Digital Marketing in the Future
We live in an age where new devices and channels are appearing every day. Mobile phones are still the centre piece of your electronic stash, but the internet of things is rapidly changing this. You have digital watches that can do nearly everything a phone can do (as well as double as a secretary, fitness coach and doctor), speakers that speak to you, televisions that know what you want to watch before you do, and toilets that are basically robots in toilet shape.
This means that new advertising platforms will emerge. They may not be as “in your face” as we know them today, but they will exist. In this article I have a bit of fun, imagining some possible marketing channels we may see in the future.
Smarter Smart Fridges
Let’s start with fridges. I have seen some fridges that notify you when certain products are running low, such as milk or eggs. These types of advanced features are opening all kinds of new possibilities for marketing. What if your fridge notified you that there is a special on milk at a shop near you when your milk is running low? This could be a big money saver. It could even be taken a step further. Imagine having the possibility of ordering the milk that is on special straight from the digital screen on your fridge and having it delivered to your doorstep. If every second household had this, it would completely disrupt the product marketing strategies of supermarkets. As for the toilet robots I mentioned earlier, the same concept could be applied to bathroom related products.
Wine Cellar 2.0
As a wine lover, I would love to have a nice underground wine cellar one day. One of the essential parts of having a wine cellar is keeping track of the types of wines you have and their vintages. Imagine the horror of your prized Châteauneuf-du-Pape aging too long and becoming spoiled and undrinkable! The Vivino app has built-in image recognition technology that allows you to scan a wine bottle and in a second it will give you information about that wine. Instead of having to keep an Excel document of the wines you have in your cellar, you could have a feature built into your wine cellar that automatically detects the wines that you have added and sorts them neatly for you on an app. The app could provide you with the value of your wine cellar, warn you when the stock of your favourite bottles are running low, and notify you when a wine needs to be opened. How can this be a marketing opportunity? Wine brands who have access to this app can push notifications through the app to consumers who have a similar taste in wines to that wine brand’s flavour profile. Likewise, wine shops or wineries could notify consumers when the type of wine they like is on promotion, and restaurants could receive notifications about bulk deals when their stock is running low. The app could also be used to target more specific wine consumers for certain events and wine auctions, rather than having to spend marketing budget on broader advertising in the hopes of reaching the consumers who dabble in a particular price class.
There are designers that are working on concept shoes that can be controlled via a mobile phone app. The shoes would have digital screens on them, allowing you to create specific designs on your shoes and to modify them based on the occasion. This would allow brands to create custom designs that people can display on their shoes. Imagine a pair of sneakers that could have the logo and colour of your favourite sports team depending on whether you are watching football, rugby, basketball etc. This could also work well for car brands, clothing brands, and many more. Advocates of brands would now have a new way to promote them. The next step after this could even be “paid media” advertising on shoes. The shoes in the queue next to you in the supermarket could let you know about the new Italian restaurant down the road or motivate you to take advantage of the promotion on the local gym membership fees.
Jarvis Face Shield
Wallet, phone, keys, mask. Covid-19 has shown us how masks could become a permanent part of life. With the development of this new virus-resistant way of living we may very well be required to, or choose to, wear masks in the future. If so, perhaps medical masks could be replaced with hi-tech face shields, which could have internal voice controlled digital screens just like Iron Man’s mask. Having an interactive digital screen or hologram in the mask could open opportunities for brands at different shops to promote discounts as you are walking through a shopping centre. And of course, there could be apps built specifically for your face shield by brands, for example Garmin can notify you of stats like number of steps, heart rate etc. This would open a whole new channel for Garmin to communicate with their audience.
Drone Delivery Bot
Delivery drones could be around sooner than we may think, and there have already been some tests for this type of delivery service. The drones of the probably-not-too-distant-future will likely have built in speakers, so that they can communicate with the customer they are delivering to. Imagine a scenario where a drone drops off the latest gadget you ordered from Amazon. By means of Alexa it then thanks you for the purchase and gives you the instructions for retrieving the item. It then proceeds to let you know that there are very cool add-ons for that gadget or that there is a discount on a related item available if you order it immediately via the drone, after which it thanks you and flies off.
It is fun to imagine the wild possibilities that could come with more high-tech developments, but as marketers we need to be thinking ahead and be ready for the future, because these types of opportunities could be just around the corner. Marketers who conceptualise the future are the ones that are coming up with the current ground-breaking ideas and opportunities. At LUNIR, we want to have these exciting, and necessary, discussions about the future with our clients, because the future could be closer than we think, and when it comes we should be ready to seize it for all it is worth, before someone else does!