Working in marketing has recently become one of the most challenging jobs. Not only do marketers need to have creative and analytical minds but also they have to be always up-to-date with constantly changing marketing landscape. If you run a business you have a hard nut to crack as well. Getting across to today’s consumer is a complex process that requires adjusting your efforts to growing trends. But don’t worry! I am here to help!
Last week I’ve participated in Havas Media Group Conference about organic marketing. Cool and professionally prepared one-day event with loads of substantive knowledge, inspirational ideas and valuable insights about today’s marketing. I drew a few conclusions from all the speeches and I want to share my thoughts with you.
What would the future of marketing look like? Sit comfortably and read continue reading!
1. Forget 4Ps, welcome 4Es
It is not something you want to hear if you spent years on learning all marketing theories which used to help you build value proposition strategies. They are not valid anymore. Famous Product, Price, Place, Promotion from Marketing Mix are not effective and you should deal with it. Digital world is evolving in extremely quick pace and if you don’t follow you will just lose.
OK, so what do we have instead 4Ps now? Welcome 4Es – the new approach to customer value proposition, which embodies Engagement, Experience, Exclusivity and Emotion.
Let’s face the truth. People don’t buy products anymore. They buy experiences and emotions instead. You should change your “what should I sell” or “how should I sell” into “WHY should I sell it?”. Emotional branding is what makes a business stand out.
The most successful brands don’t offer material products or services, but real experiences and emotions. Disneyland or Coca-cola sell happiness, Adidas or Nike give you a courage to follow your dreams, L’Oréal sells beauty and Apple sells a challenge to the status quo. That’s why people buy from them.
Thus, forget about communication that starts with “what do I want to sell?”. Consumers don’t care about what you want. They need something or someone that would give them an added value.
This is how Coca-Cola speaks to its audience. Their value proposition is richer than just a can of soda.
2. Most consumers wouldn’t care if 73% of brands disappeared for good
I know it might be a hard fact to swallow, but deal with it. Most of consumers won’t bother if a brand stops existing tomorrow and it concerns nearly three quarters of companies. People would just simply turn to another one from a full panoply of distinct producers that operate on the market and can also fulfill the same need.
Why people do not care? Because brands are not relevant to them. The data transferred annually by the Internet will surpass the round figure of one zettabyte. Yes, 2016 is going to be the year of Zettabyte. To put that in perspective, it is almost 1.1 trillion gigabytes (1,100,000,000,000). Massive amount of information, so do not be surprised that a negligible message gets lost among the others.
Brands should improve our lives, contribute to local and international communities and respond to our needs. What’s more, they should move us on a way deeper level that most of them do. You should really give it a thought if you don’t want your brand to end up in this 73%.
Here is Coke again. This campaign touches currently important issue to our society. A can of soda is just an addition.
3. Build intimate one-to-one relations
One-to-many marketing model used to work very well in the past. The process was easy. Marketers did an in-depth research about target group, defining a persona and its basic characteristics. Then they developed a communication style and messages to send to the target group. Conversion rates maybe were not impressive, but the model worked.
With the digital media growth this model evolved slightly. The Internet let us gather basic information about users and marketers could then target their message to narrow groups of people with similar interests, demographics and habits. It is more accurate way to reach out to consumers, however not as effective as it used to be a few years ago.
Cloud computing revolutionized marketing communication. Nowadays, data lets us collect detailed information about consumer behavior, their preferences and interests. You can leverage it to create personalized marketing messages to individuals.
However, if you want to distinguish your brand among others and make clients loyal you should take a step further. Today’s consumers need individual service and personal approach in every aspect. They can appreciate when a brand goes the extra mile in customer service. Showing your clients that you care will help you build firm relations with them and then keep them with you and your brand. The most important, though, is to make those relations personal.
WestJet put a smile on more than 250 passangers who made their wishes before departure and were given personalized presents after landing. Video explains it all.
4. Don’t be superficial
Do you know why most brands do not resonate with the target groups they try to reach? Because they fail at building deep and firm relations with them. They reach them only on the superficial level on which you cannot really engage a person. Consumers are emotional and love experiences. If you want to convey your message and win your audience you need to touch their hearts.
Here is an example of Polish Airline that conducted a holiday campaign encouraging people to kiss under mistletoe. They didn’t have to ask twice. Just watch the video.
The real engagement will not come from a Facebook contest in which users get prizes for likes. It’s an investment not worth the effort. It will bring you only short-term effects. Your follower base might increase, but the people will leave if you don’t engage them on emotional level.
