The Future of Marketing DA: Contextual Report

Concept:

I approached the Futures Cultures Digital Artefact wanting to create something that I was passionate about and that would be useful for my own future. As such I decided to create a blog post series focused on exploring the future of the marketing industry (a topic highly relevant to my career aspirations).

Methodology

Research topic –> Create Content –-> Monitor feedback loop –> Iterate –> Repeat

The researching phase took the longest time during this project, as I wanted the blog posts to be as informative as possible. Writing was another long process as there was so much information and I wanted to keep the post length short and digestable.

Background Research:

One of the key takeaways I have taken from the subject lectures is the concept of possible, probable, and preferable futures, which I discussed throughout all of my posts.

During further research of the 3Ps (often known now as the 4Ps with the inclusion of ‘plausible’), I came across the Futures Cone (Voros, 2017; Swanson, 2021). However, Joseph Voros also identifies ‘the projected future’. This idea of a projected future seems to be something I have come across a lot in my research into the future of marketing. Voros’ ‘Futures Cone’ was a useful tool to explain my opinion on the likeliness of different future realities.

‘Futures Cone’. Image Credit: (Voros, J, 2017.)

Utility:

Initially I planned to create 7 mini blog posts on my WordPress blog, however time constraints meant that I had to change my original plan. Ultimately, I developed 5 blog posts that each explored key ideas/ trends emerging that were projected to affect the future of the marketing and advertising sphere. I designed the blog posts to be easily consumable using less than 400 words, audio transcripts simple language and classic blog post structures such as lists. I believe they provide a utility for my audience as they are concise summaries of some of the key discussions taking place about the marketing world’s future. The information I provide is informative, and interesting to my main audience, industry professionals and marketing enthusiasts.

Trajectory:

The project’s overall trajectory of the Digital Artefact was fairly neutral although each post did draw new visitors to the site.

Limitations:

The main limitation of my Digital Artefact is that it only provides a very small insight to some of the major trends/theories about the future of marketing. Due to limited resources, I was not able to discuss as many concepts I had hoped.

Furthermore, audience engagement was another limitation of the project. Despite making a lot of effort to entice readers and increase audience engagement the variety of changes and iterations I made did not seem to have a significant impact.

Success:

Overall, I am happy with the quality of the blog posts and the effort I made. Throughout the development of my Digital Artefact, I was able to practice my digital skills and focus on content production. I experimented with a range of blogging techniques including ‘catchy’ titles, hashtags, search engine optimisation techniques, audio transcripts, and blog structure (short lists vs paragraphs).

This project has increased my critical thinking skills and taught me a lot about creating digital content as well as provided me with a better understanding of the projected future of marketing and what it could look like. Ultimately, I would call it a success.

The future?

Moving forward, I plan to continue to monitor future trends and possibilities regarding the marketing industry and add to this blog series. Hopefully this will add to my professional portfolio and encourage more visits to my site.

References:

Voros, J 2017, ‘The Futures Cone, use and history’, The Voroscope, weblog post, 24 February 2017, viewed 01 May 2021, <https://thevoroscope.com/2017/02/24/the-futures-cone-use-and-history/&gt;


Voros, J 2017, ‘Futures Cone’, image, 24 February 2017, viewed 01 May 2021, <https://thevoroscope.com/2017/02/24/the-futures-cone-use-and-history/&gt;


Swanson, J 2021, ‘A Tool for Exploring Plausible, Probable, Possible and Preferred Futures’, Students at the Centre Hub, weblog post, 24 February 2021, viewed 01 May 2021, <https://studentsatthecenterhub.org/resource/tool-exploring-plausible-probable-possible-preferred-futures/&gt;

Virtual & Augmented Realities: How XR Tech Could Change the Marketing Industry

Prefer audio? Listen to the transcript here.

Emerging XR technologies are inspiring interesting predictions for the future and how we could be interacting the world, each other and brands.

Augmented reality in marketing. Woman traveler with phone.
Image credit: (Cathy Hackl, 2020)

First things first, what do I mean by VR, AR and XR?

Virtual reality (VR) = a computer-based simulation of an interactive environment (Patel, 2020).

Augmented reality (AR) = a view of our current world with computer-generated graphics superimposed over it, creating an interaction between the real-world and virtual information. (Example: Pokemon Go).

