The present article is delivered in two parts. Read part 1 to discover the first four marketing trends: slow marketing, people-based marketing, emotional marketing and empathy-based marketing.
If you’ve read the first part (I hope you have!), let’s continue with the final 4 marketing trends.
Neuromarketing is the application of neuroscience to marketing. Neuromarketing includes the direct use of brain imaging, scanning, or other brain activity measurement technology to measure a subject’s response to specific products, packaging, advertising, or other marketing elements. In some cases, the brain responses measured by these techniques may not be consciously perceived by the subject; hence, this data may be more revealing than self-reporting on surveys, in focus groups, etc.
Traditional marketing relies on quizzes, interviews and focus groups to discover whether their customers liked or disliked their products in terms of packaging, colours, imagery, functionality etc.
The problem with this method of gathering information is that people are easily influenced by uncorrelated factors: the weather, their emotional state, whether they are relaxed or stressed and so on. This means the results are distorted and unreliable more often than not.
With neuromarketing, marketers gain knowledge and insights into the brain’s subconscious reactions.
The brain’s responses to marketing stimuli are true and reliable because they are objective. That is why we see many ads featuring giggling babies, smiling people and beautiful individuals. These visuals trigger positive reactions: they are designed to attract and maintain the viewer’s attention long enough to establish brand awareness and finally, sales.
Brands also use neuromarketing strategies to set prices, decide on brand colours and website layout, build marketing campaigns on the psychological principles of influence and persuasion etc.
Learn more about the principles of influence and persuasion: 6 Psychological Ways to Increase your Event Registration.
6. Mindful Marketing
It’s common knowledge that early humans lived off their land by practising agriculture and hunting. Whatever they weren’t able to supply for themselves in terms of food or other items necessary in every household, they obtained by exchanging produce and various items with others. It’s called barter.
With the evolution of our society, the barter was replaced by producing or manufacturing goods with the purpose of selling them for money. Enter marketing.
As you can see in my short description above, the history of marketing starts early as a part of our own history of human evolution.
One of the first definitions of marketing, in the late 1800s, states that marketing is the process of moving goods from producer to consumer with an emphasis on sales and advertising. It’s marketing 1.0: product-centred and overall seen as an integral part of a business.
In the 1950s, Philip Kottler, one of the world’s leading authorities on marketing defines marketing as follows:
The science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.
This definition shifts the attention from the product to the customer as a target market; it speaks of needs and desires while maximising profit for the company. It’s marketing 2.0 where marketing is less product-centred and more customer-focused; marketing remains inside the business industry but acquires elements of social science.
Some experts say we are now in stage 3.0: the stage of the mindful marketing.
What is mindful marketing?
While researching for this trend, I found the following quote of Casey Sheahan, former CEO at Patagonia, the American clothing company:
We want people to look at their own lives and live in an examined way and again question whether you really just want that product or do you really need it because it’s cold this winter.
That’s what mindful marketing is all about: companies inviting their customers to consume mindfully instead of mindlessly. These companies are aware of their impact on the environment, our society and our world at large and strive to reduce or undo the damages.
Mindful marketing is human and values-centred.
Here are some of the most important features of mindful marketing:
Can you think of any mindful marketing campaigns?
7. Omnichannel Marketing
We are in the age of technology. The pervasiveness of technology has influenced our society and our lives at great length. I cannot think of any industry that hasn’t undergone changes in recent years due to tech developments.
Retail is one of the industries which learned a painful lesson that said: Adapt or die.
The way customers purchase products and the way companies market and sell their products also changed profoundly.
Omni-channel marketing seamlessly integrates the different communication channels that businesses use to communicate with customers. This approach uses the customers’ perspectives and interests to optimize the consistency of the company’s marketing messages. By uniting the strengths of each communication channel, marketing teams can use omnichannel marketing to deliver a more consistent and effective brand message.”
Retail companies communicate with their audience on multiple channels: company website, social media accounts, traditional and digital advertising, messaging platforms, apps etc.
While companies can be found on various mediums, no customer wants to jump from one space to another to complete their purchase.
That’s why Sephora customers can browse products in the company’s e-store and make purchases inside Messenger with the help of a bot.
Another example is Nike inviting sneakerheads to experience an innovative way to purchase its Momofuku shoes using AR and geolocation technology.
In both examples, customers enjoyed a seamless purchase experience.
Learn more: Retail Trends For 2019
8. Content Shock
Content shock is a term coined by Mark Schaefer in his 2014 blog article: Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy.
In his article, Mark Schaefer states that the volume of content available on the internet is increasing exponentially.
He predicts that the amount of information on the web will increase by 500% in the next five years. Yet our capacity to consume it is limited. How many hours a day can we dedicate to consuming content? Three hours? Ten hours?
In economic terms: the demand and supply forces in content marketing are so terribly out of balance that the situation will lead to content shock.
The emerging marketing epoch defined when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.
At the time, the content shock concept was received by the content marketing industry as a novel idea and concept.
His article attracted an amazing amount of media attention which spun over a period of three weeks.
Content Shock: Winners and Losers
Limited attention and increased volume of content mean more options for customers to choose from. Do more options also mean better options? Only the customers can tell.
From the perspective of a company, the content shock means a real danger of slipping into oblivion buried under terabytes of content.
You might think the solution is this:
Companies can avoid content shock if the content they produce is of real value to their customer base. As Mark mentioned in a recent Medium article: no, the problem is not too much bad content; the problem is too much good content.
So how can companies avoid getting caught in content shock? Instead of struggling to ride the wave, be the one raising it!
According to Mark, the answer lays in content niches.
Here is what Mark Schaefer recommends:
- Find an unsaturated content niche;
- Rapidly fill that niche with helpful, high-quality content;
- Keep producing content in that topical niche that is relevant, consistent, and superior.
Marketing has come a long way since the 1950s, there’s no doubt about it. Technology developments are responsible for numerous changes within the industry: the internet boom in the early 90s, personal computers in every home, search engines, mobile phones and smartphones for everyone, communicating through texting and messaging, social media, bots, AI, VR and AR. People have changed in the last decade so brands had to follow.
In these two articles, I’ve gone through all 8 marketing trends: slow marketing, people-based marketing, emotional marketing, empathy-based marketing, neuromarketing, mindful marketing, omnichannel marketing and content shock. What is the red thin line across all of them? Neither the brand nor the product lies at the core of any one of these trends, it’s the individual.
I hope the information laid out here was helpful. My purpose was not to go in deep but to provide you with enough information to inspire further research.