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UK Disruptive marketing influencers

Rakefet Yacoby From photo
Rakefet Yacoby From
CMO at Mayple

The future is coming

The guy who went from 'nobody' to #1 marketing influencer in 15 months, the woman that teaches the world about the role of AI in marketing, Europe’s SEO guru, the content queen who was featured in every leading publication you can think of, the man that turned himself into a brand, and others!

In this must-read article, 12 key marketing superheroes will share their views about new and coming trends and changes in the UK’s marketing industry and how marketing will be managed in 2025. You will learn about these unique individuals and will discover the skills and expertise that has led them to be followed by thousands of people online and listened to at some of the industry’s largest events and in major publications.

We call these influencers disruptive because each one of these rockstars tells their unique story in a way that engages people and changes businesses for the best. They are disruptive not because they swim against the stream (though some of them certainly do!), but because of the fact that, in this crazy digital world, they have found ways of touching upon businesses’ real pain points and therefore became more relevant than any groundbreaking technology or tool.

And, if that weren’t enough, they are disruptive because they became our friends, transcending the bounds of technology to engage with us, members of a crazy hybrid species, people who are entranced with technology, yet deeply human-centered. We aren't an agency, nor are we a platform. we are neither and both and… and we are Mayple. No, not the syrup. But yes, just as sweet.

So here is our rundown of the UK’s most disruptive influencers, circa 2019

Sam Hurley

Sam Hurley

Founder (& Kindness Enthusiast) OPTIM-EYEZ

Without a doubt, a shift from revenue-focused marketing to customer centricity is needed in the UK!

Coupled with this: A mentality that devotedly serves retention, not 'churn and burn' strategies.

All too often, further overseas brands just do things better — I see it displayed every day by acquaintances, clients, and brands I buy from abroad.

Go above and beyond to please your customers and let them know they mean the world to you as a business. (Because they really do.)

There are many UK brands that put so much effort into gaining new customers, they seem to forget about their existing base. #SourTaste

Yeah, you know those T.V. adverts I'm referring to!

This is often seen throughout all departments of said companies, which can create truly awful experiences for people who should be enjoying a pleasant purchase journey.

In addition to the above, ultimate personalisation and a real understanding + accommodation of the multi-device customer path, please! 🙂

​​I've never advertised any of my services; I've always been dedicated to putting people and relationships first.

It really pays when you genuinely want your audience and customers to succeed and/or simply feel good — my story is only testament to this concept that will be alien to some.

(Additionally, I also use a lot of emojis.)😊👊🚀😁

Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer

CEO, PDCA Social | Social Media Speaker, Consultant, Author & Educator

“I believe that marketers need to become more data-driven and more focused on the end-to-end customer experience. This means that the marketing industry needs a lot more data scientists but also needs to be better at listening and conversing on social media where most public conversations about the brand occurs. Similar to how social media marketing ROI was difficult for many companies to measure before the appearance of Paid Social companies will need to realize that customer experience marketing is a necessity in order to thrive in today's increasingly difficult market and find different ways to measure the ROI of their efforts there.”

"I believe in 2025 you will have a scientific and artistic approach to marketing. The scientific part will be about having a completely data-driven approach to marketing which includes a greater share of marketing automation. On the other artistic side you have the exact opposite, where the "art" group of marketing will have to become better storytellers with the content they create and how they engage with social media users as well as influencers."

"I embody both a data-driven approach to marketing activities solely focused on hitting ROI and strategic marketing objectives while also having a user-first approach to organic social media marketing with a focus on generating user-generated content and developing relationships with influencers to replace in-house efforts that are simply no longer effective."

Lilach Bullock

Lilach Bullock

Founder, Lilach Bullock ltd.

In the coming years, we’ll probably struggle to find any successful business that doesn’t have a social media presence. Artificial Intelligence will surely have a significant impact on social media, and businesses will have to learn how to use it is a smart way to their communications and service benefit. New forms of content will certainly appear. Augmented reality and virtual reality will make their impact known. Businesses will be using a much wider variety of expertise to create their content and will have to be even more creative so they will be able to differentiate themselves.

Social media platforms themselves won’t change that much over time, but rather the way people use them. Businesses will have to adapt to ever-changing consumer behavior and get more and more agile with their marketing efforts so they can respond quickly. Proving ROI will continue to be one of the biggest challenges social media marketers face, and businesses will have to use more research and tools to do so.

I create holistic online marketing that motivates people to connect with brands. My mission is to translate my successful strategies to help businesses position themselves effectively in their industry.

Larry Kim

Larry Kim

CEO of MobileMonkey, Inc. and founder of WordStream, Inc

“Marketing is always going to be about finding the channels with the most leverage. Channels are always going to change, and it's impossible to know the exact platforms that will be dominant in 10 years, but you can look toward trends: machine learning, chat marketing channels and personalization. The smart marketer today will be investing in their training and capabilities where these opportunities lie. Then no matter what channels are available, they will have experience testing and designing funnels.”

"Businesses have been slow to adapt to the popular communication shift towards chat preferences. 75% of millennials say their preferred channel of communicating with businesses is via messaging, yet less than 1% of businesses around the world have developed the ability to automatically connect with customers and leads by chat. Developing effective chat automation or building chatbots is the biggest adjustment that marketers need to make right now. Other technological shifts like adapting strategy to AI, is actually not as big of an adjustment; most businesses will be able to follow the old standard ways of marketing for what the customer needs and create great content in order to optimize machine learning that is heavily weighted toward user interaction signals."

"Right now the most leverage can be gained from Facebook ads, typically in Instagram story placement, with a chatbot conversation as the post-click experience. Add Facebook Messenger ads to the marketing funnel for instant lead capture at a fraction of the cost per click and 10X the ROAS of traditional Facebook ads with traffic or conversion objectives.

Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker

Founder, Youpreneur.com

The game of online business has changed, and it’s going to continue to change. The problem with building your business based on ever-evolving rules is that they’re going to be different next week or next month or next year. No one can keep up with that. The main shift in attitude entrepreneurs can hugely enjoy is moving from trend-based marketing to personal brand based marketing. The world has changed the way consumers engage, and implementing a personal branding approach will keep them authentic, agile and engaging.

Marketing will be managed in a much more personal and agile way. Some entrepreneurs will be promoting their personality, instead of conceptual brands. I coined the term ‘Youpreneur’ to describe this strategy. It makes every decision so much easier because you’re not constantly trying to gauge the whims of the market. To do that, the first thing they need is to find who they are and what they want to be known for. That’s the single most important thing.

I help entrepreneurs become the go-to leaders in their industries; building profitable, sustainable business around them and those they want to serve. I do that in two steps that are combined with each other. The first is self-awareness - defining who you actually are, what you want to be known for and what you want to become known for. The second step is defining your target audience and their main pain points. Combine the two together and you have a Youpreneur strategy to start with.

Tamsen Webster

Tamsen Webster

Founder and Chief Message Strategist at Find The Red Thread

“I think that the most dramatic change the marketing industry should go through is the re-embracement of human nature as the engine for marketing technological advancement. People need to connect to brand and business emotionally, and marketing automation (which seems to be all the buzz nowadays) is still lagging behind.”

"I think that there are two parallel developments that will become intertwined. Technologically we are moving forward, speeding things up, connecting from all over the world. Psychologically, we’ll be looking back at what has and will always fundamentally be true and that is human nature. AI is essentially the culmination of both, and the better we get at that on the technological side, the more our marketing efforts will pay off."

"My approach is very human-centric, I believe that the emotional connection should be at the heart of every marketing step. My method is just my unique way of helping people tell the story of their big ideas."

Lukasz Zelezny

Lukasz Zelezny

Founder, SEO London

I think companies need to be more willing to be creative with their marketing, rather than just conforming to what everybody else is doing.  We know that SEO and PPC are valuable, and I’m definitely not suggesting that anyone stops implementing these campaigns, but I do think that if companies were more willing to think outside the box, they may start to see higher levels of success.

For example, I’ve worked with local companies who use HubSpot and MailChimp to send out newsletters.  And, while this strategy can work well for repeat custom, I also advise local businesses to also consider more traditional marketing methods like posting flyers and buying ad space in the local paper.  Obviously, this isn’t something that’s going to work as well for multinational companies - but for local it can still be a success.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that while the most common marketing techniques still work, and are still recommended, it’s definitely worth thinking outside of the box and this is something the industry should start to recommend.  Think about where your target audience spend much of their time, and think about the marketing methods you could employ that your competitors are ignoring.  Those who do this may be surprised by the success they achieve.

By 2025, I expect the marketing skills that many of us have today will be outdated and no longer useful. Similar to how SEO has changed drastically over the past ten years and how we’ve all had to evolve to adjust to the changes, I expect to see a similar thing happen with marketing in general.  Machine learning is growing by leaps and bounds, and those who have a generalist skill set will easily be overtaken.  Instead, we’ll all be specialising in niche areas like data analytics and neuromarketing.

I also don’t think lead generation will be as important as it is today, but instead customer retention will be what most companies are interested in.  And when you think about it, it makes sense.  Not only is customer retention cheaper, but most consumers are brand loyal, so when they find a company that they like working with, they’ll stick with them.  Marketers will be looking at the lifetime value of a customer too and doing what they can to extract the full amount from them.  This will require a whole different mindset to the lead generation style of marketing the majority of companies perform today.

When I help clients with marketing, the one thing I do before anything else is find out more about who they are.  I truly believe that in order for a campaign to be successful, you need to know who it is you are advertising to. After all, without understanding your target market, you can’t create the kind of ads, content, and marketing material that will bring you success.

I also make use of a number of tools to help me implement a good campaign.  I’m not afraid to use a variety of tools to help ensure I’m targeting the correct keywords.  I also perform A/B testing to ensure that every campaign I run is worth the client’s money.  There’s no point at all in continuing to pump dollars into a campaign that isn’t making that money back, but sometimes just a few tweaks is all that is needed.

Finally, I also make sure to keep my clients informed about what I am doing and ask for their feedback.  It’s happened before that a client will give me a small nugget of insight or make a suggestion that takes their campaign to the next level.  I’m not keen on the conformist approach.  I think the human touch and individualised marketing is much better.

Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner

Speaker, Author, Consultant and Chief Marketing Officer, CEO of Marketing Insider Group

“Marketing is under attack. I even like to say that "marketing has a marketing problem" because ask most people what marketing is and they will say ads. And who likes ads interrupting their favorite content? For example, there is no CMO at Coca Cola, Uber, Lyft, Taco Bell or Hyatt hotels. Those companies decided they didn't need what we used to think of as marketing. But I learned in college that marketing is supposed to be a 2-way conversation between a company and it's customers. But what executives see their marketers as the ones driving conversations with customers? Marketing leaders need to learn to explain to the business side that marketing is strategic, and adds value to the organization in a measurable way.”

"We used to run marketing like this: ask for a big budget, hire an agency to create ads. Run the ads. By 2025, effective marketers will be telling stories of real people, by real people, of real human challenges. We will be activating our customers, our partners, and mostly our employees to serve as brand storytellers. Then technology will tell us what works, where we need to promote that content, and how to generate business from the engagement."

"Every organization creates content. But I believe that most organizations don't answer their customers' questions or tell authentic stories. It's the natural instinct of the business to want to promote itself. But that doesn't work anymore. "Hi you don't know me but let me tell you about my product" is not effective anymore if it ever was. We help our clients to focus on customer value by answering their most basic questions. We help them to rank for the "pain point" keywords that their customers are using when they search for answers. Then we help them activate their employees’ expertise and storytelling ability to scale that success."

