The future marketing: Trends to watch out for

Technology support

Marketing is an ever-evolving field, and staying on top of emerging trends is crucial for any business that looks to stay ahead of the competition. Last week, we visited our website developers Versantus at their farmhouse office HQ in Kidlington to learn about the latest developments in marketing. 

During our time there, the Versantus team discussed and presented several key trends that are set to shape the industry in the coming years. Luke shares some of the future marketing trends we can expect below.


The future of the Web: Web1, Web2, and Web3

First, we talked about the evolution of the web, from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 to the emerging Web 3.0. We explained how the web is becoming more interactive and personalised, and how businesses can use these changes to their advantage.

Web1 was the first version of the web, where users were passive consumers of content. Companies and individuals built static, HTML based websites that basically spoke to their audience (think standard blogs) and informed them rather than engaging with them.

Web2 marked a significant shift in the way people interacted with the internet. Instead of just consuming information, users were able to actively participate in creating and sharing content. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram emerged, providing users with an avenue to share their thoughts, photos, and videos with their friends and followers. The rise of Web2 also gave birth to new technologies and innovations such as cloud computing, mobile devices, and big data analytics.

Web3 is poised to be the next big thing in the evolution of the internet, offering users even more control over their online experiences. At the heart of Web3 is blockchain technology, which provides a decentralised, secure, and transparent way for people to interact and exchange information without the need for intermediaries. With Web3, users will have more ownership over their data and interactions online, which means they can decide who gets access to their information and how it is used. This is a significant departure from the current model, where tech companies often have free rein to collect and monetise user data without much accountability.

Corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Next, we delved into the topic of corporate social responsibility, highlighting some of the brands that are leading the way in this area, as well as some hard facts about the energy consumption of digital advertising. Consumers are becoming increasingly more conscious about the impact of their purchases on the environment and society, and they expect businesses to do their part.

Patagonia, Beyond Meat, and Lush are some of the brands that have taken CSR seriously, by donating shares to non-profits, reducing greenhouse emissions, and utilising recycled packaging.

Save CO2 by deleting your emails

Sustainability in marketing

While digital marketing has many benefits, it also has a negative impact on the environment, as it consumes large amounts of energy generated by fossil fuels. This is a concern, as the digital ecosystem is now the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Additionally, the practice of greenwashing has also materialised, this is where companies make misleading or false claims about their environmental impact to appear more sustainable. Sadly this has become far more prevalent in digital marketing, and not only misleads consumers but also undermines genuine efforts to reduce environmental harm.

Businesses seeking to prioritise sustainability in their marketing efforts can achieve this by minimising their carbon footprint and promoting eco-friendly practices, such as encouraging email recipients to delete messages after reading them.

In fact, if every adult in the UK sent one less “Thank you” email, it could save 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year… the equivalent to taking approximately 3,334 diesel cars off the road

Source: “The Shift Project”

Other emerging trends

Other emerging trends in marketing include the shift towards quality over quantity in content marketing.

Businesses need to create content that is valuable and engaging to their audience, rather than simply producing a high volume of low-quality content.

Do not underestimate the importance of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) and YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics in content creation, as Google's algorithm increasingly prioritises content that is accurate and trustworthy and does not show potential to negatively impact a user's financial stability or physical safety.

The growing use of user-generated content and AI, and how Open AI's Chat GPT could help businesses create high-quality content that meets these criteria while also optimising for SEO.

Third party cookies

Third-party cookies are dying out

Finally, the upcoming changes to third-party cookies will affect lookalike targeting and tracking. Google Analytics 4 will be phasing out third-party cookies therefore businesses need to capture as much first-party data as possible.

With it posing quite a challenge for businesses that rely on lookalike targeting to reach new audiences, it's timely to look at potential solutions. 

One such solution is the need for businesses and organisations to ramp up their consent-based marketing campaigns to capture as much first-party data as possible.

Ready for GA4

Out with Google’s Universal Analytics and in with GA4

Universal Analytics, the popular web analytics tool, no longer processes new data from 1st July 2023. Businesses that use this tool must switch to Google Analytics 4 as early as possible to ensure a smooth transition. GA4 offers new measurement models and data collection methods that rely on first-party data and privacy-focused solutions such as Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) technology, or as we like to say, data groups.

Overall, the presentation was well received, and we were delighted to share our knowledge with their team.

It’s building trusted, long-term partnerships like we have with Audley Villages that truly makes us love what we do here at Versantus, and maybe the delicious vegan curry we shared together, which was a massive hit.

Overall, this session provided a relaxed and insightful opportunity to help their team stay ahead of the curve in this ever-changing world of marketing.

Author: Luke Terzino, Digital Marketing Manager at Versantus