January 25

What is 2018's hottest trend in marketing? It doesn't matter if your company isn't ready. 

CES Whoa Entry Sign.jpg

Recently I've been asked a few times what the next big thing or hot trend is in marketing. 

It's easy to throw in a few buzzy platforms that most people won't understand or even be in a position to use – voice, artificial intelligence, VR/AR/MR, and blockchain are hot. Funnels are moving to social media and direct messenger. Bots use AI to guide you through said funnels. 
 
But let's talk bigger, by getting smaller. 
 
I've been to CES, as well as NRF and SXSW, for the last several years and keep tabs on trends and hot topics that will soon change marketing as we know it. But this year, I saw behind the curtain. As a brand builder and marketer, I witnessed an obvious BFO (blinding flash of the obvious). 
 "We need processes and core values in place to support innovation and digital transformation, or we're chasing shiny objects and just waiting for the power to go out. That's when we'll realize we've been in the dark the whole time." 
This year at CES while surrounded by the world's hottest, bleeding edge technology – the internet connection, which we paid approx $3,000 for one week, failed. Over and over again. It throttled from a nice 90Mbs+ ... down to 0. ZERO. In 2018. At the world's largest consumer electronics trade show. We had a backup because we linked our booth to my phone. My ... phone.
 
Then the power went out. For two hours. 
 
The booths for Sony, Samsung, LG, Intel and some of the largest electronic innovation companies in the world were about as useful as a Ham radio. Or a ham sandwich. Actually, you could eat the ham sandwich. 
 
There were no backup generators, not enough emergency lights and no answers. For over TWO HOURS. 
 
CES Dancers LED LIghts
At least these guys could entertain in the dark.
 
What this brings to light (pun intended) is the need for basics. 
 
The internet and power at the worlds largest consumer electronics trade show should not go down because the city received a rare rainstorm. There should be backups to backups and protocols for implementing them. 
 
When someone talks about tech, like VR, voice, and AI, my first questions are, "Do you know your core messaging? Do you know your primary audience? Do you know what marketing has been successful in the past?" 
 
Do your employees know those things? 
 
We need processes and core values in place to support innovation and digital transformation, or we're chasing shiny objects and just waiting for the power to go out. That's when we'll realize we've been in the dark the whole time.  
 
 
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