There is no doubt that we are in the next great Golden Era of Marketing. And with this new era comes an entirely new set of possibilities—along with commensurate consumer demands.
Here are the five megatrends marketers need to be aware of as we move into 2018.
1. Context replaces advertising as a growth lever
Tesla sold three times as many cars as its closest competition, but spent just 1/190th of the advertising budget. Airbnb used native conversations within Craigslist to create its user base and expand its services.
Advertising is a one-way communication, and consumers don't like it. In fact, the world's largest boycott is currently in effect, with over 600 million consumers using ad-blocking technology. Consumers are demanding a better way.
The future of marketing is about context. Advertising is designed to distract away from the task at hand, while context matches it. Advertising simply can't stand up to consumer demands, and some of the fastest-growing mega brands of our modern time have proven context to be the solution.
Look at Airbnb again. Its messages were sent to users on Craigslist who were looking to rent or lease a room. Airbnb leveraged Craigslist's own messaging capability to solve the consumer's individual problem the moment it arose, in the way the consumer was asking for it to be solved. It was native, personal, authentic, and purposeful.
Airbnb now does rely on advertising, yet it still obtains drastically different results based on its context-based approach. Airbnb is on target to book over 100 million stays in 2017 while spending only $23.5 million on advertising, while Hilton Hotels is on target to book more than 140 million stays on an advertising spend of $188 million.