Future Marketing

Winning in the Prosumer Age

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by Jon Wuebben - Founder and CEO of Content Launch

Q & A with Jon Wuebben, Author of Future Marketing & Founder of Content Launch

Why did you decide to write Future Marketing?

It seems there are a thousand business books that cover “how to” topics or “best practices”, but very very few that cover big ideas or that are future focused. I looked around and couldn’t find a book that synthesized the marketing practice, futurism and technology changes, so I wrote one! It also seemed like a natural next book for me after doing 2 “how to” books on content marketing. I wanted to go in a new direction, open it up a bit to be more than just “content” marketing. This is the first of a series of “future” oriented books I plan on writing. There will be a trilogy for sure, but I’m not giving away what the next two books will be about. not yet. I waited a year or two to write this book because although I could “hear” the calling, it wasn’t truly time to sit down and do it until the summer of 2016. Thats when the whispering in my ear became much louder. “Its time to write this book”…thats what the spirits were saying to me. 😉

What is the “Prosumer” and why should we know about it?

One of the key ideas that Futurist Alvin Toffler wrote about in his book, The Third Wave, which came out in 1980, was a revolutionary idea that he called the “Prosumer”. He said, “in the future, the role of producers and consumers would begin to blur and merge.” Toffler envisioned a post-Capitalist world where people were serving themselves and serving each other. And isn’t this exactly what Linux and the entire open source software movement is? And isn’t Uber people helping other people? We can also see it in social media, where we post content and consume it as well. Additionally, “prosumer” can mean “product and brand advocate.” Rather than simply “consuming” products, people are becoming the voices of those products and significantly impacting the success or failure of companies, products, and brands, particularly through their involvement on the social web.

Of course, we can agree that businesses are no longer completely in control of their products, brands and messages. The consumer, or prosumer is now in control. Prosumers are the online influencers that business leaders and marketers must not just identify but also acknowledge, respect and develop relationships with in order for their products and brands to thrive. In fact, it’s so important and so significant a change from what we once had, that it really is a movement, a cultural shift.

What are some of the book’s key takeaways?

  • You need to start thinking about and planning for the future of your marketing now
  • Its important to use the concept of “synthesis” in your marketing…and business…thinking. (example: for this book, I synthesized the marketing practice, futurism and technology changes)
  • You need to think about your customers differently. They are prosumers now. They not only deserve your respect and attention, they will help you do your marketing. And you need to welcome that if you haven’t yet. Because your competitors will. and they will win instead of you because of it.
  • You need to expand your thinking of what marketing is and could be. Beyond ads. Beyond blog content. Beyond all the traditional structures, jargon and business notions we all carry.
  • Marketing can and should be used for the common good. and you cant simply pay lip service to it. It needs to be genuine.
  • Get away from the long standing traditional ideas around “branding”. Think instead about “platforms”.
  • “Experiences” will be the next big thing in marketing
  • Everything will change in the next 15 years…absolutely everything. and almost all of it for the better. You need to be on the forefront of that change.

What’s the number one question you get asked the most?

What does the future hold for us as marketers?

How would you describe yourself?

Introspective and determined. Giving and kind. Creative. And very passionate about marketing…and the future!

What do you want people to do as a result of buying your book?

Thing big. Think different. Think inclusively. Think about contribution. Think community.

If you meditate on that and make it all a part of who you are and your organizations culture, you will change the world. and you’ll also make a lot of money (!), if that is a goal. 😉

Future Marketing: Questions for the Author

1. Why did you write Future Marketing?

2. Why should businesses buy this book, how can it make a difference in their marketing plans?

3. What is the prosumer?

4. What types of marketing will we all be doing in 5 years? 15 years?

5. How will marketing fundamentally change?

6. Why will platforms supplant brands for building an audience?

7. How will the marketing agency change over the next 15 years?

8. How will marketing technology help?

9. What will content marketing look like in 5 years? 15 years?

10. Tell me about cultural trends and how they will impact the marketing practice

11. What are some of the important Futurists saying?