What is the future of marketing?

Posted on October 20, 2010


future of marketingNo one can predict the future, but one can study current trends and extrapolate future trends. At a recent FutureM conference session on “The Future of Digital Strategy,” several marketing experts shared their views on the future of marketing. This panel was especially interesting because the companies were not your typical online marketing companies, they represented more traditional industries.

The panelists:

David Beirut – Assistant Director, Genzyme Biosurgery
Perry Hewitt – Director, Digital Communications, Harvard University
Philip Crampe – E-commerce manager, Savings Bank Life Insurance (SBLI)
Dave Wieneke – Director, Digital Marketing, Sokolove Law Firm.

The questions:

1. How has marketing changed over the past few years?

All agreed that the need to get content up quickly is key. It’s also important to have the control for content management in the hands of marketing and not in the IT departments.

2. What marketing tactics were successful for you in 2010?

David(Genzyme) – Testing and optimizing online marketing campaigns. Use of analytics to measure results.

Perry(Harvard) – Mobile applications. The target audience, Harvard students and potential students, live on their smart phones.

Philip(SBLI) – Marketing automation. We had great success in converting people who called for life insurance information into paying customers by sending a series of follow-up emails to them. Previously they would call and that would be it.

Dave(Sokolove) – Setting a domain strategy. With over 19 different websites, it’s important to be organized. We were guided by analytics. We were also very precise about having a call to action on each page.

3. What’s ahead for 2011?

David(Genzyme) – Further audience engagement and segmentation. Holistic campaigns that are integrated with other Genzyme departments.

Perry(Harvard) – Short videos. We recognize that people won’t watch videos longer than 2 minutes.

Philip(SBLI) – More backend integration.

Dave(Sokolove) – Streamlining data flow and increased use of videos.

My biggest take away from this session is that even traditional companies are embracing online marketing. These companies have shown that it can be done. Planning, good communication and a willingness to experiment are the keys to success.

Photo courtesy of Napalm filled tires photostream on Flickr.