Plan B: Assessing Social Marketing Future Scenarios

No one likes to contemplate a worst-case scenario, but it is wise to have a plan B. Any digital marketing strategy should think optimistically, but preparation for future scenarios that may look very different from today’s digital marketing landscape is vital to a brand’s survival.

“Anticipated future scenarios” is an output of the Evaluate Digital Marketing Channels process and is described by SMstudy®Guide, Digital Marketing as the analysis of the most likely future changes to take place in each digital marketing channel; analysis of the potential impact of defined changes; and proposed actions.

Assessing possible changes in future digital channels that could affect revenue, production, access to resources and so on is primary. But a thorough analysis should also take into consideration the way technologies come together to create a brand new scenario, even though most changes occur incrementally, according to Andrew Frank, analysts with Gartner for Marketing Leaders.

“When this happens, brands that anticipate these transformational scenarios will thrive; incrementalists will lose out,” Frank said.

As Frank points out, it may be tempting to want to keep a set digital marketing channel strategy, but agility and open-mindedness will benefit today’s marketing strategists. Staying on top of trends and recognizing where they converge with a company’s product or brand is also a component of future scenario assessments.

With that in mind, here are the top 2016 digital marketing trends noted by Adam Fridman, founder of MeetAdvisors, published on Inc. Dec. 1, 2015:

Data, data, data. Learn to love it.

“In short, data is behavior. Learning from this behavior drives creative messaging and strategic campaigns. Tracking behavior and tapping into the emotional connection through messaging, ads, social, and design makes all the difference in the digital space.”

Forget the funnel. The funnel is flawed.

“There’s little opportunity to share the research and buying experience which is crucial for interacting with fans and getting more people into your funnel, or ecosystem. too much work on consumers and consumers hate doing too much work.”

Test with laser-like focus. Technology now allows for deep research on target audiences. Even detailed aspects of an ad can now be picked apart and analyzed for demographic appeal.

“Targeting is a crucial aspect of any marketing strategy and by marketing directly to your ideal audience, you’re effectively and efficiently spending only what’s ”

Social engagement. This isn’t new, but it’s definitely continuing.

Two things to know: 1. Encourage audience participation through creative engaging campaigns and 2. Spare them the mediocre content.

“Each social channel, blog post, e-mail, web link must have a purpose and drive towards something. Never post simply to post. Without engagement or traffic, those posts are a waste of time and money.”

Expand the team. Start to think about a marketing team as more than just the marketers for a company or brand. Every “share” received through social media channels is an endorsement, each person “reposting” is an ambassador.

“Single marketing voices only reach the people already in their networks. To break through, companies and causes will increasingly need to partner with suppliers, brand and others to reach more people, more often.”


For more interesting articles on sales and marketing, visit

Photo provided courtesy of  Anoop Kumar, Flickr. Image has been cropped.


SMstudy® Guide, Digital Marketing, pg. 63-64.

“Agenda Overview for Emerging Marketing Technology and Trends, 2015,” Andrew Frank, Dec. 18, 2014. marketing/pdfs/Emerging_Marketing_Technology_and_Trends.pdf

“The Future of Digital Marketing- How It’s Changing in 2016,“ Andrew Fridman, Dec. 1, 2015.


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