Looking Beyond the Decade Ahead: Marketing Predictions for 2030 (PART 2)


Part 1 of our marketing predictions for 2030 included a shift in the targeting of Generation Alpha, no more talk of “big data,” a shift from wearables to implantables, the end of the influencer and rise in confluence, the advancement of the “conversion economy,” and a global take-over by Alibaba.

But, that’s not all we have envisioned for you… Let’s consider other predictions we have, and you should be prepared for, in the Year 2030….

A Cashless Society

Marketers will be pleased to hear that barriers to transaction have reduced even further, and frictionless payment is the norm. A mix of digital credit and biometric tracking means both planned and impulse purchases can happen instantaneously, from just about anywhere. A top priority for brand marketing leaders has been customer journey management and optimization. Sure, today’s consumers expect easy, valuable experiences, just as they did in 2010, and will in 2030. The modern customer journey is perceived of as in “real-time,” but what this means in 2030 will be even MORE real-time. Of course, that will make it harder to grease the maître d’ at your favorite restaurant to seat you a choice table, but the entire restaurant industry and notion of cuisine will also be radically different.

“Taco Bell was the only restaurant to survive the Franchise Wars.”

When it was filmed and released back in 1993, the futuristic sci-thriller Demolition Man (starring Sly Stallone and Sandra Bullock) made a number of predictions about what the year 2032 might look like. Much of it remains unrealistic, at best, or even impossible… including all restaurants becoming Taco Bells. Consumption of meats will be more heavily regulated, larger percentages of the population will subsist on healthier foods, and ingredient transparency will be the norm. Marketing these products will be less about creating demand… and more about demanding creative that pushes consumers towards greater sustainability and responsibility.

The Rebirth of Grunge

Music in the 1920’s was dominated by jazz, blues and traveling dance bands and the 1930’s saw the evolution of jazz into Depression-era Blues. Music in the 2020’s will be highlighted by a convergence of global sounds and influences, thanks to the ease and speed of music sharing and streaming. African, Asian and South American influences will grow stronger, but electronic and machine-generated music will also become prevalent. New machines, original sounds and fun beats mixed with the sounds of turmoil, angst and confusion will blend to form the sound of the 30’s… and for some, it may remind them of music from decades ago: Grunge. In the decade when Kurt Cobain would have turned 65 years old, here we are now… innovators.

Recovering From the Next Great Depression

The Great Depression was triggered by the stock market crash of 1929, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out investors. As a result, consumer spending and investment dropped, industrial output and employment plummeted and banks had an excess of large loans that could not be repaid. 100 years later, the disparity of wealth and debt may not result in another precipitous crash, but the growing costs to protect the environment from a century of industrial damage, the rising costs of health care, and the exploding student debt caused by the modern university system are the most likely causes of another economic downturn. Compounding the potential damage, private universities are among the largest real estate holders in the U.S., and if they go down, the entire real estate market will adjust accordingly.


Artificial intelligence is rapidly being integrated into the systems and platforms of marketing, much of it happening invisibly, powering new features or streamlining existing ones. But large companies are also actively exploring where smart technologies can enhance a truly personalized user experience. Since the early days of the internet, the third-party tracking cookie allowed complex system of technologies and platforms to work together. Today, changes in the laws and consumer technologies that define digital relationships are marginalizing their usefulness, but leading companies are already preparing for a new marketing dynamic to navigate and transcend consent. Personalization for individuals is a primary priority, challenging marketers to evolve not only their ability to manage customer data, but to use it to deliver experiences in real time that are matched to the consumer and their context. The infrastructure is in place at only 38% of the largest companies, and the strategy to take advantage at fewer still.

… and the End of Privacy

But that gap will close, and the decade between now and 2030 will be full of hyper personalization, opt-ins and more distracted consumers. Brands will have thoroughly examined and modified the data supply chain to unify customer profiles and transform the notion of privacy as we currently know it. Achieving personalization at scale means the end of mass production, the rise of individual production, self-creation and delivery based on individual needs. Imagine medicine delivered without needing to see a doctor because 7G and wifi-enabled devices upload biometric data to the cloud. Convenient, sure. Private? Well… It turns out that nothing was ever secure – your data, your passwords, your personal and financial records. So instead of trying to hide or protect anything, it doesn’t matter anymore and we’ve opened everything up and opted in for it all.

From Content to Context

The last 10 years have been dominated by Content Marketing, but consideration of context is on the rise, and will certainly be the new king in 10 years. Yes, marketers will continue to prioritize content in the next decade, even if they aren’t spending nearly enough to create it. We are all overwhelmed by the proliferation of processes related to expanding responsibilities and capabilities that fall under the marketing umbrella. But, thanks to all of the aforementioned predictions, the 2030’s will spark an era in Context Marketing. The most profound effect of technology and artificial intelligence will be to free human beings from the minutiae, giving them more time to think, create and add value. And the brands that can best predict, understand and capitalize on this evolving contextual revolution will yield the greatest market share and financial growth.

Let’s talk again in 10 years (yes, for good this time… no Part Three of the article here!)

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