Rethinking the Connected Marketing Future – Part Two

Welcome to part two in our discussion about Connected Marketing. Each week, we're revisiting a selection of predictions made back in 2005 to see where they hit the...

Welcome to part two in our discussion about Connected Marketing. Each week, we’re revisiting a selection of predictions made back in 2005 to see where they hit the mark, what they missed and what we can expect next.

Connected world

This week, we’re asking how easy is it for marketers to locate influential consumers? Is mobile marketing more or less important now than marketers predicted a decade ago? And what’s going to happen to marketing distribution in the future? Please use the comments section to help us evaluate these and to share your own predictions.



2005 prediction #3:

Marketers will eventually be able to locate influencers by zip/postcode, by which point they will be all chasing the same chosen few…

2013 update:

“This prediction was based on musings about Mosaic, the consumer classification system that provides access to Experian’s vast range of demographic data via postcodes. We’d also seen social network analysis of mobile phone users, so we didn’t think it would be long before Experian and others could drill down further to see who was influential in a geographical area. This forecast is borne out by Experian’s subsequent acquisition of Techlightenment and Dunnhumby’s acquisition of Bzzagent (both in 2011).”

Justin Kirby, co-editor/author Connected marketing: the viral, buzz and word of mouth revolution and Best of Branded Content Marketing.


It is much, much easier now to not only find but also truly engage with influencers on any topic. That capability is at our fingertips. It doesn’t involve costly research or public relations teams. Just take the women and leadership discussion as an example. Because the women and men who are passionate and expert on the topic can better find each other and collaborate, we are seeing some major shifts in the work world. The conversations on social networks are vibrant and honest, and we are getting somewhere. This is the case with so many other important business and cultural topics today.”

Andrea Learned, author What Really Makes Women Buy


“The zip code to behavior tracking is a reality today. Large market research players can do this. The interesting development is the appearance of unlikely partners in these data fields – such as Twitter. Matching Twitter handles to location data is going to be key in transforming knowledge-based marketing.”

Idil Cakim, VP, Media Analytics Consulting, Nielsen



2005 prediction #4:

Cell/mobile phones will develop rapidly as an important medium for spreading connected marketing promotions, such as mobile invitations, SMS barcode discounts, etc.

2013 update:

“Mobile has developed into a far more powerful and prevalent content medium than we might have thought back in 2005, when the talk was more about invitations and barcodes. In 2005, mobile wasn’t predicted to be such a prevalent medium for watching and sharing content – video in particular – due to the widely-held perception that people wouldn’t want to watch video on such a small screen and the bandwidth restrictions at the time, which made for a lousy viewer experience. Fast forward eight years and the picture is very different. Video consumption on mobile devices is rocketing. 37% of consumer media consumption already takes place on mobile devices and mobile video will increase 25-fold between 2011 and 2016, accounting for over 70 percent  of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.”

– Sarah Wood, Co-Founder and COO/CMO, Unruly Media


“As predicted, mobile marketing took off with a variety of innovative solutions such as augmented reality and QR codes. The increase in smartphone users has also largely contributed to this. I would say mobile is still in gestation mode as a marketing vehicle – this area is ripe with opportunities for innovation and growth.”

Idil Cakim, VP, Media Analytics Consulting, Nielsen


More views about connected marketing distribution in general:

“Harnessing big data will help optimize channel selection and targeting. Marketers will be able to fuse social data with offline behaviors (e.g. visits, purchases) with greater agility.

Mobile has become a crucial point of access for social networks.

Key social networks and search engines are steering their investments towards a mobile audience. Facebook’s Instagram acquisition and Yahoo’s Flickr strategy (where users can access high-resolution pictures from any screen) confirm the validity of this trend.”

Idil Cakim, VP, Media Analytics Consulting, Nielsen


“I often hear the cry “We need a social media strategy” when what is really needed first is a customer engagement strategy based on content – Connected Marketing is a great way of unifying these into a single strategy.

