Partnership With PlayersVoice
  • Marketing
  • Media

MKTG Signs Exclusive Commercial Partnership With PlayersVoice

MKTG has announced it has signed an exclusive commercial partnership with newly-launched sports storytelling site PlayersVoice.com.au – an agreement that will see the agency move into a new territory of sports marketing. The partnership between MKTG and PlayersVoice will see the business managing brand partnership opportunities for the new platform; working with clients to deliver […]

Domo Introduces New Data Security Software Solution
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Domo Introduces New Data Security Software Solution

Domo has announced it has introduced new cloud security technology for its Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) software, which includes unique capabilities like rolling generation of data encryption keys and a built-in kill switch. Domo BYOK is the first BYOK enterprise software solution for cloud analytics and business intelligence, and builds on the company’s existing security, compliance and […]

Shopper Media Group Grows Sydney & Melbourne Sales Teams
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Grows Sydney & Melbourne Sales Teams

Shopper Media Group (SMG) has continued to grow its Sydney and Melbourne sales teams to keep up with the demand for Smartlite Panels for shopping centres. Ashley Munro joins SMG as group sales manager for Sydney, having previously worked in a similar role at NOVA Entertainment. Laura Mason has been appointed as SMG’s business manager […]

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men's 100 meter semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
  • Advertising
  • Media

Olympics, Census Prove Tough Hurdles For Media Agencies: SMI

Australia’s media agency market has experienced another tough month in August, according to the latest data by Standard Media Index (SMI). SMI noted the softer demand this time around was primarily due to the Rio Olympics and Census providing abnormal bookings last year, resulting in demand for August 2017 so far being back 12.1 per […]

The Monkeys Takes Over From M&C Saatchi On NRMA’s Creative Account
  • Advertising

The Monkeys Takes Over From M&C Saatchi On NRMA’s Creative Account

Accenture-owned agency The Monkeys has bolstered its client ranks, having been chosen to handle the creative for the NRMA. The Monkeys CEO Paul Green confirmed to B&T that the agency had been appointed to the NRMA account by parent company IAG, which also includes brands CGU and Swann Insurance. M&C Saatchi was the incumbent creative […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
A waitress carries beer mugs in the Hofbraeuhaus tent after the opening of the famous Bavarian
  • Marketing

Study: Why No Or Low Alcohol Beers Are Fast Becoming Drinking’s “New Cool”

New research from global market intelligence agency Mintel reveals that over a quarter of consumers in France (28 per cent) and Germany (27 per cent ) agree that low (under 3.5 per cent) or no alcohol beer tastes just as good as full-strength beer. And while younger consumers may have been the most enthusiastic drinkers in previous generations, […]

Engine Group Encourages Queenslanders To ‘Go Local’ In New TVC For State Govt
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Engine Group Encourages Queenslanders To ‘Go Local’ In New TVC For State Govt

Brisbane creative agency Engine Group has launched an integrated campaign for the Queensland government promoting the benefits of buying locally and supporting local small businesses. The ‘Go Local, Grow Local’ social marketing campaign celebrates small businesses across Queensland and highlights that small businesses are the lifeblood to growth in local communities. Central to the new […]

Sam Weir, Editor - The Advertiser & AdelaideNow 
 Editorial 
 
 Picture: Turner Matt
  • Media

News Corp Appoints New Editor For The Courier-Mail

News Corp Australia has announced the appointment of Sam Weir (pictured above) as editor of Queensland’s The Courier-Mail. Weir is one of Australia’s most accomplished editors, having edited the Perth Sunday Times and for the last four-and-a-half years, The Advertiser in Adelaide. News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said: “I am delighted Sam has […]

Is This The Creepiest Ice-Cream Ad Ever?
  • Campaigns

Is This The Creepiest Ice-Cream Ad Ever?

Look, a terrifying ice-cream ad! And by "terrifying" we really mean Tony Abbott in his sluggos kind of "terrifying".

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Creatives, Step Up To The CX Plate!
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Creatives, Step Up To The CX Plate!