Katie King

Katie King

Founder, AI in Marketing

AI will supercharge marketing professionals with augmented intelligence across all of their tasks. It will revolutionise day-to-day practices and boost productivity. It is already being used in a variety of customer service functions. Beyond chatbots, AI’s capabilities are being used in airports for guest service guidebots, and AI also fuels a fully-robotised ‘team’ at the Henn na Hotel in Tokyo. AI can streamline some of the more expensive, repetitive, and time-consuming business processes. In order for these advancements to create value in the workplace, management and the workforce will have to adapt.

2025 will see marketing pros co-existing in the workplace with machines.  This will include chatbot assistants, and email assistants who will operate like a member of the team.  The big data insights from AI will reduce guesswork, giving marketing professionals the confidence that their strategy is correct.

My unique, deeply researched book showcases successes and failures of AI in marketing globally.  I combine this with an MBA and 30 years’ consulting experience to assist clients with training and advisory to help them apply AI to their businesses to future proof and achieve growth.

Brian Honigman

Brian Honigman

Social Media & Content Marketing Consultant & Adjunct Professor at NYU

“Marketers need to spend more time developing a strategy to guide their efforts. With a clear plan behind their programming, it's easier for a marketer to work towards the right goals for their organization, account for potential challenges, optimize for the right opportunities, and adjust to handle any issues that may arise. Marketing programs that are guided by a defined strategy, instead of an impulse or simply following the lead of others, can help an organization better position itself as a distinct, meaningful, and supportive voice in their industry.”

"By 2025 marketing will be more automated than ever, which is why it's important to focus on a marketing strategy that creates a distinctive perspective for your organization and meaningful dialogue with your customers. Having both ensures that regardless of what channels, techniques, and technology become popular or disappear into obscurity, it'll be easier for your business to adapt and continue to reach its customers."

"I educate marketers and corporate leaders on how to drive business results from their marketing by focusing on the right goals. It's common to get caught up following industry standards and duplicating what others are doing to reach customers, leading to less effective marketing. But with my support, it's more impactful to develop your own unique strategy that addresses the distinctive qualities of your organization and caters to the particular needs of your customer base."

Alvin Hussey

Alvin Hussey

Commercial Director at Beano Studios

Like all my comments, what I will say will probably be outdated. The most dramatic change the marketing industry is going through is dramatic change. For example the on-going debates around the social media platforms, the rise of Voice assistants such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or the increasing power of ‘kidfluencers’ in family purchasing decisions. Teams and agencies that are able to adapt and take advantage of this will hugely benefit. What seems to tie in these dramatic shifts is the power of consumers and the importance of truly understanding them as well as communicating your brand values is becoming more paramount than ever.

Please don’t quote this back to me in 2025 (which sounds super futuristic with Timecop 2 being set then)! Perhaps bigger organisations will set up units that each act as ‘lean startups’ able to adapt and react to changing behaviours. I do wonder if planning will focus even more about engaging particular niche communities and generated increased results from them, rather than targeting a broad demographic to increase a ‘pipeline’.

I have spent nearly a decade working at innovative startups. My approach has always been to view content from the perspective of a consumer (whether that is a client or a member of the target audience for a campaign) and not just rely on individual biases (e.g. Well I don't do that so... .). At Beano Studios, we achieve this with insights to the 6-12-year-old audience, who are changing the rules when it comes to digital behaviors and opinions. With our ‘kids-first’ consultancy’, “Beano for Brands”, we help brands to “Think More Kid” to better engage with kids and their families.

David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott

Wall Street Journal Best Seller Author

“In a digital world where our lives are increasingly cluttered and superficial, we’re missing something tremendously powerful: genuine human connection. People are going to be most invested in that which creates a sense of intimacy, warmth, and shared meaning in a world that would otherwise relegate them to a statistic. The relationship we build with our customers is more important than the products and services we sell them. I call this a fanocracy.”

"It can be scary, at first, to focus relentlessly on intangibles like community, generosity, and fun, rather than squeezing every penny from each interaction. But those who apply the strategies in Fanocracy are more likely to dominate their categories."

"The fundamental ingredient for true fandom — meaningful and active human connection — can mean a shift in the way a company communicates with their customers. They are more forthright, helpful and transparent. They create new experiences by turning customers into like-minded, enthusiastic fans.
A fanocracy is a culture where fans rule, and that’s what I see emerging in today’s world. We are moving into an era that prizes people over products."

David Bain

David Bain

Founder & Host, Digital Marketing Radio

The marketing industry is currently going through a massive change, partly because of the data and targeting options available to marketers, and partly because of the way that people consume content. However, the biggest challenge that marketers might face in the future could be understanding and appearing in recommendation engines, such as voice search. Consumers won’t browse for as many alternatives in the future. If you’re not top of the pile, you’ll be nowhere.

Marketing will be planned around audiences and buyer journeys in 2025. It will no longer be sufficient just to target consumers just before the point of purchase. You will need to build trust and own the relationship well before then to give yourself a chance of making the sale at some point in the future.

I use my “4H Content Marketing Model” to map the right content to consumers at the right time. Content is paramount to marketing success and I don’t plan marketing channel campaigns until I consider the content that audiences are likely to wish to interact with at every step along the journey. Audiences come first, followed by buyer journeys, then content. And then after that, marketing channels.

