I fancy myself as being somewhat unorthodox. For example I have an unusual and probably unhealthy love affair with coffee. You don't want to know how many cups I drink a day -- trust me.
My unorthodoxiness, if you will, manifests itself in my incredible addiction to pop culture and the infusion of it into pretty much my entire life. It is under that guise that I proudly present to you: Strange But True 2015 Marketing Predictions.
Late last year I reached out to some folks from the world of marketing and advertising and asked them not just for their prediction for the coming year, but to also align said prediction with a pop culture reference in the form of a song title, song lyric, movie title or movie quote.
Apparently I am not the only one with a pop culture crush as the response was overwhelming.
"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" - (movie quote) Howard Beale (Peter Finch), Network
"2015 needs to be the year of doing what I call... Looking People in the Eye Digitally. The last few decades of marketing tactics have made us lazy communicators and I've had just about enough. Most often we don't even pay attention to who we are talking to other than via the data we collect (and even that's a maybe). In order to fix this and really start to benefit from social relationships (both as individuals and as companies), we need to start looking people in the eye digitally.' We don't need to fit our world to social, we need to fit social to our world.
It's time to stop making excuses, and start bringing in-person social skills to the digital world. All of the positive benefits are out there waiting, and it's up to us to make the effort to realize them. Let's get started! #RonR"
- Ted Rubin, Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist & Acting CMO of Brand Innovators
"What is a lobby boy? A lobby boy is completely invisible, yet always in sight. A lobby boy remembers what people hate. A lobby boy anticipates the client's needs before the needs are needed. A lobby boy is, above all, discreet to a fault. Our guests know that their deepest secrets....will go with us to our graves." - (movie quote) M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), The Grand Budapest Hotel
"The role of CMO and CIO will continue to become ever-more inextricably intertwined. The days of "marketing generalists" who abdicate responsibility for back end systems that facilitate customer touch points -- or worse -- who point to the IT department as having sole responsibility for customer data are OVER. True marketers understand that they must be the lead stewards for brand, reputation and customer relationships. In today's 24/7, access-in-excess digital world -- brands, reputations and relationships are built and maintained via technology. When consumers enable us to follow them, serve them and learn about them, their expectation is that we will protect their privacy at all costs...and we must!"
- Julie Lyle, CMO, hhgregg
"The bad things are easier to believe. Haven't you noticed that?!" - (movie quote) Julia Roberts (Vivian Ward), Pretty Woman
"My prediction is that 2015 is going to be better than recent years. We are coming back into a time of prosperity and a time where you can do it if you want to make it happen. However, you need to believe it and convince those around you to believe. In today's society, it's much easier to believe the bad. Media and pundits only want to focus on the bad because audiences eat it up. However, we need to focus on the positive. 2015 is going to be an exciting year for business, that's my prediction. So don't stop and stare at the car accident, focus on the road ahead."
-Jeffrey Hayzlett, Business TV Host & Chairman C-Suite Network
Frozen (movie title)
"It's time for organizations to let go of any fear that's holding back efforts to produce ridiculously good content! To succeed in 2015, you need to have the wisdom (data), the inspiration and the guts to do what others aren't doing. In other words....
Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back anymore...
Because this is the stanza that will resonate a year from now, in 2016:
It's funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can't get to me at all!"
- Ann Handley, Author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everybody Writes
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (song title), Fall Out Boy
"Okay maybe not your songs, but your internet will know you even better than you thought possible. in 2015 the Semantic Web, fueled by Big Data, Social Media and the continued erosion of Privacy will become a mainstream marketing tool. Companies striving to get more personalized with their marketing will achieve closer, more 1:1 engagements that will take our data to predict the content we want to see and drive a more useful (yet slightly creepy) web experience."
- Dan Newman, President, BroadSuite, Inc.
"Momma always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." - Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump), Forrest Gump
"2015 will see a greater importance placed on what other customers are saying via online review sites, apps and other social media. Customers researching brands will be better equipped to make purchasing decisions given the wealth of information available to them on brand sponsored pages as well as non-brand sponsored pages like Trustpilot.com . Along with this comes consumer expectations that are based on other customer's experiences."
