15 May 2012

Flash forward – marketing in the next five years

How will products will be marketed five years from now? Tell us below. When it comes to innovation, marketing technology is never far behind the curve. Whether it’s taking advantage of new mediums, or finding smarter ways of using old ones, if it helps businesses to connect with customers, the chances are that someone, somewhere is working on it. Here are a few technologies that could become standard in the next five years: Facial recognition Efficient marketing is driven by better targeting. Signs that estimate your age and gender as you walk by already exist. Both Kraft and Adidas have discussed their plans for the technology, and it’s used by banks and other businesses in Japan. At the moment, the focus is recognising your characteristics, rather than you individually. But with emerging technologies such as Google’s ‘Find my Face’ tool, that’s something that is likely to happen eventually. Augmented reality Changing – or adding to – reality, might still have a gimmicky feel, but it’s something marketers are experimenting with more and more. Earlier this year, a 3D, interactive version of Sony’s Xperia S handset was handed out in the UK’s Metro newspaper, with readers using the augmented reality app Blippar to view it. Wrigley’s Gum, Kit Kat, Nike, Dominoes and Mercedes-Benz have all overlayed interactive realities over their products or print ads using the same technology. It could soon be that pointing your smartphone at any product will provide some form of ‘reality experience’. Consumer-generated promotion Having customers themselves promote your products is far from a new idea in the marketing world, but what is changing is the technologies that can achieve it. Taking advantage of social networks, a raft of start-ups are developing systems that allow consumers to promote products to their friends, in exchange for discounts or a cut of any sales. As social networks continue to grow, you’re guaranteed to witness this trend more often. What do you think? What marketing technology would you like to see? Would you use any of the above in your business?