Jamie Turner

Jamie Turner

Author, Speaker, and CEO of 60SecondMarketer.com

“Here’s a fact that many marketers don’t want to hear – people hate advertising. They hate ads that interrupt their lives. They hate sales pitches from adverstisers. And they hate the inauthenticity of the whole approach. But every single person who hates advertising can also name a “favorite ad.” We all have a favorite ad, so why can’t marketers find a way to make their campaigns more enjoyable, fun, and engaging? That’s the biggest challenge moving ahead – how to make your marketing campaigns more enjoyable and fun to engage with.”

"The answer most people will give to this question is that AI will be planning and managing your campaigns. And, while that’s true, I think the pendulum will have swung back towards a more human approach by 2025. In the end, AI will only take us so far, and the smart brands will be swinging back to a more balanced Human + AI approach by 2025."

"There are three things marketers will have to do moving ahead. The first is to make the marketing campaigns more engaging. The second is to make the campaigns human and humane. And the third is to try to make their campaigns ubiquitous. Many people hate marketing campaigns, so we need to see companies learn how to weave their brands into the fabric of the consumer’s life. If consumers are going to push back against marketing, then marketers will have to figure out ways to be part of the consumers life, rather than just interrupting it."

Mark Sean Elliott

Mark Sean Elliott

MD and Founder, Sparks4Growth Marketing Agency

The marketing industry is at risk and so are business customers. I work mainly with B2B clients and I constantly see clients at risk from poor quality suppliers. Those who promise the earth e.g. “we promise to get you to number one on Google” and yet deliver nothing that generates value or ROI. This hits the customer hard. It hits the reputation of the UK Marketing Industry even harder.

These low cost, low delivered value providers, send a message to the Market that services such as web development, SEO or social media are ‘quick and easy to achieve’. Of course they are neither of these things, at least if the customer hopes to generate business leads or sales, specialists are needed. The true value, time and expertise, is perceivably reduced and an over price sensitive market has emerged. One where price over measured quality leaves customers vulnerable to exploitation and often no ROI.

The UK Marketing Industry as a whole would do well to self-regulate and set up a Trust Mark like Check-A-Trade, to root out poor practices and give customer confidence. I know initially that is not going to be popular but I am more interested in integrity than ‘quick win’ popularity.

There is a juncture coming in Marketing, a new panacea, whereby the dominant channels such as social media and search engines are reaching saturation point. And that people are also reaching a saturation point of messages, channels, reducing ‘value’ from services available and ROI effectiveness reducing for businesses.

By 2025 I anticipate that deep machine learning, true AI and big data will help to shape marketing planning. Managing data will become even more paramount. Informed from voice, visual, geo-tracking and buying intent anticipation far more refined than today.

My unique approach is uphold quality and simplify. To focus on clients’ KPIs and Objectives first, then solutions 2nd. I have developed a Stop-Start-Continue framework that translates to both technical and non-technical decision makers. It is growth focused marketing.

Tamar Weinberg

Tamar Weinberg

Bestselling Author & Digital Marketing Strategy

“I believe that marketing and customer experience should work more hand in hand. The reason is simple: marketing is all about company awareness through broadcasts, creative storytelling, etc. But it's not as relationship-driven as the customer support experience. Therefore, it's imperative that marketing and customer experience work a lot more closely together, because a happy customer is a marketing vehicle, and you want your customers to tell the proper story.”

"I've honestly been preaching the customer experience journey in the context of great marketing for the last 6 years, yet few organizations really have an integrated entity that caters to the collaboration between both arms of the company. I believe that it's a slow and steady evolution, but marketing in 2025 should see a lot more cohesiveness in that respect."

"Marketing is a big part of putting the company on your radar, and that itself works fine, but we need to bring the people who consume the marketing materials into the fray. This is not your typical marketing these days, because marketing works independently. Here's a basic example, but just this past week, I saw an ad for a product on Facebook that I was genuinely interested in. I reached out to the company on Facebook with some questions and heard nothing. Four days later, I decided to follow up with the company in their standard communications channel, which is email support, explaining that they need to maintain a presence where their customers are, especially if they're advertising! Their response was "this is our standard support channel, not Facebook." No! You need to engage where your customers are. There's no excuse. But that's the obvious part. The less obvious part is that the tone of your communications can't be old-school, can't be formal, and can't be dismissive. If you want to gain and most importantly, retain customers, you make every single effort to communicate with them in the right way, where it can't bite you in the behind. Remember, your customers can copy/paste anytime we want and paint you in a negative light — we all have that power nowadays."

Teresa Heath-Wareing

Teresa Heath-Wareing

Director, THW Marketing Limited

As the world moves more online, marketers are given amazing opportunities to make the customer journey and sales process more tailored and personal to each customer. We will be able to integrate slick automation processes with personal interaction through things like video messaging and voice messaging. Businesses should focus more on understanding their customers, building a community and loving them, rather than chasing follower numbers of social media.

Marketing planning will be very customer focused and I see functions merging into similar roles and using platforms for multiple reasons. Such as the sales, marketing and customer services roles working closer together and all being part of the customer journey which will become the focus rather than the business areas. Platforms such as messenger will be used by all departments of the business and through them you may experience sales, marketing and customer services.

Having been in Marketing for 15 years and also embracing new strategies I feel there is a unique approach to balance the both. To use foundation principles with new technology and platforms

Robert Rose

Robert Rose

Founder of The Content Advisory

“The most dramatic shift for marketing is the shift from the classic campaign-centric (project-centric) operating model into the always-on media operation that is evolving today. Today, the decreasing amount of trust that consumers have in media (and brands), combined with the fragmentation of audiences across digital channels means that today’s consumer is more informed, less loyal, and more skeptical than ever before. So, it becomes important for businesses that want to excel at marketing to adapt to delivering engaging experiences at each and every opportunity they get to gain the customer’s attention.”

"By 2025, marketing will not much look like it does today. It will be planned and managed much like a media organization works today. Content-driven experiences will be at the center of the operation, and marketing professionals will be working in an “always-on” organization to continually attract, engage, and retain audiences that are potential customers."

