The future is already here—it’s just unevenly distributed.

That’s one of my all-time favorite quotes. Why? Because, here, William Gibson, the noir prophet of cyberpunk science fiction, lends credence to the fact that there are few actual fictions today. If you look closely enough, outlandish futures are playing out before your eyes.

That’s certainly the case for digital marketers, who are cast as the key players in a renaissance of sorts, as expectations for marketing’s strategic contribution to growth coincides with powerful inventions, bold creativity and brave experimentation in the various digital disciplines of practice.

Self-driving cars, drone-based delivery and neuromarketing are not really what I’m talking about here. Programmatic media, real-time engagement and location-based strategies are brave new world enough for the vast majority of marketers. Come to think of it, so is the rat’s nest of attribution and analytics necessary to trace investments to outcomes and finally (!!) recover the waste promised by John Wanamaker’s infamous warning (and finally, mercifully, put that quote to rest).

There are plenty of present-day futures hiding in plain sight. That is, if you look closely enough.

In 2015, Gartner for Marketing Leaders will examine these present-day futures, shining light in the darkened corners where digital marketing practitioners are defying conventions to create new business advantage. At the same time, with feet firmly planted on terra firma, we’ll focus on the foundations, the fundamentals and, perhaps most importantly, the paths marketing leaders should take to get from here to there.

While we may occasionally indulge in distant futures and parallel corridors of vaguely altered reality with our Maverick Research, we’ll generally ply the earthbound territories of present-day practice and innovation. The futures that are available to you today.

Here’s a confession. I’m no fan of science fiction. I don’t even particularly like most fiction. Why? Because there are so many great true stories to be told. Why make it up when you can just look around you. Look hard and you’ll find what seems like fiction hiding in the truth. I promise you.

They are there. They’re just unevenly distributed.

And so is the future. It’s indeed, here. It’s just unevenly distributed.

In 2015, Gartner for Marketing Leaders will guide you. There are many great true stories to tell.

And that, my friends, is not science fiction.
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Gartner, Inc.