What is the future of marketing?

That was the topic at a recent Thoughtlead online mini-conference. The premise: Select 60 smart people, ask them one big question, and give them each 60 seconds to make their case. The responses were sometimes predictable. More often, however, the speakers challenged themselves and us to think about what’s next–and why.

Here’s a sampling of my favorites:

  • Michael Stelzner pointed out that people don’t trust brands, so it’s important to focus your marketing on helping other people. He also talked about recognizing people who help you. “If you lift people up, they’ll lift you up.”
  • Steve Rubel said the biggest challenge for marketers going forward is “time and space, and the relationship between the two… Let’s talk about space. Online it’s infinite. We have as much choice as we want in terms of content. Time on the other hand is finite, and attention spans are fragmenting.”
  • David Meerman Scott talked about the need to focus on real-time (versus campaigns) and to look for things you can do right now. “The bottom line: social media are tools; real-time is a mindset.”
  • Frank Gruber talked about always being curious, and about letting your curiosity lead you to find new ideas and innovations.
  • Mitch Joel suggested that the future of marketing “should, and will be all about anonymity.”
  • Alex Bogusky said that collaboration is the new competition, and becoming transparent is not a choice.” The only choice is: do you do it, or do you have it done to you?”
  • Todd Defren talked about putting relationships at the center of everything.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk suggested that the future of marketing is one-on-one engagement. “The humanization of business is upon us.”

You can read the entire transcript here.

Photo by Krikit (Flickr).