The Changing Face of Marketing

The Future of Marketing and How to Win: Part 1

We’ve created this series to not only share ideas on where the future of marketing is headed but to also provoke some new ways of thinking about brand strategy and marketing.

In part 1 we answer the question “What is happening in marketing and how does a brand succeed?”

Like many of us in the industry, we are students of marketing, and we watch the activity. We learn much from the successes and we learn much from the failures. Particularly, the failures can be quite instructive sometimes. The Sony Xperia Z5 camera was launched with wonderful creative of people in a swimming pool, the camera underwater, taking pictures of swimmers. Now, if you’re like me, I’ve dropped my camera in… water… more than a few times so, for me, that’s very relevant. Then Sony made the announcement, “Please do not try this at home” because in fact, in the lab, the camera was not tested under those conditions. It seems that in marketing’s exuberance to find a unique selling proposition that would gain market share, they forgot about the truth.

What examples like this tell me is that there is no one back at the shop that understands what the customer believes, values, and needs. It says that their purpose as an organization is more about market share and financial performance than it is about serving their customer.

The good news is there’s a lot of evidence that there’s an appetite for change in marketing. From Naomi Klein’s New Logo, all the way up to Scott Stratton’s Unmarketing, through to the wide array of documentaries that you can get on Netflix that are questioning what consumers are being sold and told. Why would someone sit around on a Saturday night with their family and watch a documentary about stresses, tensions, anxieties and, risks in the food system? Well, clearly, they’re anxious. They have questions, they’re looking for answers, and it is these tensions that are driving the success of organizations like Chipotle and Whole Foods, who are offering to resolve the tensions that people have around the quality of food in America.

We think the breakout idea is brand purpose, and to quote Richard Branson, who knows a thing or two about marketing and business, “The brands that will succeed are those that have a purpose beyond profit.”

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