The ability to reach out and resonate with a targeted audience has always been important to any brand – but in today's digital age it is vital. A powerful mix of social media, high-speed internet access and an ever-increasing penetration of smartphones and tablets means a brand's reputation can be conveyed around the globe in just a matter of seconds. While this presents an amazing opportunity, how are branding and marketing agencies ensuring they provide the creative counsel and dynamic advice needed to enable their clients to stand out from an increasingly crowded marketplace?Boudy Nasrala, Founder of Beirut-based global branding and interactive agency, WonderEight, shares his views.
People, People, People
Starting by this and to get it out of the way, people don’t trust brands, they trust people. From here on, it’s all about you clients/consumers, invest in them, as they are the must influencing channel to get your message across. We’ve managed to exponentially grow loyalty for a brand who was losing its customers and build Brand value of more than 20M$ for another brand that is only 3 years old!
I will not dwell on this as it has been tackled long enough, but account for it in your media budgets, invest in your customers and influencers more than on Media when you can.
“Instant” Speeds up as the New Normal for Gen Z
Generation Z will be your mass consumers next year! And you don’t know much about them. Thanks to the incredible penetration of mobile and social media, they expect instant communication and entertainment. They gravitate around instantaneous chat apps, social channels such as Snapchat, Instagram, and the new social app Musical.ly. The best we can do is to follow them closely, engage/initiate conversations and involve them in our strategies.
Content is King, more than ever
As always content is king, but now over and above, people want to discover and learn; they want to get information in return for their attention to your brand.
Native advertising is blurring the lines between advertising and content and we believe it will continue to grow for the next year to come. It’s much less intrusive, can provide educational benefits for the reader, is more likely to be shared, and can be very cost effective for the advertiser.
If businesses stand still for too long, they are likely to run into difficulty very soon – and advertising / marketing / branding agencies are no exception to this rule. Clients are increasingly demanding more from their creative agencies – the need to be aware of the latest trends is no longer good enough, agencies need to be setting these trends. This is why Wondereight has partnered with The Writing Shop - a hybrid British-Local and writing company specializing in content writing.
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
An important trend to watch out for during 2018 is that the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning into B2B marketing playbooks will continue to increase. From data analytics to consumer needs prediction, AI will be a big help in growing efficiency and ROI. W8’s workshop floor has all the gadgets we need, to experiment with electronics, internet of things and connected marketing apps. It’s a bit nerdy, but helped achieve amazing activations so far.
If there is only one place you brand should be, it’s on people’s phones. This is now the most crucial, central and expensive advertising space in the world. It beats outdoor (when you are driving you are looking at your phone), TV (you watch movies with your phone in hand to make sure you are ready to use it as soon as the TV Ads start!), and when you have a minute to spare, you are on your phone playing Candy Crush™. Make sure your brand is there in some way, be it mobile content, an App, a game, or just a message. By Gamifying marketing, we help brands increase their sales and collect millions of mobile CRM data at the same time.
Everything is now measurable
Now that Social media is mainstream, communication is digital and interactivity is omnipotent, agencies cannot turn a blind eye on measuring the success of their strategies. Everything should be measurable and measured, from online reach and product mentions to in-store sales. Attribution is a word you’ll be hearing a lot this year and is key so be able to see which channels gave the best yield (ROI). This will help fine tune your second wave, which makes media spending efficient and surgical.
Year on year, we’ve helped our clients also measure the success of each marketing activity, which transforms the “cost” conversations into “investment” decisions. We helped companies raise their sales by 30% with short term campaigns, and this is something we are only too happy to provide.