The future of marketing is hyper-personalization

While the goal of marketing has remained (relatively) static since its inception, the way it is achieved is constantly changing.

Essentially, marketers want to convince their target audience that their product or service is worthy of their attention. The way professionals deal with this has changed drastically over the years.

30 years ago you may have reached consumers through local newspapers and physical mail. Utilities? You may be watching TikTok and Spotify.

To get a handle on what the current trends in the marketing business are — and what skills professionals need to develop — I spoke with Oscar Höglund, CEO and co-founder of Epidemic Sound, a music technology company that provides royalty-free soundtracks.

First, Höglund told me that personalization, especially that with “the use of images and music”, will become even more important in the coming years.

“Historically, marketers have tried to appeal to the masses,” Höglund said, but this is about to change.

To illustrate this, he told me a story about the Super Bowl. Previously, the strategy for such an event was to create a single ad – an ad designed to reach millions of people – and hope it catches on.

Personalization will change this. With the right technology and approach, Höglund said, you can “create hyper-relevant content that attracts different audiences.”

A Super Bowl ad can become 40 different pieces of content, with the soundtrack replaced by many songs in different genres that appeal to a range of audiences.

“While the product and core message will remain the same,” Höglund told me, “businesses will need to create more personalized content to engage with customers.”

As the marketing industry evolves to be more focused on personalization, it makes sense that professionals in the space need to change as well. I presented this to Höglund and asked what skills people in the sector will need in ten years’ time.

“In the future, marketers [will] need to constantly analyze the needs of their customers,” he told me. “They need to map out and address the different parts of people’s identities.”

Building on this, Höglund believes that the combination of analyzing data and learning about each individual’s preferences can help marketers give people perfect suggestions, recommending things they never thought of before. In other words, to know them almost better than they know themselves.

Ultimately, however, Höglund thinks the future of marketing “really comes down to understanding people.” Computers will get better and will bear the brunt of analytics, which means marketers will have to get closer to humans.

As Höglund put it, “In the future, marketers will go from mathematicians to anthropologists.”

Did you know that Oscar Höglund will be speaking at the TNW Conference this summer? View the full list of speakers here.