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Future of Marketing Interview with Mark Schaefer: Is Search Dead?

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Future of Marketing Interview with Mark Schaefer: Is Search Dead?

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What is the Future of Marketing?

Will it be defined by the implications of the social business? Or the rise of content marketing? Will it be found in the solution to digital marketing challenges in our mobile-connected world?  Will we see new models required to activate employee personal brands? Or is Big Data the Future of Marketing?

As you can see from the examples linked above, I have made plenty of marketing predictions on the future of marketing myself over the last few years. But now I want to bring in ideas from others.  Time to mix it up!

So over the last few weeks, I have reached out to a number of the great minds in marketing – people I respect, across a variety of disciplines, and asked them to answer a few basic questions and to provide their own view on the future of marketing.

In this first installment, I am proud to bring you an interview with the infamous Mark Schaefer who ponders whether search, as we know it, is about to disappear . . .

Mark Schaefer on the Future of MarketingQ: Mark, please tell us about yourself?

I’ve been working in business for 30 years (but shhhh … we don’t have to tell anybody that!) primarily in marketing roles.  Today, I teach at Rutgers University, blog at {grow}, specialize in corporate social media workshops, consult, speak at conferences, and I’ve written three marketing books, including Return On Influence. So, I keep busy!

Q: Tell us about a tough or interesting challenge you face?

I consider myself a marketing strategist but I’m best known for my work in social media marketing. To be honest, this communication channel is still quite misunderstood, even though it has been on the table for 3-4 years now. A continual challenge is not only working on marketing progress, but educating leaders so they can make smart decisions in this space.

The most over-looked factor in social media success is coincidentally the most important one — corporate culture. I begin each consulting engagement with an honest assessment of the company’s cultural readiness to move forward with a social media strategy and then recommend counter-measures to get it in gear. AT the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how willing you are, or how much money you’re ready to put into it if the culture can’t support it.  It’s really rewarding to help companies make progress in this area!

Q: Do you have an interesting or provocative prediction on the future of marketing?

There are quite a few trends I’m interested in, the technological transformation of government and education, the advent of augmented reality, and the continual churn on the social web. But if I had to pick something “provocative,” it would be that search as we know it is about to disappear.

The information density on the web is ridiculous and getting worse every day. “Knoxville pizza” returns 8 million entries, none of them connected to my social graph or recommendations from my friends. This is why Facebook is going to dominate search. Today, Facebook IS the Internet for Millennials.

Facebook search has tripled in the past two years even before the company announced their new search product recently.  To some young people, Google is already obsolete because they never leave Facebook as it is. These people are your future customers and employees by the way.

The new Facebook search engine will provide meaningful ”warm” results, cutting through those millions of entries to deliver something that it KNOWS you will like. How will it do that? C’mon. Facebook already knows you better than your spouse does. They just need to connect the dots … and they will.

I want to thank Mark for contributing his thoughts and invite you to check out Mark’s blog, follow him on Twitter @MarkwSchaefer and check out his latest book, Return On Influence.

So what do you think? Is search dead? Let me know what you think in the comments below.



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