It’s already happening, right from under your nose.
Does that mean brands are going to shift focus into a new industry? Of course not!
What I mean from the opening headline, is that every retail brand, and business will become media savvy and ultimately generate video, social and media content because that’s what the customers will engage with.
It’s not that they will become the next star on MTV, but media will become part of their story, it will be in their DNA.
Take social for example, that’s a medium. Retailers have finally realised the power of this medium to market to customers. Granted, a lot of businesses put the onerous task of social media marketing to junior members of their team – this is wrong, social needs clever handling and if using it for ecommerce – there’s an important sales cycle to be looked after. But these businesses would never have been engaged with this media unless consumer need demanded it.
The consumer is driving the desire for consuming media content and businesses are now reacting. Devices and technology are facilitating this drive.
Over the next ten years, those same technologies that are driving discount advertising will be giving marketers and business leaders a more sophisticated understanding of their customers. They will be able to parse vast volumes of customer data, and monitor and hold significant social media-based relationships. The knowledge and insights thus generated will turn marketers into key agents in the delivery of innovation and the creation of new layers of brand value.
Yes, the whole retail marketing world will have its clock set back to zero. We will see major areas of brand building innovation take over the role that advertising plays today.
Brand advertising will be a deep-dive experience. Imagine, watching a TV ad on your Smart TV, a real-time trigger lands on your tablet or mobile device from the ad, offering a rewarding, deeper experience. You then view more content about the brand, you tweet, post and share it with your friends and you are led, almost stealth-like to the purchase button.
Before you know it, you have bought it, reviewed your experience and shared it with your friends on a social network.
That digital eco-system will have been planned by the brand from the very beginning.
And it doesn’t end there, the brand now has your details, you’re an advocate and they can create additional layers of value and utility that can ‘lock’ you into their brand rather than have you switch to a competitor in the future.
The simple reality is that every brand will be a media brand. In tandem with brand experience and marketing products, brands will be focused on the overlap between content that informs a customer about products, services or propositions, content that educates them in its use or in the things they can do, and content that entertains them around the core proposition of the brand.