The Blog

by Jim Copacino

The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be

Are you a Toilet Texter? What I learned at the Annual Magnet Conference

Our agency has been a long-time member of the Magnet Global Network, an affiliation of some 40 independent agencies in the U.S. and around the world. We meet three times a year to share resources, best practices and pursue revenue opportunities.

This year’s annual meeting was held in late October in Newport Beach. Our theme: What’s New? What’s Next? Over two days of presentations and discussions, we explored the future of marketing, a future that’s arriving at warp speed. Here are a few of the big takeaways:

More than ever, consumers are turning to “the internet of things” to simplify and enrich their lives. A few examples:

  • For new parents, a “smart onesie” monitors a baby’s breathing, heartbeat, body position, and sleep status, complete with live audio.
  • Smart yoga outfits provide feedback on proper technique, movement, and calorie count.
  • Smart kitchen cutting boards offer a catalog of recipes, then digitally tally the proper weight and proportions of ingredients.

Tech Love/Tech Hate
Technology is completely integrated into our lives. But we also feel the need to escape it (yes, even Millennials).

  • Savvy travel companies are offering “digital detox” trips to remote locations completely off the grid.
  • A Swedish company has developed a “not available” app for social media networks: A digital “Sorry, I can’t take your call right now.”
  • My favorite: A Brazilian beer maker has created a beer cozy that disables mobile signals in a 2 meter radius—allowing actual conversation instead of texting.

The Embattled CMO
Marketing chiefs are on the hot seat, and it’s getting hotter.

  • Boomers capping their careers with a C-Suite marketing position find themselves in a tech knowledge gap, ill prepared to manage big data, digital technology, and social media.
  • CMO’s are often dismissed by others in the C-Suite because of their inability to prove the financial value of marketing.
  • Increasingly, CMO’s find themselves in a position of accountability, but without control over the customer experience.

The conference was too rich in information to fully report here. (For example, did you know that 20% of people surveyed say they text and e-mail during wedding ceremonies? 47% do so on the toilet.)

Suffice it to say that the future of marketing is uncertain, challenging, but ultimately thrilling. Mark Twain had it right when he said, “I’m interested in the future because I’m going to spend the rest of my life there.”