- Jessica Rogers, COCE Faculty, Marketing at Southern New Hampshire University College of Online and Continuing Education
"You're gonna need a bigger boat" - (movie quote) Roy Scheider (Martin Brody), Jaws
"Powerful. Memorable and Timeless. Exactly what you want from your marketing and advertising efforts. The brilliance in this line is even more profound when you realize that it wasn't in the script...it was adlibbed. This line sums up my thoughts on our industry moving forward. With 2.4 Billion brand related messages taking place every single day around the world the rules for marketers have changed forever. Just like in the movie, the weathered and experienced Captain Quint (aka: marketing exec), brings along the Police Chief Martin Brody (aka: the client) on his quest to conquer this enormous, Man-Eating Great White Shark (aka: consumer).
At the end, to accomplish his objective, Captain Quint has to forgo his long, hard-lined beliefs and reluctantly agrees to use new, innovative and creative ideas brought to him by a quirky, bright Marine Biologist named Matt Hooper (aka: anyone who thinks differently than you).
The point is, now is the time to open up and be willing to try new things. Take some risk and recognize that the power and influence of this 25 foot shark (aka: consumer) is bigger, stronger and has a larger presence than anything that we as marketers have ever seen before. Not everything works out as planned and some of the best and most creative ideas come from collaboration. So...get a bigger boat and go find that shark (Start humming the theme to Jaws now)....because you don't want to end up like Quint!"
- Michael Williams, CMO, Grand Prix of America, Formula 1
Tomorrowland (movie title)
"Tomorrowland will be a riveting movie, and an apt description for the complex state of marketing in 2015. Advertisers will begin to see payback from social media, and big data will drive decision making more than ever before. Digital efforts to pinpoint, follow and track consumers will evolve to a level that will surprise privacy champions. Marketing will become more science than art, but traditional advertising will still define and drive brand recognition and brand awareness."
- Barbara Goodstein, CMO, Vonage
Everytime I Look For You (song title), Blink 182
"90 percent ignore all cold calls. More than 99.9 percent of banners are ignored.In 2015, even the mighty TV advertising industry is going to start seeing double digit declines in 2015 for the 1st time. We haven't hit the tipping point on content marketing yet. 2015 may be the year when we see content marketing reach critical mass. Until then, will the last one selling banner ads please shut the door."
- Michael Brenner, Head of Strategy, NewsCred
Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad (movie title)
"In the Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad, there was an under-appreciated scene in which Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielson) walks into a ballroom and walks up to an unsuspecting Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban), who thought he had just had Drebin gunned down and is chatting up Jane (Priscilla Presley).
Drebin: "You're both right."
Nielson's retort, as amusingly subtle as it may have been, has far broader context to where marketers -- principally driven by consumers -- are moving. Indeed, we've all heard the phrase "collaborative economy" ad naseum. But the reality is that we are culturally caring more and more about what strangers believe to be the best course of action in driving our choices. You're both right! We're all right!
Whether it's Urban Spoon for restaurants, Web MD for hypercondriacs or GirlsAskGuys for dating and cross gender issues -- we are increasingly pining to purge insights from people we've never met and who may not even exist. This, of course, will drive marketers, as we develop concepts, tools and ideas for brands and organizations -- finally bringing about understanding that the crowd may be more important than the authoritative singular white guy with great hair."
- Aaron Perlut, Partner, Elasticity
Power To the People (song title), John Lennon
"In 1970, John Lennon lit-up the world with Power to the People. In 2015, we will give rise to the power of employees' voices. Enter a new marketing channel we call 'branding from the inside out.'
Fueled by Millennials, the social employee revolution is the first generation of digital natives to walk the planet. The generation that helped to define what it means to 'go social' will fuel a re-birth of creativity and help us to re-imagine the future of marketing. Get ready for the @SocialEmployee Revolution!"
