Over the past 3,650 days, Keen as Mustard has pioneered the delivery of marketing and design services to the data, research and insight industry. For our 10th anniversary we consumed quite a bit of cake and discussed what might happen in insight, marketing and design in another ten years. From AI advances to auto-editing robots, see what some of the team has come up with.
Jocelyn Senior, PR associate:
Thinking more generally about branding, I think that we’ll continue to see more disruptive brands challenging the market leaders in different sectors. So more Ubers and Airbnbs. The challenge for the established brands then, in terms of market research, is trying to predict how consumer needs and desires are changing, so as to be able to reinvent themselves accordingly.
Social media will become even more important for communicating with consumers and for brand engagement, especially as the generation of ‘digital natives’ become older. Trust, however, will be an even bigger issue in the light of the problems with fake news which we just saw with the US election.
Also, if there really is a popular tide against globalisation, we may see global brands struggling in different markets as consumers choose to support local or national brands instead. Again, this is an area which market researchers will need to follow closely on behalf of clients.
Finally, technology and the ability to personalise messaging even more, will have far-reaching repercussions which we can’t even imagine now.
Adam Warner, communications manager:
Not much has changed in B2B marketing since I started working in the field almost ten years ago. There has of course been an increase in how social media is being used, particularly in the research sector, and the perceived value of content marketing has increased. But on the whole email marketing is still considered by many to be the key element in B2B marketing, along with networking and, unfortunately, to a lesser extent brand. But those changes were clear ten years ago, we’re just travelling down the same rails B2C marketing travels, but a little behind.
It’s difficult to predict major innovations in marketing, a major innovation comes out of nowhere to fundamentally change a landscape, so who knows what will happen. But we can certainly see the incremental innovations that will happen in the industry based on existing methods.
Marketing reflects the behaviours and attitudes of the consumer. So for B2C, mobile will cease to become a separate digital marketing channel and will become the major element of the digital landscape. Campaigns will be created for mobile first as a matter of course and we’ll see an increase of GPS and location tracking marketing methods. There will be some innovations in the more traditional methods of advertising, out of home display advertising will be digitised, think Blade Runner, but hopefully less grim and brooding. Traditional print and TV advertising will not die a death, but budgets for those channels will certainly reduce. And we’ll see more money pushed into marketing “events” and content marketing. Creating “experiences” is already important for a lot of big consumer brands and I can only see that increasing.
Most importantly, there will be wholesale changes in the way marketers segment and target consumers. Traditional demographics will stick around, but we’ll see far more attitudinal and behaviour segmentation as standard.
In B2B marketing I expect very little to change, which is a shame. There is plenty of room for B2B marketing to become more emotional and learn a great deal about engagement from the B2C sector. In research industry I hope we’ll see more of a focus on brand and identity as research agencies will need to do far more to differentiate themselves. As research companies will need to signal their specialisms more to appeal to challenging procurement teams, we will certainly see a continued use of content, thought leadership and PR. Email marketing will still be a cornerstone of B2B research, but what I hope to see is more and more creative ways to generate those leads, I’d like to see more B2B organisations really look to create “experiences” for their clients and potential clients, ditch the functional and go right for the heart.
Lucy Davison, managing director and founder:
In ten years, I think the communication of insight will have moved on massively. Never mind an era of infotainment, we will be in the era of datatainment! Most knowledge will be shared via virtual reality – workshops and meetings will be attended virtually in 3D and it will all be filmed in 3D and streamed to our headsets. Auto-editing robots will create mini-movies instead of reports and presentations. We’ll watch and share these for entertainment, not as a work chore. MRX teams will be made up of filmmakers, graphic designers, journalists and artists as well as data analysts and planners. Insight driven data will be the rich audio visual environment in which we surf.
I’ll be on a beach.
Simon Dunn, creative director:
In 1996 I joined the internet age after reading an article in the Telegraph describing this new-fangled thing. With rare insight, for me, I immediately understood the possibilities and its capacity to change the world. In my youthful naivety, I didn’t understand quite how the world would change, thinking instead that it would bring people and nations together.
Fast forward ten years to Mustard’s birth and the internet and technology generally is starting to take shape in the way that we know it now. Facebook opens up to the world, not just university campuses, and the Nintendo Wii is launched, with its unique control system. People are just starting to talk about ‘the cloud’, and are understanding the power and implications that will bring. Interestingly the iPhone is not available yet, that comes in 2007.
So, what do we have in store for the next ten years? If we look at the railway revolution in the 1800s there are interesting parallels with the tech revolution we are living through now. The railways not only changed the industry, but also changed society. At this point we have a vague idea about the trajectory we are moving in but the reality is, in railway terms, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway has just been opened and the first scheduled train services have started!
There are big changes ahead with the development of sophisticated AI and the tying together of technology and information. At the moment, much is silo’d and separated by technological, legal and historical limitations, but as information becomes a sea rather than a series of rivers we will understand how to fish it more effectively and see huge leaps of insight and advances in society. Hopefully it will bring great clarity and purpose to the improvement of human life.
Siobhan Nolan, junior graphic designer:
So I think that everyone thinks that in ten years time everything will be pretty much paperless and everything will be digital.
I don’t think this will be the case. I think printed design will always be relevant.
For example, I don’t think in ten years time we won’t need printed posters, leaflets, banners etc… technology wouldn’t have come on that much… maybe in 100 years time.
I think that good design will be more important to every company including marketing agencies, let’s face it lots of companies are upping thier design game these days. I think poor design will become much more obvious in this competitive world we live in.
I also think apps will continue to come on leaps and bounds to make our lives even easier than they do now… maybe an app that you plug in your tooth brush and it will brush your teeth for you… you heard it here first!
Finally, I think there will be more and more disruptive brands coming in and trying to challenge brands like Apple, Uber, Deliveroo, etc.
And I think designers will still hate comic sans.