Community and its Role in the Future of Marketing

A headshot of Chad Neufeld

by Chad Neufeld

An enthusiastic man in an ironed shirt

The future of marketing remains unknown, but what we do know is that it is changing. As advertising continues to change, marketers are forced to adapt and find new ways to connect with their audiences.

How It Used To Be

Marketing has traditionally been about broadcasting a message to the right people at the right time so that they are persuaded to choose one brand over others. Right?

A marketer’s job is to convince people that their product is the best, usually by creating interruptions. You’re listening to a thrilling podcast and then all of a sudden I’m in your ears telling you to change banks or build a website or buy a meal kit. Maybe you’re on a scenic drive and you round a corner and there I am, a billboard for some personal injury lawyer blocking out your view.

Pedestrians walking through a busy downtown street.

Advertising specifically is a big part of marketing and it’s been around for a while. But that’s going to change. In fact, it’s already changing.

How It’s Changing

Let’s look at the internet first: Between 30% and 45% of internet users have an adblocker they use to avoid seeing advertising, and that percentage grows every year.

For television, tens of millions of American households have become cord-cutters, and many millennials have never had cable TV. The number of adults who choose ad-free streaming options balloons each year.

Woman scrolling on an iPad displaying different movie choices.

Radio is being replaced by services like Spotify and Apple Music. For ten bucks a month you never have to hear ads.

And finally, billboards: Admittedly, this is a bit down the road before it goes mainstream like all the others, but glasses that will black out outdoor ads already exist. As augmented reality devices become popular, it’s inevitable that they will include functionality that spares you from billboards.

The Future

The future of marketing is community. It’s a world where brands create online spaces that customers can go to in order to learn, to have discussions, to inspire one another, to provide feedback, to invent new products, and to have their voice heard.

At Chaordix, we consider it the next phase of social media, and we call it social community.

Learn more: Our Community Platform Features

Instead of a brand connecting with their customers in the same place that those customers argue about politics or post cat pictures, social communities are online spaces that brands own and control. They are usually linked to a brand’s website and they allow customers to connect with the brand, as well as with other customers who share interests and goals.

iPhone screen displaying social media applications with red notification bubbles.

The future of marketing is about adding value before, during and after purchase, and online communities are the channel that many brands are already choosing to do this.

Instead of companies interrupting you or badgering you around the internet, they’re creating a valuable, ongoing experience that you return to when you’re wondering what pants you should wear with that shirt. If a fashion brand had an online style community, I could post my outfit for the day and see what other folks think. I could get their advice and I could provide my own ideas.

Marketing is moving from interruption to connection. The future of marketing is going to involve a whole lot of community building. If you’re already there, thumbs up. If you’re playing catchup, then you came to the right spot. Continue reading articles on our resources page, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We’ll get you caught up.

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