Extended reality (XR) = a term referring to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables, where the ‘X’ represents a variable for any current or future spatial computing technologies.

So, how could developments in these technologies change the future of marketing?

Advancements in technology could see more and more brands and businesses incorporating XR technologies into their marketing activities.

Here are a few predictions I think have a strong likelihood of occurring.

  • We will be trying on clothing and accessories from online fashion stores in whatever environment we choose. Maybe customers will be able to view themselves wearing the product in different scenarios and different lighting? Perhaps eventually we will be shopping in entirely virtual malls that are completely tailored to our own preferences? Either way, the customer experience will be much more immersive and marketers will be able to provide interactive, 360 degree digital experiences.
Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality & Fashion (Try before you buy!) | by  echoAR | echoAR | Medium
Image credit: (EchoAR, 2020).
  • We will be checking how furniture looks and fits in our own houses (Ikea Place is already doing this).
Ikea App Page - IKEA
Image credit: (Ikea, 2021).
  • Makeup and cosmetic companies will be able to demonstrate their product with virtual makeovers.
Try MAC Cosmetics Makeup Online | 800 Products for Virtual Try-On
Image credit: (MAC, n.d.)

  • Brands will build their own ‘virtual beings‘ like ‘Lil Miquela‘ or ‘Shudu‘ that will share marketing messages and interact with customers.
  • With VR, International aid charities can ‘take’ users to places that need help and show them what they are doing. This would also apply to the tourism industry, allowing users to see what their vacation would look like before making the bookings.
Image credit: (Thinkun, 2020).

Currently, virtual-reality technologies are based heavily on headset-style products that allow a user to quickly immerse themselves in virtual worlds or games. But with tech advancements being made at such an accelerated rate, perhaps the future where XR has become a part of all of our everyday operations isn’t that far away?

What do you think? What does the future of marketing look like in a VR cyberspace?

 

The Human Connection: Is Emotional Storytelling the Future?

Prefer audio? Listen to the transcript.

Many people argue that experiencing emotions is what make humans “human”.

As we enter an age where we are being increasingly bombarded by advertising material 24/7, industry experts believe that the best way to stand it out in a saturated market is to…

make the audience feel.

Example: Toyota “Jessica’s Long Story’ Commercial, via YouTube.

Since the earliest forms of human communication we have told stories. Cave paintings, hieroglyphics, radio, TV, the internet, all ways we have and continue to tell our stories.

More than often, forming an emotional connection to a story is going to make it much more memorable to you. Emotional storytelling stimulates your brain and if done well leads you to make associations between the feeling and the brand.

11 Emotional Advertising Examples Most Used by Brands
Example: Nike ‘Dream Crazy’ campaign. Image credit: (Irina Weber, 2018).


Ivana Vnučec (n.d.) explains the concepts of ‘arousal’ and ‘valence’ as being the two foundations of including emotions in advertising.

Arousal = the intensity of the emotion.

Valence = the positive/ negative character of the emotion.

The following visual identifies some of the key emotions used in advertising and organises them in the context of arousal and valence.

Image credit: ( Ivana Vnučec, n.d.)

Many brands have already begun to capitalise of the effectiveness of emotional storytelling/ branding.

Check out another example of emotional storytelling in the video below.

Jacob Cass (2020) predicts a future of more creative and authentic stories within the marketing sphere. Cass believes that it is essential to human nature for storytelling to exist.

FuturesCone-CDB
Image credit: (Joseph Voros, 2014)

Using the Futures Cone (a tool used to understand the probability of a future), the likelihood of emotional storytelling becoming the forefront of marketing activities seems to be a projected and probable future reality.

Seeing as brands are already implementing emotional storytelling into their marketing activities and succeeding, it seems to be a pretty safe bet that over the next 5 years emotional storytelling is going to become one of the most important aspects of advertising.

What do you think? Do you think audiences will eventually tire of emotional advertising? Is this just a trend that will die out?

Let me know in the comments!

How Artificial Intelligence Is Shaping the Future of Marketing

Prefer audio? Listen to this blog post.

Is marketing going extinct? I believe that we are witnessing an extinction event when it comes to marketing as we know it.

The future is here. Automated campaigns are revolutionizing marketing by targeting customers with the right message at just the right time without wasting resources on those who don’t need it.