John Lewis releases Christmas commercial each year and it’s one of the most longed-for elements of the holiday season. Each year the advert tells a different touching story that puts us into a holiday mood.
5. Influencer marketing is a key to Millennials’ world
Bloggers, vloggers and other influencers have the power of shaping consumer opinions. Internet users are more willing to trust recommendation from a favorite YouTube creator rather than from a brand. Influencers are genuine and trustworthy, so people put more confidence in what they have to say.
More brands have started to appreciate the power of cooperation with influencers and more often engage opinion leaders in their campaigns and general marketing communication. They see the potential of such actions as they do bring measurable results.
There are plenty of ways to involve popular people into your marketing communication. You can simply find influencers who are potentially interested in your company or its value proposition with the Internet monitoring. Naturally, they have to resonate with your brand and your audience. Then you can, for example, shoot an ad featuring a famous person or engage a blogger or vlogger in content creation. There are many options and its up to your creativity how it would look like.
Emirates Airlines for instance made a commercial featuring Jennifer Aniston.
6. People crave meaningful stories about real humans
We’ve been exposed to a picture of the world that is build up on artificial reality. Media shows us perfect images of celebrities, actors and public figures. We do like watching that, but on the other hand, we crave the world that is close to our own. We want to see people that are honest and genuine in what they do and more importantly they are just like us.
This is why a teenager with no professional background who shots videos in his or her bedroom and post them to YouTube has wider audience than any other brand that caters to the young. It’s mostly because they speak the same language as the community, present a straightforward message and fans can personally relate to them.
If you, as brand, want to reach out to your audience you should focus on your audience’s real problems and needs. Relate to issues that are relevant to them at the moment. With such message you can become meaningful to the consumers.
Target wanted to emphasize their dedication to education initiatives by running a contest that would award schools $1 billion over the next few years. Concurrently, they released a video showing powerful, heart-warming moments of teens opening their acceptance letters.
7. Get along with new apps
Living in the times of constant changes might be problematic for a marketer. You get used to one app or social media platform and by the time you become an expert it is replaced by something new. However, if you want to stay on top of things you need to adapt to new technologies and follow your target audience on platforms they use.
Young people are not so active on Facebook anymore. Nowadays Snapchat and Vine are becoming the leaders. Also Periscope is gaining ground and all the other apps that provide disappearing content sharing. But don’t involve to much, in a year or so this landscape will look differently.
A few years ago Snapchat or Vine campaigns were a rarity and nobody really took them seriously. Nowadays they are very common and bring measurable results. Audi wanted to engage future buyers so they launched the Snapchat campaign. They shared news and interesting facts from a bit different perspective, getting very positive feedback on Snapchat and different social media platforms.
8. Young consumers don’t trust brands
We live in the times when one thing is being said on traditional media and another thing people see through different channels. This inconsistent image evokes big confusion among consumers, especially the young. Information broadcast on traditional media is often perceived as lies. It comes as no surprise, that people don’t trust neither media nor brands that are irrelevant to consumers.
For the past decades we’ve been flooded with untruthful ads, so don’t act confounded when your audience doesn’t believe a message you try to convey. Consumers are more skeptical and suspicious about what they hear and see on the Internet and other channels. If you want to convince them to your brand you, most of all, have to be honest and genuine. On top of that, to gain consumers’ trust you need to give something first. You have to offer a value that is relevant to your audience.
Jeep wanted to reach out to the target audience with its new car – Jeep Renegade. The brand engaged a rock band – X Ambassadors and shoot a commercial video that perfectly conveys the message and resonates with the target group.
9. Music plays a big role in marketing and advertising
If you think of any successful campaign now, there was probably a good music involved.
Music has been one of the most powerful tools in marketing and advertising for the past decades. It helps brands to create an emotional connection with their target audience and develop a strong bond between them that empowers brand recognition and loyalty. It is universal language that lets us communicate our thoughts, views and opinions with global audience. It has tremendous impact on our moods and feelings. Use that!
You can leverage audio content to enrich stories you want to tell. The right music combined with the right brand and the right visual content can increase the success of your marketing efforts.
The below example of the P&G Moms Olympic spot shows how a touching music paired with the real story makes a brilliant campaign that goes viral.
This is how marketing landscape looks like right now and probably in the next few months. However, don’t get attached to it and take all these trends for granted. The marketing of tomorrow might be totally different than we can imagine.
What do you think about the future trends in marketing? Share your opinion in a comment!