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Outtakes: What's the Next Big Thing in Marketing?

January 26, 2011 By Thorin McGee
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In January's cover story, "The Big Qs of 2011," 10 of the brightest minds in marketing gave us their take on what's going on in the industry right now. But the problem with such a wide-ranging article is that we can seldom synthesize all the responses into a coherent article, and good information gets left out. You may have wondered, for example, "Why didn't they ask any of these prognosticators what will be 'The Next Big Thing'?"

Many, let's call them "forward-looking statements," were made by our panelists, but their visions were so varied that it was impossible to point readers toward any conclusions, or even toward what Big Q they should start asking about the potential next big things.

That doesn't mean those predictions weren't interesting. Here are some of the things our experts picked to be game-changers in 2011 and beyond.

Real-Time Marketing
Gary S. Laben, CEO, KBM Group, Dallas, Texas

The combination of interacting with customers through digital and social media channels—which largely happen immediately in real time—combined with using customer insights based on data analytics [that allow us] to forecast when, how and where to deliver what the customer wants, will be the ultimate in providing customers with what they want, when they want it.

The multiple channels of communication now available and how quickly they are emerging and changing presents us, and our clients, with huge opportunities for creative customer engagement. The challenge is to move quickly to test new channels, evaluate their effectiveness and modify marketing plans to include those that work. All digital is direct, and all direct is moving toward digital.

Video Ads for Direct Marketing
Eric Schmitt, executive vice president and senior principle, Allant Professional Services Group, Naperville, Ill.

The most exciting developments in direct marketing right now are happening online, on TV and on your mobile phone ... The principles that people like Lester Wunderman and David Ogilvy laid down decades ago are finally beginning to take root in digital media.


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