5 Truly Game-Changing Aspects of Modern Marketing

NASA scientists announced yesterday that liquid water likely exists, or existed, on Mars in what could prove to be a game-changing development in extraterrestrial exploration. It got me thinking about that phrase—game changing. It’s a word that we liberally tag behind new trends and technologies, especially in marketing. But the art, science, and execution of marketing has changed so much from the romanticized days of marketing portrayed in “Mad Men” that the phrase isn’t entirely lost on this space.

Though much has transpired to bring us to this point, I’ve listed five marketing practices or trends that have had obvious, persistent effects on how marketers approach their trade, and how consumers absorb marketing content.

Proliferation of augmented and virtual reality

Between the rapid pace of innovation in display technology, mobile hardware, and wearables lies the consumerization of augmented and virtual reality. This frontier technology was once confined to the imaginations of science fiction writers, before a brief and rudimentary stint in arcades around the country. Now, with the convergence of the innovation points I mentioned before, immersive virtual reality is fast becoming…a reality. >> 5 Growth Areas in Video That Marketers Should Watch

The evolution of word-of-mouth

Word-of-mouth is a powerful thing. To organically generate conversation about the brand—and especially recommendations of its products—has long been a coveted outcome for marketers. Unfortunately, the scale of this discourse was largely out of the marketer’s control, or it was before social media came along.

Now, marketers can monitor, participate in, and (best of all) drive conversation about their business on social networks, with the added bonus of the possibility of the ever-elusive element virality. >> How to Spark (and Sustain) Brand Love and Passion

Marketing without marketing

The advent of social media saw the evolution of an age-old human practice (talking) in the form of word-of-mouth. However, as social media has grown more integral in our daily lives, so too has the phenomenon that is organic virality. Through viral content, marketers can enjoy free and widespread pseudo-promotion of their campaigns and products. The downside? A profound lack of real control over these brief spats of memedom. >> The Most Viral Moments of 2015 (So Far)

The power of user-generated content (UGC)

What better way to drive engagement than to bring consumers in on content creation? This is a question that undoubtedly made the rounds during many marketing meetings of yore, but it wasn’t until the Internet democratized virtually everything that UGC really started to reverberate.

The video game industry is perhaps the most serial and effective practitioner in the enabling of UGC, but many brands have tapped this well of marketing gold as of late, including Coke and Peanuts. >> Consumers Make the Best Marketers

Inundation of customer data

Marketers’ access to customer data has forever changed the art and science of marketing; more so than any item on this list. Never in the history of business have marketers had such insight into their customers’ behaviors and preferences, their very identities.

With this data, marketers can now ensure their content is deeply personal and relevant, bringing marketing closer than ever to the one-to-one ideal. However, with this abundance of data comes greater responsibility and scrutiny for marketers in its ethical handling. >> How an Abundance of Data Is Changing Segmentation

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