Last week, we launched a new content series sharing what we believe are the trends marketers can’t ignore in the 2020s. Our first prediction tackled the need for brands and marketers to concentrate on transparency, namely through privacy and visibility into data collection. While transparency will be the cornerstone of marketing communication in the 20s, we know it’s hard to get very excited about it. So this week, we’re tackling a more cheerful topic.

#2 Making “Experience” the New “Content”

In the 2010s, content was king. In the 2020s, “experience” will take the crown. Consumers will expect brand interactions to be immersive, personalized and creative, all while seamlessly blending digital ingredients with the offline world. We’ve been hearing about virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for years, but with advancements in hardware, this technology is on its way out of the early adopters’ lane and into the mainstream. With product lines like Facebook’s Oculus, Microsoft’s HoloLens, Google’s Cardboard, and Apple’s anticipated new headset in 2021, marketers will need to integrate their brand into the VR/AR world and provide tangible experiences that foster emotional connections and lead to greater conversion and brand loyalty. Plus the rise of 5G will condition consumers to expect personalized messaging at almost instantaneous levels (and you thought real-time marketing was tough already). Thankfully, AI and machine learning will continue to aid marketers in navigating the infinite amount of data and algorithms.

What can you do to prepare?

1) Audit Your Existing Content to Find “Experience” Opportunities Embracing new technology doesn’t require reinventing the wheel. Take inventory of already-produced content and think about how it could translate to new technologies. This will dovetail to new ideas. 2) Don’t Silo “Technology” As you heard it preached for social, technology should be absorbed into all levels of an organization. Avoid creating silos and structures that cause bottlenecks for new technology to be adopted. 3) Become an Early Tech Adopter In the 2020s, marketing will be technology and technology will be marketing. The marketers of the next decade will be fully immersed in new advancements. Don’t wait for certain technologies to go mainstream before paying attention.

What’s Next?

The 2010s made it so anyone can have a pretty website. In the 2020s, it will take more than looks to win. How can you make your website a personalized engagement destination? Read our next post here.

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VP, Product Strategy