Let that sink in: a marketer of today may not recognise the marketing team of tomorrow.
A big claim? Yes. The reality of the future of marketing? Absolutely. While it’s true marketers are in the midst of unprecedented changes, fuelled by business technology and by changing consumer expectations, it’s not something marketers need to be concerned about. In fact, it’s something to be excited about.
In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the best and most innovative changes coming to the world of marketing by 2025. The below research surveyed marketing executives across Australia and New Zealand in order to uncover what they think about the future of marketing in the region.
And, if you want to find out more about what marketing will look like in six years, including the skills marketers need, the tools they’ll use and how marketing will be measured, get your hands on this FREE report from industry leading marketing automation software company, Marketo. Download here.
The Age of the Machine
Marketers are predicting huge changes in terms of the kinds of tools they use, as well as the skill they need to do their jobs. Machine learning, sophisticated analytics and neuromarketing are seen as the most important skills for marketers in 2025. The result is that many current activities such as email marketing, social media marketing and digital media marketing are expected to decrease, in some instances considerably.
While the tools marketers use and the skills they need will inevitably change by 2025, the core focus of marketing will stay the same. Customer lifetime value and retention remains in the top two spots, and will be the be the core focus of marketers across the board.
Skills for 2025
When looking to 2025, nothing demonstrates the huge extent to which the work of marketers will change than the expectations around skills. Niche skills today will emerge as the most important skills, while current tasks performed by marketers will lessen in importance, or be automated completely.
In 2025, the most in-demand skills in marketing will be centred around analytics, data & insights, CX/UX, AI & machine learning, Vanity metrics: open rates, digital marketing & media (though this is declining), and marketing technology & operations. Put simply: marketing will be a technology hub.
There will be a huge increase in the number of marketers who say they will need AI capabilities for machine learning up from six per cent today to 60 per cent by 2025—and neuromarketing, which grows from eight per cent to 52 per cent by 2025.
The basic foundation behind these two skills? Sophisticated data analytics – which will be the most important marketing skill in 2025. The major result of these changes is the importance of current skills priorities will dramatically decline. That includes digital marketing and media— down from 73 per cent today to 52 per cent. Social media marketing will halve from 66 per cent to 33 per cent, and content marketing falls from 63 per cent to 39 per cent.
The Next 12 Months
So, what do the next 12 months look like as marketers prepare for the future? For the next twelve months, marketers say their top priorities are customer retention, lead generation, and customer lifetime value. That means Australia, like the more mature markets overseas in the US and UK, is quickly approaching the day when technology spending exceeds campaign spending.
And, the larger a company is, the less it invests in technology as a percentage and the more it invests in advertising. This means the changes to the tools marketers use will be almost as dramatic as the changes in skills. Today email marketing, social media marketing, and CRM are the most-used tools—but none of these make the top three by 2025. Instead, AI/machine learning for content delivery, data analytics/visualisation are first and second, with customer experience management third.