I was one of the ‘Alternative Marketing Practitioners’ in 2005 who batted around the Connected Marketing title – suggested it even… Connected Marketing has the benefit that it unifies content and social media marketing which have become the de facto way of explaining this approach to engagement today – unfortunate that these are now considered separately.”

– Dave Chaffey, CEO and co-founder, Smart Insights, and author


You can catch up with Part One here, and don’t forget to look out for Part Three next week.

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  1. Justin Kirby Reply

    This just came through from Andrea Learned who commented above. Interestingly it ties in with the Engagement Management theme we will be exploring next week. It would be interesting to hear from Luke about his experience with clients, as far as their evolving needs/wants over the last few years:

    “Businesses would never admit to needing a customer engagement strategy… so instead hooking on to “social media” (like all the companies they read about in the business press) is their way in. It seems to take a few months of just “doing” Twitter or FB without creating content to share to demonstrate that..there’s a bit more “connected” in content so they have to incorporate that part too. It is fascinating to watch how trends come and go, and to observe the language we in the industry use versus the words/topics that most resonate with clients. It takes a bit of time to make it all match up.”

  2. Alan See Reply

    Locating influencers is one thing. Engaging them is another. Technology continues to improve making it easier to locate; however, (IMHO), in general marketer’s are not doing a great job with engagement.

  3. George Williams Reply

    Re: “what is really needed first is a customer engagement strategy based on content.” ~ So true. Figured this one out about 10 years ago. It’s about being social. The social media properties will come and go. You can use them to post and distribute your content, create awareness and monitor conversations, but if you can engage with your customer on these properties, you’ll see a big difference. Hence the reason you’re now starting to see marketers and a few major agencies call it “social” marketing, rather than “social media” marketing. Looking forward to Part 3.

  4. Richard Potter Reply

    A classic example of how the crowd has supplanted the few. What used to be the privilege of the market analyst is now attained for ‘free’ through the power of social. That said, mobile and analytics, those two other defining elements of our time, have played their part in making these predictions a reality and some. Geo-location in mobile and to a lesser extent NFC mean marketeers can literally be in the pockets of their prospects in real time. With the relentless rise of data and the open architectures created by social and cloud, analytics – both structured and non-structured – adds further forensics into the toolkit of the marketeer of 2013.

  5. Justin Kirby Reply

    Just adding this comment from the team at BSUR about internal comms:

    Internal communications should become a priority; first aligning employees from within, for the company to shine on the outside. People are the essential raw material, on and offline. Internal management tools and soundboards refreshed the corridor idea box and gave a primary role to the connected human workforce.

    A brand’s best ambassador is not its customer or its fanbase. It is not an influential blogger or a single-shot celeb. It’s the people who are the closest to the companies’ beating heart, namely the workers, the employees.

    Best Buy’s Twelp forces extended the knowledge and expertise of its staff and made it available beyond store walls into the digital space for all to find.

    The Zappos culture book isn’t about aligning all employees under one vision but making sure that each employee participates in the definition of the vision.

    In both Best Buy and Zappos cases, empowering the parts of a sum made the sum greater than the parts. That result is worth speaking about.

  6. Simon_D_Rees Reply

    “Marketers will eventually be able to locate influencers by zip/postcode, by which point they will be all chasing the same chosen few…”

    Fascinating. Makes me realise how far we’ve come. One thing that is much more obvious now is the importance of the influenced, rather than the influencer, in marketing – and, when considering influencers, of the importance of context. A strong influencer in restaurants may have very little influence in politics. And finally, it strikes me that we have come so far in making Influencer Marketing commonplace. When ‘Connected Marketing’ was published, it was one of a very few books to treat the subject at all seriously and to offer real science in its discussion of the subject. Nowadays the shelves are jammed with books on the subject, and some of them are quite good. Back in 2005 I was selling an ‘Conected Marketing’ solution for – and education was a huge part of the process. Now it seems everyone knows about Social Network Analysis.

    Forget the correctness of the predictions – what is important is how your book contributed to the momentum of this movement.