The IPA, with Future Foundation and Advertising Week Europe, has unveiled the findings of its report – ‘The Future of Marketing and Agencies – The Next 10 years for consumer engagement.’ With one of the key findings of the report highlighting that the majority of interactions will be mobile first, Mubaloo was invited to be on a panel at the event.

The first report, issued in 2006 came before the launch of the iPhone and Facebook. Despite not fully anticipating the meteoric changes those two things would bring, many of its predictions have materialised, particularly around the consumer-led scenario. Technology platforms are now working directly with clients. Agencies compete with in-house agencies on social media assignments. Social media is now bypassing marketing to link to customer service in-company.

This new report identifies that marketers are positioning themselves to be the voice of the consumer, as brands restructure using data in order to deliver seamless customer experiences, across the myriad of touch points that now exist. Agencies are also simultaneously being squeezed in the new media landscape, whilst creating new ways to partner with their marketing counterparts, creating a veritable ecosystem of models to meet radically diverging client needs.

This is something that we are seeing here at Mubaloo. Though we’re not a marketing agency, we have worked with a number of agencies who want to deliver advantages to their clients through utilising apps. As our MiBeacons division continues to grow, we have seen a sharp rise in interest to use beacons for both consumer marketing purposes and driving competitive advantage.

Mubaloo’s Bristol Managing Director, Gemma Coles was invited to join a panel, along with other leaders from marketing companies in Bristol. As a former planner at B2B marketing agency, Mason Zimbler, Gemma was able to provide past experience of working in marketing, but also a deep understanding of the ever changing mobile landscape and techniques to interact with consumers through apps.

Gemma’s panel session was discussing some critical drivers of change for the way in which marketers run campaigns, as shown below:

Critical drivers of change

Critical drivers of change

Whilst the report aimed to determine a primary quadrant for brands, many businesses will have requirements in various corners depending on user and context. At Mubaloo, this is something that isn’t necessarily limited to agencies and marketing activity, but is also reflected in the challenges that many businesses have run into with mobilisation. For example:

Consumer led & functional (Bottom right) = Modular, configurable, aggregator capabilities that put the user in control. Technology drives what’s possible here. They also describe an incubator approach that allows for rapid progression, which requires a collaborative approach between various agencies and providers. This could easily be focused on employees that need functional engagement, where companies are able to focus on creating apps that deliver what users need, rather than fulfilling any specific business need.

Consumer led & emotional (Top right) = Adaptable and tailored solutions, with the need for behavioural analytics to respond to rapidly evolving user profiles. This is part of a growing trend for contextual apps that utilise big data and machine learning to provide users with what they need. Google Now and Apple’s forthcoming Proactive are prime examples of this. We also see this coming through the deployment of beacons, where users are able to get context about what is near them and the information or tools they need.

Brand led & functional (Bottom left) = UX-led projects that focus on products and services, often for mainstream use cases. Apps like Hargreaves Lansdown’s HL Live for iPad likely fall into this category, delivering a brand led, functional experience that helps users of the app but is led by the brand (or company).

During the discussion, the topic of ‘brands of the future’ came up, looking at the importance of brand authenticity and personalisation. This is something that is wholly being driven by mobile, where everything is instant, personal and contextual. If we look at Amazon, the company has recently launched one hour deliveries in London. This is all about the here and now, providing customers with something that is truly useful to them.

This then ultimately comes to the purpose brands play in the lives of consumers. Today, there are so many ways to do things that consumers will choose to go with the brand that provides them with the most amount of purpose. Part of this involves embracing the concept of contextual awareness, where brands utilise data insights and hyper-location awareness to provide useful information based on what people are doing, their interests, the time of day, the weather and other information to provide people with what they need.

In terms of the key findings of the report, here’s what we can expect marketing and agencies to look like by 2025:

– the majority of interactions will be mobile first
– visual communications will be the dominant mean of social networks (visual culture is more intense)
– 5G will make e-commerce and streaming effortless
– big data will evolve to become an integral part of all marketing and communications approaches, delivering real-time predictive tools for every interface
– there will be more intelligence on every level between the brand owner and the consumer, powered by artificial intelligence
– the experience economy will continue to intensify, with consumers looking for more personalised, more relevant, more intense experiences
– a majority of consumers will be using some form of wearable technology.

The groundwork for all if this is already in place. If anything, it serves to remind companies that they can’t afford to not invest in understanding and utilising mobile if they want to be effective.

Sometimes, utilising mobile can be effective as encouraging users to take a photo with their flash with a printed campaign (as seen in the example below). Ultimately, mobile is the channel that people will turn to if they see a campaign that encourages them to take the next step.

CHECT: Flash Photo Posters Campaign – by Wunderman UK

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