Data is king

The first mistake that anyone can make is thinking that digital marketing will still be a subset of marketing in general in the future.

In future, all marketing will be digital.

Recently, I watched an excellent documentary on YouTube about the modern phenomenon that is Amazon. The first part covered how Amazon extended beyond its initial offering of books into all retail items and then dominated every sector it entered.

But its underlying strategy was never to dominate just retail. It has already done that and, astonishingly, now accounts for 40% of all online purchases in America. There are already 200M Amazon Prime subscribers, which is a great customer base to work with, and this number is still growing.

The aim of Amazon would appear to be to dominate commerce everywhere. Amazon launched its cloud service, AWS, in 2006 and today, more than 1m businesses use it to manage their data in the cloud.

And they are giving us a glimpse into the future with the new products they have launched. The Amazon Echo and Alexa have invaded millions of homes already, and (unless you are opt-out in the settings), it is listening all the time to what is said in your home. They have launched similar devices for your car. READ ALSO: Which is better, OpenSea or Raible?


The name of the game is data.

Big Tech wants to know what you are doing 24/7 and then use AI-powered apps to personalise ads that have been tailored to your whims and desires.

We will see a move away from the cloud to edge computing where billboards, lampposts and possibly CCTVs will immediately recognise when you walk or drive into their space. The background database, continually updated, will know your browsing history and everything about you. The software will then suggest restaurants and coffee shops you may like and special offers on goods and services that may appeal to you and which are available locally.

Given that data is becoming universally recognised as a vital business asset, one wonders when we will see the day that it starts appearing on company balance sheets.

Big companies typically use scores of applications to manage different parts of their business. They may use SAP as enterprise software, SalesForce as a marketing tool and scores of other applications. One of the challenges ahead will be to harmonise the various formats of data that big organisations work with every day.

The future will belong to those who can best help large corporates to harmonise all these different data sources and then run advanced AI-powered analytics to generate insights and early warning flags. The sharp-eyed among you will already have spotted that one company has already emerged that can offer this and is achieving rapid growth in customer acquisition. Software experts seem to be in awe of the added value their software can bring.

The era of the MetaVerse

A few months ago, Mark Zuckerberg made a massive announcement that Facebook was being re-branded as Meta and made an enormous commitment to help create a new digital reality called The MetaVerse. Mark has invested a lot of his personal reputation on this gambit and perhaps wants to be remembered by history as someone who was a pioneer who made it happen. He certainly has the financial resources to shake things up.

Meanwhile, Epic Games, the brilliant game developer founded by Tim Sweeney and responsible for Fortnite and many other popular games, has set aside $1B to invest in the MetaVerse.

The MetaVerse will be a digital reality where we enter using VR headsets such as the Oculus. Games such as The Sandbox, Digital and Roblux offer worlds where we can enter, buy virtual real estate, use it to build our own homes, offices and retail outlets and interact with others. Nike has already taken the plunge and acquired a company that makes digital sneakers.


Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have recently been mixed, with characters from the popular yet super-expensive ranges such CyberPunks and the Bored Apes Yacht Club changing hands for prices exceeding $200,000.

They have become the new flex for the rich to flaunt their wealth, and they do so by using an NFT character they have bought to replace their avatar on social media. Eminem recently made such an investment.

Few people truly understand the long-term implications of NFTs. This is because attaching an NFT to a smart contract may range from a concert ticket, a conference admission token, or even buying an expensive asset, such as a house or a car. In future, we will be able to peruse the NFT collection of celebrities and influencers on sites such as OpenSea and see at a glance which significant events they have attended. It may become the ultimate flex and way people seek to impress others if that is what they want to do.

Payment systems and banks

Traditional high-street banks are under massive pressure as a disruptive innovation in the digital era threatens their decades-old banking and payment systems domination. New online banks such as Monzo and First Direct are now achieving much higher scores of Overall Service Quality in independent surveys.

Digital wallets are also on the rise as ApplePay and Block (formerly called Square) are achieving rapid growth, while companies like Affirm are quickly gaining traction with their ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ product offerings.

Overall thoughts

Nobody has a crystal ball, and future-gazing can, at best, focus on making an educated guess about what the future holds and how organisations need to put systems in place to be well-positioned for what lies ahead.

We must also recognise that developments are becoming quicker and more radical by the minute. This means that companies need to brief talent – either internally or on a freelance basis – to watch developments closely and give regular briefings about changes and implications.

There is serious competition amongst agencies to achieve prominence in this space. For example, there are many agencies, such as Pronto Marketing, vying to become the recognised best digital agency Thailand.