November’s issue of Marketing featured a few articles with a recurring theme – Marketing for the future, one in particular really caught our attention.

This article, written by Karl Weaver, touches on the point that most companies would be willing to sacrifice ‘a chunk of this year’s margin for a chance of substantially increased profits in 10 years’ time.’ although the majority of current marketing focuses on the ‘now’, a few other companies are breaking out of the mould and looking to the future. Persil and Dove have both recently shared campaigns which feature a narrative and challenge the conventional ‘buy me’ message that companies focus on to say ‘share in our values and beliefs’ instead.

Unilever is a company which has always focused its marketing on building a positive message surrounding the brand and its values, an ethos which has helped to produce a 4.9% growth over the past five years, and one which other brands are now realising is the way forward. However this concept goes beyond simple marketing, consumers are now more aware than ever (thanks to the internet and growing media channels) of which companies own which brands and what they support or are involved with, and more worryingly for some, the mistakes they may have made.

Millennials or Generation Y are an increasingly valuable target market, and according to Sprinklr their spending power is set to surpass $1 trillion by 2020, however this same target market are 60% more likely to share their experiences on social media (Social Media Week). Fifty-one percent of them are also likely to trust a stranger’s opinion of something online, where they get the majority of their information from.

Millennials expect more from marketing than generations before them who were more willing to listen to and accept what they were told about a brand or product, Gen-Yers expect a two-way conversation to be available from a brand and to be able to develop a relationship, in-turn creating loyalty.

It’s these consumers who are looking into brands and finding out what their values and beliefs are and the causes they support. Brands have a responsibility to consumers to market for the future. Its for these reasons that companies need to invest in their brands and create strong beliefs and values which their consumers can relate to in order to create a loyal customer base.

“Research from Boston Consulting Group found that responsible-consumption products will account for 70% of the total grocery growth in the US and Europe in the next five years.”
— Karl Weaver – Marketing magazine