- Cheryl Burgess, CEO/CMO, Blue Focus Marketing
Shake It Off (song title), Taylor Swift
"Too much is made of what we've done, what others have said, what past achievements have been attained. Yet, brands, CEOs and thought leaders must be several steps ahead, not focused on past or current trends but trends others have yet to see. To connect dots others miss or overlook that form the roadmap to the future.
So, just like Taylor Swift, we all need to "shake it off" and throw the past in the recycling bin and move forward into the future, boldly, courageously and with strong passion for what we can attain in the future."
- David Brier, President/Creative Director, DBD International, Ltd.
Catch Me If You Can (movie title)
"In the increasingly hyper competitive media and marketing wars, in 2015 "he who gets their first wins." That's why we are seeing 'land grabs' and 'brand grabs' in many business verticals...in everything from tech to recreational marijuana dispensaries. This is going to mean more partnerships in brand, content generation and data collection to accelerate market share. You will see point of sale devices with facial recognition, big data distilled in real time, mega brands acquiring media outlets so as to control as many of the channels as they can, ( like slotting in the supermarkets). Everything that can be powered and with bluetooth is fair game.
That means cars, clothes, appliances, anything.. welcome to the IoT (Internet of Things). Privacy has been reduced a buzz word and transparency is the new reality. Question is...will we be in a better place when it's all said and done? Has all of this technology made the world a better place? Made life easier for marketers? Lets see who ends up at the finish line first."
- Jan Talamo, Chief Creative Officer, Star Group/ M&M
It's All About That Bass (song title), Meghan Trainor
"2015 will be remembered as the year that breakout marketers shifted focus from the bright and shiny allure of flashy technological crutches 'the treble' and handed the heartbeat of their brands back to their rightful owners -- their customers 'The Bass.'"
- Will Seccombe, President & CEO , VISIT FLORIDA
"You have to be human first." - (movie quote) Red (Morgan Freeman), The Shawshank Redemption
"In the travel industry, the opportunities for personalization in marketing and consumer experience remain enormous. I anticipate that the hotel stay of the future will take into account the preferences people have opted to share, and as a result, be much more human and more authentic, all of which make it a particularly exciting time to be working in this space."
- Sam Shank, CEO and Co-Founder, HotelTonight
Everything is Awesome! (song title), The LEGO Movie
"Everything in digital media is, indeed, awesome! 2015 is the year the industry will finally realize that all the bells and whistles technology can offer are meaningless without high quality storytelling that evokes strong emotions in the audience. If you put the digital building blocks into the hands of the right storytellers, the next level of online stars will emerge and brands will be able to connect with their consumers on a deeper AWESOM-ER level."
- Catherine Clinch, Content Creator, Strategy Consultant, Clinch Digital Media
"You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you. Don't you? Don't You?" (song title) You're So Vain by Carly Simon
"Marketers are all genuflecting at the alter of content but the prayers they offer are all still about themselves. Marketing isn't about the brand any more. It's all about what the consumers want and care about and guess what -- it's rarely marketing speak about your product or service. I hope 2015 will be the year that the marketers start actually walking their talk and do more than faking it in the back of the church. "
- Drew McLellan, Top Dog, McLellan Marketing Group
A Delicate Balance (Broadway play)
"This play is a wonderful metaphor for the needed new mental model of advertising and marketing. My prediction is that we will see increasing numbers of enlightened CMO and advertising executives who strive to achieve the needed delicate balance between:
- Brand objectives and consumer needs and wants
- Old and new media
- Media and the other critical touch points
- Planned campaigns and real time initiatives
- Creative and analytics
- Internal staff and open innovation
- Internal development and user generated content
- Advertising , marketing and the other business functions
The challenge of balancing these domains in the marketing and advertising vision,objectives,strategies and execution is not simple and best described by the promotion for the play -- This is no play for sissies. Let's hope that all of our readers will have the courage to experiment with innovative strategies that reflect the needed delicate balance."
- Jerry Wind, Lauder Professor, University of Pennsylvania
"Tomorrow" (song title), Annie
"Just thinkin' about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!
Looking forward to 2015 and (finally) seeing better days ahead. After seven years of struggle, the middle class American consumer is finally beginning to show signs of confidence and while they will never be the same, they are ready to spend again, cautiously. We look forward to welcoming them back to the table."
