On getting new customers.

How to get new customers in 2021?

An interview with Zofia Bugajna-Kasdepke for Marketer+

What do you think is the future of marketing? What factors will have the greatest influence on shaping the industry?

In the short term, we’re likely to continue experiencing the rapid digitization of so many areas of our everyday lives. Even those companies who have been dragging their feet in terms of implementing digital changes will find that they need to keep up. The global pandemic has radically changed marketing, forcing a shift in consumer experiences from events or brand store experiences entirely online. This has boosted the significance of social media and the development of new branded content formats.

In the long term, we will see the gradual development of immersive technologies, giving customers the opportunity to try completely new means of keeping in touch with the brands they love, often in a more intimate, qualitative, and engaging manner. I believe that these changes are a rocket fuel that will take the marketing industry into a completely new dimension – with new possibilities and formats, and unparalleled prospects to unleash our creative potential!

Which branch of marketing is likely to see the most development by 2031?

Definitely e-commerce! We are already witnessing the transformation of the most basic consumer-screen-seller relationship to an immersive, interactive and exciting dopamine-driven experience. Total customization? Teleportation to a luxury brand boutique? Live 24/7 shopping shows? Products that can only be worn virtually? It’s all here! So far, e-commerce has been neglected in creative terms, but it’s proven to be a superstar in the industry.

I also want to say entertainment. Brands will want to provide consumers with more engaging, entertaining and stronger experiences. The development of new technologies means that we will be able to dive into worlds created by brands and live a second, virtual life. Novel engagement strategies will result in customers spending more time interacting with brands and diving ever deeper. This will force marketers to invest in branded content – from games to virtual reality – as they try to create captivating relationship scenarios.

Where does one find competitive advantages?

Technologies are new toys. They’re fun and cool, but you really have to know how to use them. The most important thing is not to lose sight of one fundamental factor – sticking to the definition of a brand and its purpose. Is my brand here for fun, or are we trying to save the world? Or maybe it’s just a simple product that solves a specific problem? In a world of excess and saturation, being a source of greater meaning in people’s lives can make or break a brand.

What will be the biggest challenge for marketers?

Filter bubbles are today’s bane, and dealing with image crises online is becoming an increasingly difficult task. Coupled with an ongoing flood of fake news, there’s a whole lot of disinformation which has resulted in a general decline in levels of social trust. We don’t know who to trust anymore, so we don’t trust anyone – not the mainstream media, nor their experts (being a professor may actually make it harder to convince the general public). In the meantime, there’s the growth of deepfake technology, which will bring on a whole new mix of explosive and controversial content. Before, seeing something “with my own eyes” was a testimony to the truth. Now, we’re going to have to learn to question the things we see, as well as take on a careful approach to believing in their authenticity. And this is a field that I believe will see brands fail a great number of times.

CMO, CMTO (Chief Marketing Technology Officer), CDO (Chief Digital Officer), CIO (Chief Innovation Officer), CBO (Chief Brand Officer) – How do you think the role of marketing in companies / organizations will change by 2031?

The semantics are a secondary issue here, as marketing will be subjected to various trends over the span of the next decade. What’s important in an organization is who is responsible for the overall brand experience across all channels. Neither tech nor innovation will take over and lead; these departments are there to serve the brand. But will marketing departments survive? Certainly not in the shape and form they’re in today. What’s crucial is learning how to manage an increasingly complex ecosystem and getting comfortable with quickly endorsing new technologies and innovations, and this requires integrating teams that often have very  different competences and combining their shared knowledge.

What are the characteristics and competences of a good marketer, especially considering new challenges and current social and economic changes?

The digitization and technological growth of the marketing industry is real. We’re gaining access to more data than we’re able to analyse. Therefore, there is a growing need to understand current social tensions and changing cultural context. Only then can we begin to see the data we have on consumer behaviour through the right lens and look at trends from the right perspective. Empathy and an open ear to social sensitivity are necessary skills, especially in PR. This article was published in Marketer+ magazine:
https://marketerplus.pl/forum-marketera-jak-zdobywac-nowych-klientow-w-2021-roku/

Zofia Bugajna-Kasdepke
Woman to Watch in 2022 on the Forbes Women Power Rising List (Poland). Heroine of the "Women of Success" series in the Vogue Poland magazine.
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