The Marketing Time Capsule – What has a place in the future? What should remain buried in the past?

In middle school I was given the easiest homework assignment ever – write a letter to my future self.

Years later, the summer before I went off to college, I received the note from the middle school me. With no recollection of what I wrote, I opened the letter to find myself gushing about my favorite boy band (no shame in admitting it, I was a huge ‘N Sync fan), my best friends and family, and what college I planned on attending.

I laughed when I read the questions I asked myself. Are Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake still together? Do you still hang out with your best friend Rachael? Where are you going to college?

Now that I’m a professional in the marketing and communications field, I re-read my letter through a different lens, and made a few conclusions my grade school self would not have thought of:

  • Trends don’t last forever. It’s still hard to conceive that ‘N Sync no longer rules the airways.
  • Relationships matter. Friends and family are as critical to me now as they were years ago. Even my best friend from more than a decade ago is still my best friend now.
  • Predicting the future is hard. My life and career path could have gone in so many different directions. The influences that brought me to where I am today were unknown to me, and I’m sure a different decision or two in the past would have changed me (though I’m very happy where I’m at now)!

FutureM will debate the future of marketing as we perceive it today. Topics range from digital marketing, mobile technology and social media measurement, as well as debating whether or not traditional marketing as we know it is dead.

But do we really know what the future of marketing holds? What are current hot marketing trends that will be obsolete in five, 10 or 20 years? Which marketing practices have staying power? Advertising? PR? Digital? All of the above? Or none of them? And what does the future hold that we just can’t accurately predict right now?

Share your thoughts below. Maybe your idea(s) will become a discussion topic at HB’s UnPanel at FutureM. Or maybe it will go into some sort of marketing time capsule that some future version of ourselves can enjoy years from now.

What From 2012 Will be Celebrated in 2112?

As a Boston-area resident and worshipper at Fenway Park, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, I find myself acutely aware of anything that dates back to 1912 (the list includes LL Bean, the Girl Scouts and Oreos).

Luminaries born in 1912 include Julia Child, Jackson Pollock, and most importantly in my world, the patriarch of our four-generation family, Grampy Joe.

What will citizens celebrate in 2112 that dates back to this year? Will it be…
• 50 Shades of Grey? Please no.
• Diet Dr. Pepper 10?
• Or perhaps the final Twilight movie?

It takes more than a useful or desirable product to build a brand. Key ingredients include:
1. Consistent messaging,
2. An understanding of your target audience and its persona, and
3. Customer engagement.

What do you think made LL Bean and Oreos such strong brands (besides the warm boots and scrummy cookies)?

At FutureM this month, marketing and technology innovators will contemplate the future of Marketing (yes, with a capital M). While conversation may focus on what Marketing’s future will look like in five years, seeds will be planted for brands to thrive for the next century. Join the group to explore how marketers today integrate traditional marketing, digital marketing, R&D and product development in exactly the right way to create brands that will last until 2112.

HB’s UnPanel is your opportunity to have a voice in this future. What makes today’s brands successful and what will resonate a 100 years from now?