What is the next great marketing trend?

Over the years, I’ve learned that marketers love to reinvent themselves. This is how brand marketers became direct marketers, and direct marketers became digital marketers and digital marketers became social marketers. We ride the waves of opportunity that cross through the marketing space, and push ourselves to continue to grow and change with the opportunities that surround us. Sure, some marketers stick to their knitting and remain in the space they started in. But many of us seek out change and find ourselves looking for that next great opportunity to expand our skill set. It is in our DNA to do so.

I may be premature on this one, but I’m already starting to wonder what the next great trend might be in the marketing space. It seems to me that everyone who is going to adopt social marketing has already jumped on that bandwagon. There are some marketers who are not going social, but not many, based on my informal study of this question. Of course, those who have embraced social marketing will continue to progress and grow their skills in this area over the next few years. But the time will come when another new type of marketing seems more relevant and influential than the old types of marketing, and thousands of marketers will shift their careers once again.

Thinking about this, I have searched the web to try to anticipate what trend will be next. My search wasn’t comprehensive, of course, but as far as I can tell, the only trend currently on the horizon is a back-to-basics movement that is re-emphasizing traditional marketing skills like closed-loop direct marketing, rather than developing any new style of marketing. I suspect this trend got its start in tight budgets caused by the struggling economy, but it also seems to be driven by recent improvements in marketing automation that codify traditional marketing skills. This is not the most exciting trend I have seen in my career, to be sure, but I suppose it demonstrates the value of those traditional marketing skills we picked up years ago, gives us the opportunity to refresh our traditional marketing skill set, and leverages a lot of the technology skills we have picked up in recent years, so it’s not all bad either. There is still room for personal and career growth in this environment, and just when you start to think you are bored with it, I’m sure another type of “new marketing” will surface, and we will be off and running again, just like in the go-go days.

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