"Content is at the heart of all business communications.  That means that content – and the business’ ability to create, manage, and measure it well, is one of the single most strategic functions in the enterprise today.  But, unfortunately, most businesses don’t operate this way.  Content is currently everyone’s job, and no one’s strategy.  This is where we bring a unique approach. Mastering content strategy is not simply a creative, governance, or technological challenge. It is both emotional and logical.  It is a cultural shift. An intelligent content strategy evolves the way business teams create, collaborate, and collect insight on every communication. At TCA we are a consulting and education firm, helping to bridge the art and science of strategic content for the modern business."

Jonathan Pollinger

Jonathan Pollinger

Social Media Trainer

The customer is at the heart of marketing and yet with the rise of automation and AI, this is sometimes forgotten.

The dramatic change that the industry should go through is to truly put the customer first and to focus on giving them a great experience. So at the start of the marketing process there should be greater market research to really understand what the customer wants and what problems and issues they have that the product or service can resolve. During the sales process, conversation and engagement with prospects should be paramount and personalised as much as possible. It's still the case that many businesses talk at prospects rather than with them. A great example of a company doing it right is IKEA who engage customers through a community - IKEA Family - which they are welcomed to with a personalised video.

Once the sale has been made, marketing shouldn't come to an end although in many cases it does. Existing customers can refer new customers and they can buy again or upgrade so conversation, engagement and where appropriate support needs to continue.

For example, John Lewis and HP provide excellent customer care.

In summary, the customer should be at the forefront in the marketing strategy, not the business or the product.

Planning and management will be areas where AI will play a huge approach. For example, CRM, content planning and data analysis are areas were AI can improve quality and reduce manual resources.

My unique approach is to put my clients first and always be available to answer one-off questions and solve problems. In fact, I do this for non-clients too. I keep on top of the latest trends and new features of social networks to help keep my clients ahead of the game.

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Founder at ViralContentBee.com

“Technology is the biggest disruptive force here. It's already changing the marketing industry dramatically. The world is moving in a pretty scary direction: These days machines interact with brands on a regular basis. Machines can now call and schedule an appointment at a nearby business. Machines can perform web searches and select search results. Machines can plan your future shopping lists and remind you what you may have missed adding to cart.

In the future, machines will play an increasingly bigger part in the purchase journey and businesses should start preparing for that now:

– Tools like Alter allow you to create a smart self-learning bot that would interact with your site visitors on your behalf and help guide them through the conversion funnels
– Tools like Text Optimizer helps adapt your content strategy to Google's (and its users') expectations and assist you in understanding how a machine may be understanding your topic.

There are many more tools that teach businesses how to interact and better understand machines but these two are the easiest to start with.”

"Not an easy question! I tend to never look that far! But I think these tactics will be essential:
Creating voice-operated websites. Imagine people using your site without ever needing to type anything. Using the navigation, adding things to cart, giving voice commands, etc. In the future there will be less typing and more voice interaction.
Searching by voice and video. There are already traces of that with Google Lenses but there will be even more. It will be enough to show a cute dress to your iPhone for it to find it on your site to buy.
Becoming part of the brand. If you are not a huge brand, become part one. Being part of Amazon, Google Shopping and eBay algorithms means occasional brand discovery now. It's going to be your survival in the future. Consumers use traditional search less and less. If they want to buy anything, they head straight to Amazon and find products there. And it's going to be only worse. As these guys are collecting their users' data and serving their customers what they want even before they know they wanted it. You will have to get your products there."

"I believe anyone should have a voice. Whether it's a well-known brand with a large  following, or a an enthusiastic newbie with lots of ideas - there should be a way for everyone to get heard.

Therefore, project after project, I come up with ideas on how to connect people in a most meaningful way without having them spend years building their following or reputation. For example, MyBlogU allows anyone to contribute to expert interview and share ideas which then will be published one someone's blogs. And Viral Content Bee allows any website - big or small - to put their content in front of eager social media users who will be encouraged to share high-quality relevant content to their social media feeds.

Both the projects connect people based on mutual benefit. It's the power of collaboration I am a huge advocate of."

Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis

Keynote Speaker & Trainer in Social Media & Content Marketing

Marketing has been split in 2 areas recently: Brand and Data. Both are important but it seems like organisations are more focused on the data side of marketing. If this is the case then I think marketers need to have more of a business development mind about them.

Understanding the sales process from awareness to relationships with existing customers is important. Marketers also need to be able to speak with confidence and influence other members of staff including senior management and sales. Marketers do a vital job and we should shout about it and get people to respect what we do.

This will sound crazy but bare with me. I have been working full time in digital marketing since 2001 and over the last 18 years I can honestly say nothing has changed professionally. All businesses still need something to sell, someone to sell it to and somewhere to sell it...but what has had an impact are 2 key things: people's behaviour and technology and they both go hand in hand. As a trainer who teaches organisations to not just go through a digital transformation but how to continue working in this space, I focus on traditional business objectives and add a digital lens across them as that is where I see most organisations struggling. Marketing has become a lot more data-driven, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Even though data is key as well as tech I do hope marketers have a focus on the behaviour aspect as well and remember the human aspect. Tech comes and goes quickly but changes in habits can take longer and marketers need to be careful not to forget this.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Deirdre Breakenridge

CEO of Pure Performance Communications

“Incorporating ethical practices and standards into marketing should be among the most dramatic changes to expect. With artificial intelligence and marketing automation, consumers want to trust brands with their personal data. A big part of this process is communication transparency, good judgment and ethical practices surrounding how companies collect, use and secure the data. Many companies may be looking at ethics as something that comes out of the communications or PR department. Have you heard this familiar statement, “Ethics is the job of the PR people to be the conscience of the company.” True, however, ethics in marketing has to penetrate the entire organization at every level and position. Whether you are incorporating AI and automation into your marketing practices currently or you’re looking to jumpstart the process, then it’s critical to take the lead in your approach to ethics and your definition. Every business must define how it wants to show up to gain the trust of its customers. One breach is all it takes to put trust and credibility in question.”