The Reality of Artificial Intelligence | Ivey Business Journal
Image credit: (Lee, 2017)

There is no doubt that Artificial intelligence is changing the marketing industry as we know it. In fact, the above text was completely written by AI based upon my introduction blog post to this series.

So, what does a future reality where AI is at the heart of all marketing look like?

Based upon research and my own ideas, it looks something like this.

  • All businesses have AI chatbots built into their websites that are equipped to handle any query.
How Do Bots and Chatbots Work? - CX Today
Image credit: (CX Today, 2019)
  • AI consumes and analyses vast amounts of data; user behaviour, sentiment, preferences etc., (without cognitive bias) on a scale unachievable to an individual and uses it to generate complex insights into users. Thus enabling the complete personalisation of marketing content.
The Future of Advertising is Ethical | by Melanie Mohr | WOM Protocol |  Medium
Image credit: (Melanie Mohr, 2019).
  • It’s possible that AI will be creating and curating marketing material by itself whilst constantly learning and improving. This could lead to what Aashish Pahwa calls, “a world ‘beyond human'”, where AI has perfected the art of generating demand which will lead to excessive capitalism (Pahwa, 2019).
What Is The Importance Of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Image credit: (Bernard Marr, 2020)
  • AI will use predictive advertising and marketing to capitalise on your future wants/ needs before you even recognise them yourself.
Original image credit: (The Times, 2017)
  • AI digital assistants will be fully equipped with voice search and it will become a very important way we access and find information.
Is Siri AI? Find Out Now - Brought To You By ITChronicles
Image credit: (William Goddard, 2020)
FuturesCone-CDB
Image credit: (Joseph Voros, 2014)

With the Futures Cone (a tool used to understand the probability of a future) in mind, the increased implementation of advanced Artificial Intelligence seems to be a projected/ probable future reality.

What do you think of these predictions? Let me know in the comment section!


My Contribution to the Conversation- Reflecting on My Live Tweeting (Pt.2)

This blog post containing tweets and analysis is in regards to Live-tweeting exercises I have been participating in for the last 6 weeks for my Future Cultures class (BCM325).

The following tweets are a curation of some of my more significant contributions and interactions during the live tweeting of a weekly screening that explores the concept of the future. During the past 6 weeks our screenings were: ‘Blade Runner 2049‘ (2017), ‘The Matrix‘ (1999), ‘Alita: Battle Angel‘ (2019), ‘Ready Player One‘ (2018) and ‘Robot and Frank‘ (2012).


WEEK 6- ‘Blade Runner 2049’ (2017)

By Week 6, I felt like I had a better idea of what I was doing when it came to live-tweeting. I also definitely felt more comfortable blurting out my opinions than I did at the start of this subject.

For the ‘Blade Runner 2049’ screening, I contributed to a few significant conversations. In particular, the idea of Replicants being aware of their lack of identity and what it means to be human (a reoccurring theme throughout all of the screenings).


WEEK 7- ‘The Matrix’ (1999)

If I’m being honest, ‘The Matrix’ screening was something I was a little intimidated by. I had never seen the film, but of course I knew of it’s reputation of being a complex but highly praised movie. I did find the film a little harder to keep up with the live tweeting without missing any of the key plot points.

Researching into the director choices helped me uncover some of the purposeful layers of meaning, such as the character name choices and costuming.

The lecture material also inspired some of my questions and thinking whilst watching the film.


WEEK 9- ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ (2019)

‘Alita: Battle Angel’ was another film that I didn’t know much about prior to the screening which also made it more difficult to relate to the lecture material. However, further research into the cyberpunk genre helped me gain a better understanding of the films messages.

One of the things I noticed straight away was the classic polluted setting we see in a lot of futuristic dystopian texts. As well as, the impact cyborg appearance had on how I felt about the different characters, which my peers also discussed.


WEEK 10- ‘Ready Player One’ (2018)

The live tweeting experience for ‘Ready Player One’ felt a lot different compared to other weeks. In this week, I felt like I provided some engaging commentary, which my peers responded well to.


WEEK 11- ‘Robot and Frank’ (2012)

‘Robot and Frank’ turned out to be one of my favourite screenings throughout the subject and I felt like the story related to a lot of the ideas around AI in the more imminent future.

I think that using the lecture material and other relevant researches provided me with a strong foundation and enabled me to better analyse the film.

Furthermore, I was able to better engage and participate in other conversations, as well as identify significant themes in the film .