Aussie creatives urged to step up to the CX plate! That's the Adobe boss saying it; like B&T would never say try harder.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
InMobi’s Anne Frisbie On Ad Fraud
  • Advertising

InMobi’s Anne Frisbie On Ad Fraud

B&T sat down for a chinwag with InMobi’s Anne Frisbie who thought only half of our questions were poor & unresearched.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Facebook Provides More Clarity & Control For Brands
  • Advertising
  • Media

Facebook Provides More Clarity & Control For Brands

Facebook has announced it is taking action to provide more clarity and controls for advertisers. The updates include: Third-party verification Facebook is seeking accreditation from the Media Ratings Council and set a timeline of 18 months to audit, review and accredit Facebook measurement across three key areas: first-party served ad impression reporting; third-party viewability partner […]

Ogilvy Duo To lead Miami Ad School’s 2017 Social Media Boot Camp
  • Advertising

Ogilvy Duo To lead Miami Ad School’s 2017 Social Media Boot Camp

Miami Ad School has announced that Ogilvy’s Alex Watts (head of social) and Jennifer Ngai (lead social strategist), will lead its Social Media Boot Camp in the coming spring term. The 10-week boot camp is an intensive program where students work on live briefs to create fully-executed social media campaigns, and will run from Monday […]

Kim Portrate Calls For Review Of Viewability Standard For Video Ads
  • Marketing
  • Media

Kim Portrate Calls For Review Of Viewability Standard For Video Ads

Kim Portrate, chief executive of ThinkTV, has welcomed a call today by the renowned marketing science academic Professor Karen Nelson-Field for the global advertising industry to review the current MRC viewability standard for video advertising. Speaking at ReThinkTV in Sydney, Portrate said: “Last year we asked Karen to help us understand how TV works. We […]

Streetfighter Media Adds ‘Lettered’, Choreographed Teams To Its Guerilla Marketing Offering
  • Marketing

Streetfighter Media Adds ‘Lettered’, Choreographed Teams To Its Guerilla Marketing Offering

Guerilla marketing company Streetfighter Media has launched what it claims is a world-first offering for marketers. Lettermen is people wearing letters, walking around town and pulling some choreographed moves. They spin, dance, jump, strut around and spell the word like a Mexican wave. A full range of letters and numbers are available with multiples, along […]

Outdoor Player goa Offers Charities To Win Share Of $1m Worth Of Media Space
  • Advertising
  • Media

Outdoor Player goa Offers Charities To Win Share Of $1m Worth Of Media Space

Queensland outdoor media provider goa is once again welcoming applications from community organisations far and wide looking to share their message with South East Queensland via THE goa GRID and THE ICONIC SERIES. Each year, goa chooses a number of community organisations through their Community Partnership Program to partner with and share in a whopping […]

Macpac Chooses Tryzens To Be Its E-commerce Delivery Partner
  • Marketing

Macpac Chooses Tryzens To Be Its E-commerce Delivery Partner

Outdoor apparel and equipment brand Macpac has announced it has selected Tryzens as its e-commerce delivery partner. Tryzens will help Macpac leverage capabilities of the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform to deliver an enhanced customer experience and provide a robust, scalable platform for international expansion. Mark Jagger, digital marketing manager at Macpac, said: “e-commerce represents a […]

How The New iPhone 8 And NFC Will Change Customer Experience
  • Marketing
  • Opinion
  • Technology

How The New iPhone 8 And NFC Will Change Customer Experience

In this guest post, Geronimo CEO Matt Hunt (pictured below), explains how ‘The Apple Effect’ will complete the ecosystem for NFC marketing. ‘The Apple Effect’: up to 90 per cent of smartphones could be interacting with the physical world through NFC. The same smartphone technology that allows you to use Apple Pay is now going to be […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Instagram Introduces Updates To Its Stories Feature
  • Media

Instagram Introduces Updates To Its Stories Feature

Instagram has announced two significant updates to Instagram Stories that will allow users to share stories via Direct and helps brands to create original content for Ads in Stories. The first update will allow users to share stories via Direct, which will make sharing a story as easy as sharing a post from your feed. […]