"By 2025, consumers will experience far more automated processes when interacting with their favorite brands. Yet, human capital and emotional intelligence are still critical elements in building your business relationships. Sure, machines can make the process faster and customers appreciate quick and targeted information as well as the expedited service. Yet, you still need to place an emphasis on the value of the human relationship. You can’t forget part of your marketing programs, from the planning phases through launch and relationship management. If you’re serving consumers, then it’s about people. They require higher Emotional Quotient (EQ), especially when negative issues and less than pleasant experiences surface. Technology and social media intelligence help us to collect large amounts of data to get more “intimate” and understand our customers’ behaviors. However, what truly separates us from the machine is our ability to build genuine relationships, use our intuition, show compassion and create trusted environments through real understanding. Planning and managing with the human “touch" will always be needed as AI and automation become standard practice in 2025."

"We create connections, engagement and build relationships from a FEEL First perspective. Genuine relationships require the ability to FEEL or face Fears, engage with Empathy, use Ethics and good judgment and to unleash the Love for your brand. If you can’t FEEL First, for the people who you want to reach, then the amount of time and resources invested into strategic planning efforts and the execution of your campaigns may not produce the loyal and unbreakable bonds you’re looking to build. Months of research have uncovered the high expectation Millennials have surrounding communication and the type of interactions they would like to have with their brands and company leaders. Unfortunately, Millennials are less than satisfied with the way business leaders are sharing information. Research has also pointed out how Millennials find communication, especially on social media, to be disingenuous, unethical, and lacking compassion. As a result, our strategy for clients includes a FEEL First approach to bring humanity, empathy, ethics, and passion back into communication. FEEL is the bridge that closes the gap between different generations that need to improve in the relationship and trust building department."

Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor

Co-Founder & COO @ Ladder.io

Because of the UK's historical significance in the marketing industry, we have a tonne of veteran traditional marketers who are fantastic at creative but out of their depths when it comes to digital channels. Unfortunately to date they have largely seen tech and data as a threat to be criticized and rejected, rather than another source of creative ideas. At the same time we have a new crop of digital marketers who are amazing at data and technology, but are either ignoring or slowly rediscovering marketing concepts that were already solved problems 60 years ago - that does nothing for their credibility and opens them up to criticism from the traditional marketing crowd. The best marketers from both sides will learn to respect and learn from each other because the best performing campaigns come from both creative and analytical disciplines interacting together in interesting new ways.

A lot more of the planning process will be automated - rather than relying on excel spreadsheets and memory of what worked before, instead machine learning algorithms will surface opportunities and make recommendations. That will free up marketers to really be more creative to find novel ways to capitalize on the opportunities. There will also be more predictive tools available - imagine being able to run your ideas through a system that helps predict with relative certainty which ones are most likely to cause the desired impact. With most marketing fully digitized every campaign will be accessible programmatically like Facebook and Google ads are now- from TV ads to radio and even offline billboards. That said most optimization will be automated so the real lever to pull will be creative - whichever brand comes up with the most novel and engaging creative through a combination of emotion and data will win the market.

We live in both worlds, creative and data. I studied Economics, learned to code and spent most of my career in digital performance marketing, but our agency was born out of BBH, one of the world's leading creative agencies. Over the years we've found that the best creative drives order of magnitude effects on performance and that data and technology don't stifle creativity they unleash it. We have a data-driven agile approach at our core, but unlike most performance marketers we actually respect the creative process and know that most 'modern' marketing techniques have actually been in practice for years under different names. We're also a little different in that we actually work on early stage startups and can keep up with the best of them - when we work with more mature businesses they're astounded by our speed and efficiency, because most agencies don't touch startups and therefore operate at enterprise level speed. Other than that I was recently told by a client "all agencies are crap so you should choose the one you like" - so read our blog and see if you like us!

Tom Pick

Tom Pick

Independent Digital Marketing Consultant

“Marketers need to (and the best will) realize that automation technology is a tool like a hammer: it can be very helpful, but it can also cause a great deal of damage if misused. It's not unusual for buyers to receive the same "introductory" email from a company or individual several times -- even AFTER responding. That makes marketers look incompetent and erodes brand trust.Automation is most valuable for improving efficiency at top-of-funnel marketing. But it must be used carefully in order to help move buyers to the next stage, rather than being obviously inauthentic and driving them away.”

"There will be an increasing move toward frameworks, an effort to "process-ize" marketing. For example, the book Building a Story Brand and Myk Pono's Strategic Messaging Map provide a model for brand messaging and product positioning. Books like The Perfection of Marketing and Dan Martell's videos apply a broader framework to the practice of marketing.Those types of models can be very helpful, though only to a point. Marketing is still fundamentally a creative activity - and has to be managed as such. Data is important but it can't answer every question or solve every problem. Just as an example, Facebook has possibly the largest trove of data, best analytical tools, and the biggest team of any marketing organization, yet it still routinely bombards users with irrelevant ads, pointless alerts, and nonsensical event notifications."

"B2B decision makers buy based on two factors: competence and trust. Competence is the simpler (though not always easy) hurdle to overcome, it's basically just "can you solve my problem"? It's about product features and functions, but also about demonstrating that you really understand the customer's problems and speak their language.Trust is tougher. It involves case studies, customer testimonials, social media engagement, (in some cases) industry certifications, and influencer marketing. I help clients understand, navigate, and optimize those processes."

