Usually, as we gear up to take on a new year many of us like to either reflect and dissect the year that has passed, or look forward and predict the outcome of the year ahead.
I am no different.
The last few years have seen immense and game-changing shifts in the way we market and brand real estate developments. As technology continues to evolve, and the ramifications of everyone having the ability to be the media in this new marketing communications world are more fully understood, more changes will ensue.
As such, I’d like to take this first week in 2011 to share five predictions that I think are sure to affect how we will communicate with each other in the not-too-distant future.
• Advertising as we know it will be dead. There will still be space for sale in various online and offline channels, but the way that space is used will be different. The interruption model, where advertising seeks to yell and scream until you pay attention, will be ineffective. In its place will be advertising designed around the invitation model, where companies offer content of value, and engage in truly interesting ways.
• The technologies that we use to communicate with each other will be gone, replaced with more interesting and engaging tools. Whatever is the latest and greatest tool today will be tomorrow’s almost forgotten antique.
• The web will still be around, although we may access it very differently. The basic tenants that make the Internet so appealing will only grow in importance: the ability to share, to research, to collaborate, to find valuable information.
• As people continue to share more and more about themselves online and the issues of privacy become less and less of a concern, developers who engage will have a competitive advantage. They will know more about their audience, and how best to serve them. Consumer research will become an online real-time 24/7/365 pursuit.
• Branding will be alive and well. It will be more powerful than ever. A consistent brand vision and image for your development will be like a lighthouse, guiding people to the messages they will find if they connect with you.
Without it, your messages will be lost in the ever-increasing sea of data—even more so than today—that we will all be confronted with.
Regardless of these changes, if you keep one simple concept in mind, you will fare well in the new marketing communication economy. With all of your activities, from production to sales to marketing, if you make your customers’ lives better, they will reward you.