With just a few days remaining in the year, the “predictions for 2020” think pieces are, frankly, overwhelming. Instead of making not-so-bold forecasts for next year, or even the next decade, we should be looking beyond our immediate grasp. “Future proofing” may be a hot topic now, but let’s envision what “future creation” might entail for 2030.
Without question, the world will look and act very differently in the year 2030. Cars drive themselves, single-use plastics have been illegal for years, the repeal of the 2nd Amendment came with the ratification of the 33rd Amendment, cannabis clubs replace bars, esports popularity surpassed physical sports, scientists have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that both evolution and de-evolution are BOTH real… and after serving two terms as VP, recently-elected President Andrew Gillum’s popularity soars when he promises to reclaim Gilead back into the United States either “by diplomacy or by force.”
Things will be just as exciting for brand marketers in the Year 2030… especially when 100% of all advertising and messaging will live within bio-digital communication channels. Here is what else to expect:
The Alpha Dogs
Starting first with an understanding of target audiences, consumer behavior is sure to shift. We think Gens Y and Z have the power now, but in 10 years, they are going to be just as irrelevant as Boomers and Gen Xers are now (or so I’m told). In 2030, marketers are fixated on Generation Alpha, those born between 2010 and 2020. Our children. And while they don’t have credit cards yet, they do have itunes, Instagram, Tiktok and Netflix accounts, impacting the spending behaviors of their millennial parents.
(Full transparency: I’ve been calling them “Gen W,” because the Wurst Kids, my kids, will be 19 and 16 in the year 2030. But not sure that’s gonna stick.)
No More Talk of “Big Data”
After two decades of “big data,” the 30’s are all about the consolidation and prioritization of Meaningful Data. Right now, there are so many inputs and data sources coming from that brands and companies don’t really know how to organize them or what to do with them. The companies that innovate and lead the way in consumer experience will be more successful than their peers. The push toward customer-centricity may swing TOO far for many brands, however, in the 2020’s, as they pushed to eliminate the structural, cultural and technological barriers that prevent most companies from effectively managing data and providing great experiences. Most companies struggle with change, while leaders embrace it. The most advanced CX-Led businesses will be obsessed with consolidation of capabilities and resources.
From Wearables to Implantables
As the 20’s are set to become the decade of wearable technology and “smart” clothing, accessories and items we have on our body to assist in our lives and make things easier, the 30’s will be the decade where these devices get smaller and safe for implantation WITHIN our bodies. Most prevalent will be the iLens, a retinal chip insert that is connects to multiple data sources. This means we no longer need books or even handheld electronic devices. Instead, watch or consume information via a contact lens-like chip we have in our eyes. Even more, these implants also collect and process data about what we see and how we interact with the world around us, informing real-time messaging to improve the quality of our experiences.
The End of Influence, The Rise of Confluence
The scam that was influencer marketing, and the bubble it created in and around social media and commerce, all collapse in the early 2020’s. A far-too-fragmented digital platform landscape created false marketing prophets and fleeting “influential” evangelists. Instead, brand marketers will come together to create “Confluencer Marketing,” which combines, consolidates and integrates multiple products and services. With so many disconnected apps and experiences, consumers will increasingly crave unified solutions that see brands and companies working together efficiently. Marketing will both lead and react to this paradigm shift as cross-promotion and branded upsell become the norm and consumers rely on their trusted brands for recommendations and referrals for other brands. Of course, communications and messaging consolidation is integrated into and throughout all of it.
The “Engagement Economy” Gives Way to the “Conversion Economy”
When “Twitter Boxes” replace TVs in every home throughout the 2020’s, the second screen will truly become the first screen – news, sports and streaming channels all within the feeds you choose to watch. The ability to engage and interact in one unified experience will change the way we live. This will result in the consolidation of the proverbial “marketing funnel,” connecting awareness, consideration and engagement in one convergent conversion experience. See something, want something, buy something, talk about that new thing all in one place, on one device at the same time.
Alibaba Is the World’s Biggest Company
Amazon will rule the 20’s, but with a target on its back from global governments and the private sector and the rise of Chinese as a supereconomy, Alibaba will take over the top position as the world’s biggest, richest company. A winner in the consolidation wars, starting first by gobbling up TikTok as an engagement channel and then quietly buying up so many of the manufacturers and producers who make the world’s goods, Alibaba is poised to rule the entire path to consumer conversion…
But wait… there’s more: Part Two, where things will get REALLY interesting…