Joe Williams

Joe Williams

Search Engine Optimization Teacher at Tribe SEO

“It’s tempting to go after the largest number of people possible. This is mass marketing and if you’re just starting out or struggling with sales, it’s what a lot of people do. But here’s the thing, unless you sell a regular commodity that you can buy from anywhere, your marketing message needs to be personal. It needs to feel like it was written not just for your target audience but for the person reading it.If you can’t address your target market’s fears and worries… if you can’t provide a solution that overcomes the problems that they face… why should they buy from you? Marketing needs to become and stay more personal.”

"This is how marketing will be planned and managed in 2025. True marketing isn’t merely persuading people through clever copywriting. Although that can help, true marketing starts with having a product that people want and offering it at the right time.Now, image your target market is flowing down a river and they are going in one direction. You’ll want tap into where they are going, right? You don’t want to fight against the tide or paddle upstream, so you’ll want to be right in front of them and let them come to you.In 2025, smart marketing will align market research and product design to position itself to where the market is heading. It will take industry insight, courage and timing to say “no” to what appears to be working right now and “yes” to the one thing you can deliver better than anyone else in the future."

"I’m in the online marketing training space. People are results driven and short of time. My courses focus on moving my students from where they are now to where they want to be and in the fewest number of steps. I do this through engaging videos and frameworks that are easy and clear to follow."

Barry Adams

Barry Adams

SEO Consultant & Public Speaker & Educator

“Right now I feel marketers are either very data-driven, or very creative-driven. There doesn't seem to be a lot of overlap between those two approaches, and that needs to change. The best campaigns take what data has to offer and combine it with creative thinking to make something unique and exciting.

Creativity in marketing needs data to keep it honest and accountable, and data in marketing needs creativity to make it human and be able to reach people. Combining the best of both worlds will be something the industry needs to figure out if it wants to stay relevant in the future.”

"I see a growing shift towards tenancy on big platforms. In 2025, almost all marketing will be focused on a brand's space on a third-party platform like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. Rather than build your own properties and trying to grow an audience, brands need to find ways to maximise their visibility on these rented platforms because that's where all their customers will be.

I believe in 2025 that marketers will increasingly focus on generating and optimising data feeds for these third party platforms for maximum visibility. These feeds will contain things like product data, blog content, voice search answers, and even web components that tie in to the main platforms' systems. From basic Amazon product feeds to AMP webpages and structured data, marketing in the near future will be all about integrating your data with the big platforms."

"My motto is that I'm only as good as my last project. So for every client I want to do the best work possible, delivering as much value as I can. It takes years to build a good reputation but only one wrong project to destroy it, so I treat every client as a precious commodity that needs to feel truly appreciated and valued as a business. I don't think that's particularly unique or innovative, but this approach has certainly done well for me."

John G. Courtney

John G. Courtney


“We have seen over the past few years that marketing has started to go full circle - pre-digital it was all strategy, 5 P’s and offline, then when the internet came in, marketing and digital were seen initially as two different things. Digital was “gaming” Google with hidden text and two-way links which then morphed over time to quality content engaged by the right audience. We have already started to see the pivot back to core marketing principles of strategy, 5 (or 7 or even 9) P’s and offline and online working together. I believe this trend will continue and the key to it all will be a marketing strategy which will replace digital tactics as the main driver of success.”

"What is the biggest change businesses should go through to be fit for marketing in 2025 - A growing focus on marketing strategy rather than digital tactics and the returned prominence of the Marketing Strategist - be that the Marketing Director or CMO or whatever they may be called. Digital tactics will remain in use but strategy trumps all in the future as it did in the past because that’s the fundamental that drives all success. Strategic thinking is something that can be taught but it requires a certain type of mind that can unpick a knotted ball of string, analyse the threads and then put them back together in a better order to get better results. I personally feel that there will be a huge amount of connected data that comes from all the automation that will be happening by 2025 so it is more likely that you’ll need grey hairs to help interpret the strategic insights to grow the business."

"Your unique approach that helps businesses get there - Our Advisors all have entrepreneurs’ battle scars, having grown businesses, often from a garage or bedroom to dozens or hundreds of staff. They are available as part-time Executive Directors (CEO’s, MD’s, Digital Directors, Ops Directors, etc) from one day a month to 3 days a week, and both short-term to help transitioning or to fill a recruitment gap to a long term resource. Or also available as Chairs, NEDs or Board Advisors. Many are trained in strategy. Most have grey hairs, some have none. What they all have is experience."

Andrew and Pete

Andrew and Pete

Keynote Speakers, Authors, Youtubers

“Marketers should stop trend-jumping and trend-bashing because there isn’t one size fits all for any industry. Work out the best way to engage YOUR potential customers, and do that consistently, whether that’s with the latest trend or now. Put customer trust and loyalty at the forefront of your marketing strategy.”

"In 2025 the only thing that is certain is that it will be different from today. That’s what keeps marketers on their toes. You can either complain about the latest Facebook algorithm change, whinge about how awful bots are - or instead focus on what’s best for your business and your customers today.
In 2025 - don’t be worried about what’s happening in 2030. Worry about what you’re doing in 2025 that is going to get you to 2030. We think we can all apply that to 2019 too if you catch our drift."

"With ATOMIC we help businesses make the right business and marketing decisions based on their business. We combine creative thinking and logical decision making, which we think are the 2 key ingredients of any marketing campaign.

The first step is to work out what to STOP doing. So much marketing is done for the sake of doing it. We help our clients work out what to stop, giving them time back to make better, more creative decisions."

