By Brenton Cannizzaro, from Zero Agency, sponsor of the recent SFAMA Start-Up panel event.
For anyone working in marketing, especially digital marketing, our professional lives are heavily influenced by advancements and thinking at the intersection of design and technology.
What the future is going to look like is anyone’s guess. Futurists and Trend Consultants are highly sought after professionals that can help give organizations a huge competitive advantage through insightful forecasting.
However, one doesn’t need to be a Futurist or a leading Trend Consultant. All of us are capable of consulting to our customers and peers on our evolving approach to marketing, communication and collaboration. As professionals we harbor a significant amount of marketing knowledge that we use to assist our customers in helping them to compete and win. So how do we move beyond consulting on the now, and be in a position to predict what lies ahead?
Key items for consideration
1. What are the evolving needs of your customers?
How will their businesses need to evolve in order to remain relevant and competitive? How could you provide value in ways they haven’t considered yet?
2. What are the evolving needs of your own business?
What are your pain points? What new technology could help you move forward both with internal operations and marketing to your customers?
3. What software application can’t you live without?
How did you come to need it, and how would you like to see it improve?
4. What design or marketing trends have recently been very successful?
What led to this trend? How did it evolve to this point, and how might it evolve moving forward? What is the next natural transition, and is this trend sustainable?
5. What are the biggest challenges in your industry?
What are the pressing issues and how could creativity solve them through completely challenging assumptions?
Considering what the future may look like
At Zero Agency we undertake the following to enable us to consider what may lie ahead:
– Taking the time to read is one of the most important things a professional can do
– Each industry has leading blogs and research websites that provide thinking and work from other leading professionals. Being an active consumer of these resources is the beginning phase of ensuring you are abreast of not just what is happening now, but understand what others are seeing trend upwards
– Engaging in social commentary on these sites is an excellent method for challenging your thinking with others
2. Internal thought leadership projects
Zero devotes significant time within our schedule to allow staff to explore new projects based on future thinking. Yes this is sometimes hard to both find and afford the time, however it provides the following benefits:
– Provides a mechanism for our team to think and consider about future functionality and design trends that are emerging
– Provides an avenue for the team to work on “blue sky” projects that often don’t occur with client work. The freedom this brings is a challenge, however it’s also a wonderful opportunity to truly create something new without common barriers that exist with paid work.
– Provides a mechanism through our blog to showcase to our clients (current and prospective) about our philosophy and thinking, giving them confidence that we are an agency that can help them move forward.
So what does an internal “thought leadership” project look like?
– What was the most influential social platform that would influence work in the future?
– How might professionals connect and collaborate in the future?
– How might the global economy influence business, and the way individuals and organizations connect with like-minded stakeholders, in order to develop commercial opportunities?
– How can technology and great software user experience assist?
We selected LinkedIn as the conceptual basis for how we think professionals will connect and work in the future, check out this link.for an illustration of bringing a futuristic approach to marketing considerations.
Zero is a new type of digital innovation focused on transforming the way we communicate, with offices in Australia, and a recently opened office in San Francisco. For any inquiry, please contact Cliff Englert, VP Creative Partnerships at firstname.lastname@example.org