Food and beverage marketing has come a long way. Modern brands are focusing more on shopper marketing and highly targeted tactics than the traditional advertising patterns of yesteryear – and they see improved results because of it.
But what about the future of food and beverage marketing? What kinds of marketing and advertising tactics are we likely to see from these brands in the next decade, or several decades?
The Future of Food and Beverage Marketing
These are some of the most likely developments we’ll see in the future of food and beverage marketing:
1. Omnichannel communications
Already come with food and beverage brands are taking advantage of omnichannel marketing. Rather than focusing exclusively or heavily on one platform or mode of interaction, food brands are taking advantage of many different channels simultaneously, including social media, paid advertising, content marketing, and more. Tomorrow’s brands will incorporate even more channels, broadening their reach further and reaching people in new, inventive ways.
2. Individual personalization
Today, food brands can customize and personalize their marketing and advertising approaches, catering to a specific cohort or demographic segment. In the future, we are likely to see even more individual personalization, with marketing strategies customized for the individuals experiencing them.
3. Authentic engagement
Today’s consumers are beginning to show a hunger for authenticity. For decades, brands have been churning out insincere messaging with the sole desire of increasing sales. Modern consumers are growing weary of this, desiring more personal, sincere, and authentic interactions. Tomorrow’s brands will strive to provide those authentic experiences.
4. AR and VR
For years, technological optimists have been talking about the potential for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) as marketing tools, but they still haven’t quite caught on with the general public. It’s only a matter of time before these technologies become cheap and plentiful enough that they become viable marketing channels in their own right, allowing people to interact with your brand in dynamic new ways.
5. Partnerships and influencers
As social interactions become increasingly reliant on the digital world, influencers become more popular and more powerful. That’s why we’re likely to see more partnerships with influencers and more content collaborations online in the near future.
6. Community-centric branding
Some of the most powerful food and beverage brands of the modern era are ones that have built strong communities. Communities of passionate customers produce user-generated content, evangelize the brand, and demonstrate brand loyalty, even over the long term. However, many of these communities emerged organically rather than being created. In the future, more food and beverage brands are going to foster community-centric branding, making community building a core feature of their marketing strategy.
7. Heavy automation
Savvy marketers understand the tremendous value of automation. Through automation, you can send more messages, reduce overhead costs, improve consistency, and see better results. The problem is that today’s automation tools are somewhat limited – and there are many marketing and advertising strategies that aren’t well suited to automation. In the future, new technologies and more creative innovation could solve these problems, introducing more automation to more aspects of food and beverage marketing.
The Role of Trends
The future of food and beverage marketing is going to depend heavily on how trends develop from here, both in the near and distant future. Because most trends are unpredictable and surprising, it’s impossible to know what’s in store for us. All we know for sure is that the most successful food and beverage marketers of the future will be the ones who most creatively and effectively take advantage of contemporaneous trends.
People’s tastes and preferences for different foods evolve over time. For example, we’re currently in the middle of a trend of flexitarianism, with people selectively preferring plant-based ingredients over meats and animal-based ingredients. In the future, this trend may accelerate, pushing people toward vegetarianism, but it also might abate in favor of a meat renaissance. Marketing trends will likely favor whatever happens to be in vogue.
Cultural attitudes and communication patterns
Marketing also depends on cultural attitudes and communication patterns. Today’s consumers prefer fast, immediate interactions and edgy, experimental brands. Tomorrow’s consumers may prefer slower, more authentic interactions, and more traditional, familiar brands.
Broader economic trends
We should also consider broader economic trends. The scope and direction of marketing is going to change based on supply, demand, average income, unemployment, and other factors. During times of hardship, marketing priorities shift toward promoting value over extravagance.
All we know for sure about the future of food and beverage marketing is that it’s going to introduce different trends than what we currently have. If you want to stay competitively dominant in your food and beverage marketing, you need to remain adaptable.