SELF REFLECTION:

Overall, I think my live tweeting has improved tremendously.

By using the lecture material and high quality research to help form my opinions I felt more at ease drawing conclusions and making analyses about the films. I also think I have gotten a lot faster and more efficient at identifying and sharing specific and relevant ideas in real time- one of the apparent core skills of live-tweeting.

Overall, I think I have made interesting and significant contributions to the various conversations taking place during the live-tweeting screenings, and I have learned how to engage, research and analyse effectively. I didn’t expect to gain these skills from this subject initially, but I can now appreciate how valuable they are- especially in regards to my future career.


If you’re interested, check out my other tweets here!

BCM325 Peer Comments: A Reflection (Pt. 2)

As a part of my studies in Future Cultures (BCM325) we are required to analyse and comment on our peers’ pitches for the major project. (You can see my own beta pitch here).

It was really cool to see how other people’s projects are coming along! The following three peer comments, summarise what their pitch was about, reveal what I commented and include my reflection on my own feedback.


PEER COMMENT #1 (Katie’s Project Beta)

THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL

For her Digital Artefact, Katie has been publishing blog posts on her WordPress website about different topics related to the future of travel.

My comment:

Reflection:

I think my feedback and critical analysis skills have improved since commenting on the Project Pitches. As seen in the comment, I have provided constructive criticism, engagement with their project and relevant (high quality) further research- which I briefly explain why I think it is useful. I have also made an effort to provide relevant strategies for improvement rather than just highlighting strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore I tried to integrate ideas from the subject material into my feedback.


PEER COMMENT #2 (Asher’s Beta)

THE FUTURE OF ONLINE DISCUSSION

Asher’s Project Beta discusses his video essay about the use of bots on social platforms and how that can affect social dynamics.

My comment:

Reflection:

I found providing feedback for Asher to b quite challenging as the topic of chat bots and hedge fund owners was not something I was very knowledgeable on. However, through a bit of research and by looking into the ideas around cyberculture I realised that #draftourdaughters a meme campaign I came across a few years ago, could potentially be a great example of the power of online discussion for Asher to discuss. I also watched his first video essay and offered constructive feedback and advice that he could apply to future videos.


PEER COMMENT #3 (Kara’s Beta)

THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE FASHION

Kara’s Digital Artefact is a YouTube video essay series accompanied by an Instagram account that focuses on exploring ideas about the future of sustainable fashion and discussing what direction she sees the industry heading towards.

My comment:

Reflection:

Kara’s digital artefact was focused on a topic that I had an interest in, as such I was happy to spend extra time looking at resources and research I thought would be useful. I also visited her Instagram account and tried to narrow down some of the simpler and effective ways she could increase her audience engagement.


Final Thoughts

I put a lot of effort into coming up with advice and strategies that I thought would be most effective. Overall, I am happy with the feedback I have provided and believe that it is helpful, useful and relevant to my peers’ respective Digital Artefacts.

Project Beta- The Future of Marketing

The beta content of my digital artefact (a blog series all about the future of marketing), is now up and operational. You can find it right here on my website under the ‘The Future of Marketing‘ tab.

As stated in my pitch, the focus for this Digital Artefact (DA) is to explore the future possibilities of marketing and advertising. Throughout 7 short-length blogs I plan to discuss and analyse some of the major trends and developing technologies that could potentially shape and/or disrupt the marketing industry.

Current audience engagement status: not great.

So far the first two posts I have published have received minimal to no engagement.

However, I suppose no feedback is still feedback…?

Based on the lack of response I’ve made a few changes to this project. In particular I’ve put more focus on the SEO of my website and posts. I’ve also decided to use more interactive medias such as videos and audio transcripts.

The posts have received a few view but no likes, comments of other forms of engagement. Which seems to suggest that either people aren’t finding my content or it isn’t providing any value to users. I’m leaning towards the first option as literally only 6 people have viewed the posts.

One of the key takeaways I have taken from the subject lectures is the concept of possible, probable, and preferable futures, which I plan to discuss throughout my posts.

During further research of the 3Ps (often known now as the 4Ps with the inclusion of ‘plausible’), I came across the Futures Cone (Voros, 2017; Swanson, 2021). However Joseph Voros also identifies ‘the projected future’. This idea of a projected future seems to be something I’ve come across a lot in my research into the future of marketing.

