Five key factors shaping the future of marketing, customer outreach

Five key factors will determine navigating successful marketing initiatives in today’s modern, mobile marketplace, according to one industry expert.

Tracy Arrington, a Senior Vice President of Marketing & Media at Brain Trust Partners in Austin, and also a lecturer at the University of Texas, outlined her vision of the modern marketplace last week in the Marketing & Communications committee meeting at the 36th annual AFSA Independents Conference & Expo in Austin.

At the top of her list is people, whether customers or employees. “People are changing the behavior and expectation of companies,” she said. “With workforce, AI could reduce some roles in companies, but also create some new opportunities.”

She said CEOs’ No. 1 worry is talent; their No. 1 concern is people. “Diversity will be the key to future business success,” Arrington said. “Disparate backgrounds, expertise, perspectives and personality types will fuel innovations and solutions to challenges.”

The next factor is technology because it is transforming business infrastructure across all disciplines: Operations, Engineering, Product Development, Customer Care, Marketing & Media and Human Resources are all affected by a rapid deployment of technology which is only getting faster.

Regarding a company’s operations, the third factor, Arrington said the language of the CEO and the language of the CIO need to be the same. “Implementation of new systems, processes, platforms, hardware and software can seem overwhelming, but no brand can afford to wait to do it,” she said. “Every company needs modern data management tools and access to real-time data.”

The fourth factor is mobility, or what Arrington calls “proximity-based marketing.” She says that by 2020, more than 400 million Bluetooth speakers will have shipped, and nearly 50% of Americans are projected to at least partially telecommute. “Implementing and enabling mobile communication, commerce and customer relationship management will be critical,” she said. “Mobility isn’t just about smart phones. Workforce, supply chain, partners and customers are all impacted by mobility.”

The fifth factor is regulation whether it is the European model known as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation, a regulation in EU law that protects data and privacy for all individuals within the European Union) or the California Consumer Privacy Act. The CCPA is a law that enhances privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California and goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

She says choices companies make across technical adoption, internal and external communications and operational improvement will need to take compliance into consideration.

“The futures of workforce compliance, intellectual property and brand citizenship each stand to steer the direction of your marketing success as public policy and public discourse are influenced by competing forces and popular opinion,” Arrington said.

Tracy Arrington will be a guest on the AFSA Today podcast in several weeks.