We are headed full steam toward 2023. Marketers are pulling out of Twitter because Elon Musk is making some very questionable choices. Marketers are refocusing their attention to connected TV because display advertising is about to suffer a similar downturn due to the deprecation of third-party cookies. Oh, and there’s a recession looming and nobody knows how long that will last, although by the time you read this the midterm elections will be over and pundits will be prognosticating on the implications of the election results for many days to come.
Meanwhile in other news…
Netflix has ads. Disney Plus is about to have ads. Marketers still flock to Google like moths to a flame.
It really does prove the old saying that “the only constant in life is change.”
The job of a marketing strategist is never boring. You have three primary methods: First, identify an audience and how to reach them. Second, be able to prove the efficacy of the channels you choose, whether through direct attribution or indirectly through the development of brand and how it impacts growth. Third, stay on top of the trends so you know what is about to get hot and what is about to flame out.
None of these tasks are very difficult, but in aggregate they can certainly weigh on a person. It’s hard to be a data analyst, mathematician, artist and prognosticator all at once.
All that being said, and much like the classic Zeppelin song, for marketers, the song remains the same. Your consumers never leave media; they just move around a bit. The art of it all is knowing when to jump from one tactic to the next. Attribution aside, you find a way to prove the value by delivering pipeline and opportunities over a period of time.
What makes the job the most fun is identifying trends and finding new channels to adopt. Pre-pandemic, social media was the darling of a marketing strategist’s toolbox. It was all about Facebook for B2B marketers and Instagram for all.
During the pandemic, the tide shifted to email newsletters that aggregated hot stories and valuable news to make it easier for people stuck at home to get caught up.
Post-pandemic, the shift feels like it is headed back toward a no-network network model. Gone are the days of the big three being NBC, CBS and ABC. Now we have YouTube, Netflix, Amazon (with its Freevee product plus "Thursday Night Football") and Disney duking it out with traditional players, quickly surpassing the cable networks for dominance. And don’t overlook Apple quickly coming along with major league sports, and more.
Marketers love broadcast media -- and whether the ads are skippable or not, they will always put money there. And events. Marketers love events. The pandemic was hard because we had no events, but now people are flocking back and they love being at a conference.
AR and VR are still on the horizon, bringing with them a ton of new marketing opportunities. I am especially excited about AR as more people engage with an augmented world around them -- maybe on their phone. Maybe on their new AR Ray Bans (I think I may need to get a pair of those). I think we have yet to scratch the surface of what is to come with that space.
My guess is, AR will start to emerge right around the time that ads on Netflix and Disney become passe and listless. It's the role of a marketing strategist to identify what comes next, and what is about to flame out. I’m just happy I get to share my ideas with all of you here and maybe, just maybe, take a little credit for it later.
Here's to hoping the rate of change doesn’t leave you “Dazed and Confused.”