Andrew Grill

Andrew Grill

TEDx & Futurist Keynote Speaker

“As a Practical Futurist, I try and provide my audiences with a view into the near-term future to help equip them for what’s new and what’s next. I think we are not too far away from the age of the “Digital Agent” – our own personal assistant that will not only manage the minute of our daily lives, but also do “digital deals” with the digital agents of our suppliers and providers. This means that we will have to start writing ads for robots as we just won’t see ads anymore. Our agents will become the gatekeepers and use AI to screen which advertisers get through and which are blocked. This is likely to turn traditional advertising as we know it on its head for all the right reasons and hand control back to the consumer.”

"By 2025, we are likely to be in the age of the digital agent. “Interruption marketing” will no longer be a profitable tactic and the use of AI to learn how to get messages through our digital agents to us will become the norm. Planning marketing will be much more complicated than the “programmatic” tactics used in 2019. A true value exchange will exist as consumers will demand a fair value exchange in how their data is used and advertisers will have to respond in a dynamic way. Keeping tabs on the individual, dynamic deals negotiated by digital agents will fundamentally change the discipline of marketing as we know it."

"I’ve had over 30 years’ experience as a Futurist in both the pre and post internet/mobile world. My mantra for this whole time has been “to GET digital you need to BE digital” By this I mean you need to lean forward and embrace new technologies and platforms and actively use them to understand how they work in practice. Having a very broad cross-industry approach to innovation I try out anything new in order for me to be able to explain it to clients and understand how it might disrupt a business or entire industry. My c-suite clients have learned to expect a completely unbiased and hype-free view of a disrupted world."

Adrian Niculescu

Adrian Niculescu

Marketing Expert

“Marketing was and will always be at the crossroad between human emotions and technology. While the technology will massively evolve in the next years at the highest rate the Planet Earth has ever witnessed, our core structure as human beings with our minds and bodies will remain mostly the same.  This could only change if the chip implants will become mainstream but until that moment I don't see any modifications in how our mind operates.  People have the same emotions, fears and triggers that make them do something like our ancestors had,  just that the context of manifestation evolves. We, as marketers, once we create an ideal customer profile for a certain product or service will know more than a person who fits the profile knows about himself or herself. We will know on average the problems keep them up at night, the discussions running in their heads, the triggers that will make them add the card to checkout to make a purchase or to make the call to place an order. We will also know the hooks that will make them pay attention to our social media posts when they browse the social media feeds, the stories that will make them read more and definitely the offers to convert as many of them from prospects to leads and buyers. The technology makes very easy to reach these ideal customers and with such power also comes great responsibility and I believe that here will have to happen the most dramatic change.

If we can create the systems and strategies to sell everything we want to our target market we would have to be very careful and add as much value to our customers so once the sales are made the products and services offered to improve their lives and not the opposite. Both ethical and unethical companies, products and services bid for the same customers and usually the sales are made based on the pitch and not all the time the quality of the purchase. The act of buying is followed by fulfillment or lack of it for the promise made at the moment when the payment changed hands between the client and the seller. ”

"We are entering the era of robots and a lot of the marketing tech will be AI-driven. While my desire is that my creativity never be replaced by a robot :) I see the marketing shifting towards the best mediums where the clients and the potential clients are digesting the information. Now video, chatbots, and voice are slowly taking over. By 2025 I expect new mediums to arise, new platforms to make current highly successful ones obsolete and the personalization of messages and experiences to reach levels we don't even have ideas about nowadays."

"My unique approach is that I always connect the marketing with sales, ROI and business growth. It is very easy today to create a marketing campaign - there are tons of tools and resources available. What is not easy is to create or to grow sustainable a business using ethical marketing strategies, tools, and tactics. Marketing is like a habit, it is not a one-time event, it has to be a persistent activity, trying a lot of things, pushing what is working and pivot from what is not working. A client in my case is always buying not the marketing consulting or service themselves but the value added by marketing in the business which has to be easily trackable and measurable."

Justin Pearse

Justin Pearse

Partner at Bluestripe Media & Editor New Digital Age

“The marketing industry has taken great strides to address the many ‘isms’ it is responsible for and suffers from, in both its output and internal operations, from sexism to racism. It’s now time to tackle the often overlooked final sim, ageism. The reason we launched Rebels, Misfits & Innovators: 50over50 on the publication we own, www.newdigitalage.co, was to celebrate the incredibly talented and prodigious people in our industry who just happen to be aged 50 or over. The industry’s obsession with youth means we’re wasting huge amounts of talent and experience in an industry crying out for both.”

"Increasing amounts of all elements of marketing will be both planned and managed automatically through the use of technology. AI is already making a huge impact in areas such as programmatic advertising and is fast creeping into the more creative areas of marketing where human beings were once thought the only ones capable. The need for human creativity and expertise won’t be diminished but its application will shift to harnessing the power of technologies like AI and XR."

"Through both Bluestripe Media, the comms agency I co-own, and New Digital Age, the publication owned by Bluestripe, we’re dedicated to using the power of authentic content and communications to add value to the digital economy. Through the clients we work for and the readers that visit New Digital Age."


Back to the future

Responding to new consumer demands and adopting innovative engagement profiles. Unearthing new management methods that combine brand strategy and performance marketing. Establishing and nurturing long term relationships and implementing AI in marketing. While changes and, up until recently, focused on developing and integrating new technology tools and solutions, what we can say for sure, is that future trends will have to be hybrid to meet customers’ human-centric demands - after all, technology does not stand on its own. And in the heart of marketing, the human factor and relationships are always present. Only brands, businesses, managers, and professionals that think through relationship-oriented lenses, and see technology as the key enabler and not the leader, will succeed in achieving their goals. This, written by a technology company - who would have thought.

Mayple is a hybrid solution that integrates technology and human touch, that empowers businesses and marketing talents to come together and achieve superior marketing results. We act as businesses’ digital marketing guardians and secure high levels of performance and service, provided by independent marketing experts.

Mayple matches businesses with top performing and vetted marketing experts that fit their unique needs, and consistently ensures high performance and service levels.