- Denny Post, CMO, Red Robin
Revenge of the Nerds (movie title)
"After being ignored/dismissed by senior executives forever, the geeks are finally rising up and becoming hip and respected. Some tech companies, e.g., Google, have been fueling this trend, but it's becoming more widespread and in 2015 it will really take off across many different companies/industries. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I think it's finally our time to shine!"
- Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, co-director of Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative
"You are only coming through in waves -- your lips move, but I can't hear what you're saying." (song lyric), Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd
"This lyric pretty much captures our industry's biggest problem right now. Lots of noise, nobody really paying attention, so no true connections. Brands and agencies need to go back to the drawing board in 2015 and focus on meaningful connections with consumers if they want to make a difference and move the needle."
- Joe Saracino, CMO, Erwin Penland
The Hunger Games, (movie title)
"2014 was a year many marketers and business leaders found themselves a bit hungry. They were hungry for fans, followers, community, content and conversions. Because many of them previously put too much focus on building community within social networks they do not own vs ensuring they were investing in their own integrated platform to support a more stable foundation and sustainable future.
In 2015 marketers will grow weary of feeling hungry and will get fed up with the pay to play model being forced on them by Facebook and other social networks. They will put more focus on bringing people back to their home base and take back some of the power. It's time for a revolution of sorts. We'll see brands creating digital newsrooms, acquiring media platforms, investing in employee advocacy and external influencer programs. We'll see many diving deep into new media such as podcasting, Google Hangouts and more to organically attract their target audience and leveraging both art and science to win hearts and inspire their audiences to become loyal brand evangelists."
- Pam Moore, CEO/Founder. Marketing Nutz
"Gambling is illegal at Bushwood, sir." - (movie quote) Judge Smails (Ted Knight), Caddyshack
"With increased pressures to prove the worth of their sales & marketing efforts, companies will bet less in 2015. Instead of betting on their gut, we'll see more B2C advertising budgets being spent in social reconnaissance efforts to better understand and profile target audiences. And on the B2B side of the world, we'll see companies hiring specialists to create detailed prospect profiles to give their sales & marketing teams a distinct edge in social selling efforts vs their competition."
- Tom Martin, author of The Invisible Sale
"Bond, James Bond." (movie quote) Any James Bond film
"What is my prediction for Marketing and Advertising in 2015? Mobile, mobile mobile. Geo-targeting will become more common as the ability to touch customers at the right place and the right time with the right content is ready for explosion.
In terms of pop culture, the fallout from the Sony scandal will have a dramatic impact. It will be interesting to see the impact on the 2015 to be released James Bond film, Spectre. It was hacked and will be released in advance of the film. Could it help box office sales? It could!"
- Eric Bradlow, K.P. Chao Professor of Marketing, Statistics and Education, Wharton
"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." - Will Rogers
"Marketing continues to be part art and part science. As the science piece continues to accelerate in the form data analytics, marketers will increasingly need to translate data into insights...insights into action...and action into data. As the pace quickens, so does the need to make judgments in applying the data in real time. Don't be afraid to act as you'll gain valuable experience and ultimately improved judgment."
-Randall Rozin, Global Director Brand Marketing, Dow Corning Corporation
We're not gonna take it. (song title), Twisted Sister
"I am by no means a huge fan of Twisted Sister, not that's there's anything wrong with that. However I think their most famous song ties in perfectly for what I see happening in 2015 and that is quite simply consumers across the land (and this applies to both B2C AND B2B marketers) will simply and collectively say "enough."
There are two lines in this song that I want to call out:
We've got the right to choose and
There ain't no way we'll lose it.
Oh you're so condescending,
Your goal is never ending.
The first line speaks to consumers' and their right to choose whatever product or service, etc. they want -- from any brand they want while the second speaks to what I believe is the belief held by many consumers. And that is that brands and marketers simply do not care about them and all they are in it for is the money, AKA profit AKA the end goal. "
- Steve Olenski, Scorpio