FuturesCone-CDB
‘Futures Cone’. Image Credit: (Voros, J, 2017.)

This visual has become a useful tool for me in organising my thoughts when it comes to imagining futures and discussing them in my blogs.

Final Thoughts:

I’ve spent the majority of the last couple weeks researching and writing drafts of the blog posts.

Moving forward my focus will be on editing, iterating and curating my project’s content as well as building an audience.

My aim is to stay on track with my original plan, however I will need to catch up on editing and publishing blogs 3-5 (which I have already written drafts for).

References:


Star Bright, Star Light First Space Ad I See Tonight

Audio transcript available here.

One of the craziest potential futures of marketing I have come across in my research was the concept of ‘Space Ads’, AKA obtrusive space advertising.

To me, the whole idea seems like it’s something straight out of a cyberpunk dystopia.

Image: A Russian startup, StartRocket, plans massive billboards to beam advertisements to Earth.
Image Credit: StartRocket, 2019.

The technology is described as “swarms of tiny, light-reflecting “cubesats” (tiny satellites) that would come together to form luminous words or logos.”

StartRocket (a Russian start-up) is trying to make it happen for real.

Whilst the technology is possible, I see this future being a very low possibility, and definitely an unfavourable one at that.

On the cone of plausibility I see this sitting within the plausible to wild card area.

Amongst concerns over light pollution, aviation safety, satellite overcrowding and space junk- you would hope that legislation to advertise in the night sky is never approved.

Not only that but our lives are already so saturated with media and messages. I think we see enough of the McDonald’s ‘M’ (for example) already to not have to see it when we look up at the milky way.

However, according to this NBC Mach article, Vlad Sitnikov; the CEO of StartRocket, is undeterred by any negative reactions.

If you ask about critics of advertising and entertainment in space in general- haters gonna hate. We are developing a new medium, In the beginning of television no one loved [ads] at all.

Vlad Sitnikov

This concept of obtrusive space advertising makes you wonder if the commercialization of space is inevitable?

In a capitalist society too often fuelled by greed I am slightly pessimistic. However, I hope the night sky is one thing in the future we can continue to appreciate for its natural beauty.

Image Credit: Ken Cheung on Pexels.com

Be sure to like and follow if you enjoyed this post and share you thoughts in the comments below!

4 Things That Could Shape The Future of Marketing

Hello and welcome to the first post in my blog series focused on exploring the future of marketing!

Despite the disrepute, marketing is an essential aspect of our society and the way we live. The heart of marketing truly lies in informing audiences and creating long-term, sustainable relationships between consumers and organisations that offer products of value. Sure advertisements may be annoying, but without them no one would know about so many amazing things. In fact it’s very likely that you discovered some of your favourite things through marketing communications- movies, clothes, food, games, music.

I’m particularly interested in understanding marketing from a futurists perspective. The future is fascinating to imagine, with so many advancements being in made in the tech world it’s seems that it is only a matter of time before the marketing industry is completely disrupted.

Some of the main things (thoughts, trends, and technology) I have identified that have a potential to shape the future of marketing include:

  1. Artificial Intelligence
Why Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the Future of Content Marketing
Image Credit: Atomic Reach, 2020.

2. Virtual Reality

Alternative Spaces Blog | 5 Ways to Use Augmented and Virtual Reality in  Business and Consumer Marketing – Part I - Alternative Spaces Blog
Image credit: Slesar, M, n.d.


3. Emotional Storytelling

4 Ways To Use Storytelling In Marketing That Have Nothing to Do With Heart  Wrenching Videos
Image Credit: Bartolomeu, C, n.d.

4. Space Ads


cone-plausibility-diagram
Image Credit: Swanson, J, 2021.

As explained by Jason Swanson (2021), ideas about the future can generally be categorised as plausible, possible, probable or preferable.


As such, throughout this blog series I will be arranging my thoughts with this in mind. Sure ‘space ads‘ are possible but is this a future we actually want?

In the coming blog posts I will be exploring how these 5 things will shape the future of marketing in more detail. Asking questions such as:

Will we be trying clothes on from online stores with VR technology? Will we see a rise in AI voice assistants like Siri and Alexa? Will there be a shift to emotional storytelling in advertising? Are space ads really even a possibility??

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I would love to know your perspective!

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