How many “future of marketing” posts have you seen this year? A million?
Make it a million and one.
My issue with “The Future of Marketing” as a writing genre is that it tends to revolve around entertainment trends…
(“Every Brand Should Pivot to Short-Form Video: What’s Your TikTok/Quibi Strategy?”)
…or nascent technologies.
(“Microtargeting for Immersive Experiences: Welcome to Programmatic VR”)
The year is 1999.
The internet is exploding, powered by browsers like Netscape, and search engines like Yahoo! and Alta Vista. Google is in beta, but you probably haven’t heard of it. Goatse is a new thing that you shouldn’t look up on Alta Vista. You might have one of those Nokia candy bar phones, and maybe you even send text messages.
The world is changing. Information wants to be free. Data wants to be accessible. The Web wants to be weird.
In that year, a marketing call-to-arms was published called The Cluetrain Manifesto, which was kind of a guidebook for companies trying to navigate this new landscape. It proved so popular that it was expanded to a bestselling book by the same name in 2000. You can get a sense of the Cluetrain movement with the 95 Theses on the website. “Markets are conversations” (Thesis #1), “Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy” (Thesis #7), and “We are immune to advertising. …
I’ve been inspired lately by some very smart friends who are proponents of “thinking in public” and “intimate marketing.” The idea that you can work through ideas and thoughts better if you’re publishing, collaborating, and letting the community read and respond.
I haven’t really seen this done at an agency level before. Codeword ghostwrites thought-leadership content for lots of big ad agencies and tech companies, but the message of that content is often “we have the answers!” or “look at our amazing success!”
Which is great, and certainly worth sharing when it’s true.
But tbh, in the media and marketing landscape we’re in now, anyone who claims to have all the answers should probably be eyerolled right out of the room. …