In the digital interconnected 21st Century we can potentially instantly reach anyone, anywhere, from loyal customer to important influencer. Here are four strands of the marketing and PR industry for which the future that is likely to be bright, and perhaps more relevantly, long-lasting.
Reputation and identity management
Quite how this will evolve is anyone’s guess; could we have imagined that social media would exist a decade ago, for example? At times a stream can be witty and insightful, but also vindictive and a hiding place for anonymous savaging of reputations in equal measure; businesses and companies are monstered and people’s lives are ruined, and there have never been as many avenues for destruction.
We’ve all heard of Twitter and Facebook, but what about Yammer, eToro, About.Me and CafeMom? For an in-depth look at public shaming the new book from journalist Jon Ronson is hard to beat.
Reputation/identity management is already well-paid at the upper echelons, and one can imagine that the methods of finding both negative and positive communications will change further through social media and review platforms yet to exist. Companies of all sizes will realise that they need to be extra-vigilant in maintaining a watchful eye on how others portray them.
Digital marketing management
Brands and companies will always need promotion. We are now at somewhat of a crossroads of legacy and new media, where newspapers, radio and television still hold enough sway to be relevant alongside the multiplicity of brand new digital avenues such as Buzzfeed and Quora and Twitter, within the overall realms of SEO and paid search and more.
We’ve been hooked by new ideas, bright content, and items that engage us, and will continue to be so – it’s just that there are many more metrics and methods. Whether the next big thing is augmented reality or hyperlocal journalism or something yet to be conceived, stories will need to be told by brands that need to tell them. From fashion to music, from food to insurance, the journey of digital marketing is perhaps only just beginning; click here to find out more about careers in a prominent example of the latter, at the BGL Group.
Film and video editing
Although not strictly and necessarily a part of the PR and marketing world, video is now a big business in the digital marketing world, although the quality levels vary greatly. Once regarded as a luxury, now marketers realise that telling a story in a few seconds of well chosen, engaging scenes can be far more beneficial than just writing, as a vehicle for testimonials, instruction, demonstration and even comedy.
For proof of the virtue of video, Mashable reports that Twitter has recently begun testing an autoplay feature for videos to take on more established platforms such as Google and Facebook. Producing a good video, even in 4k, is cheap, and easy.
Market research/data mining
Of the four roles on this list, this is most likely to be the one where the goalposts will shift. The archaic methods of a researcher posting out a written form or making a call to a customer are long-gone, to be replaced by emerging techniques such as webcam interviews, text analytics, crowdsourcing, and the big daddy mobile surveys. In a study by greenbookblog.org, the latter had increased in usage by 23% in the past year.
At least three new techniques arose in 2014 which blended psychology, technology and fashion. They are behavioural Economics models, sensor-based data collection, and what looks to be next year’s hot new addition on the catwalk: wearables-based research.