1. Generation Innovation: How Gen Z will change the world
There is a difference between millennials and Gen Z, and it stems from the latter’s perception of the former – ‘They destroy, we build.’
We can’t categorize them in the same bucket, they think and act fundamentally different. Brands need to understand their different drives and nuances – one strategy for both won’t work.
So how do we approach this?
2. Snapchat and AR: Using brand play time to help users tell their stories
Don’t underestimate Snapchat- it is leading the augmented reality revolution. It offers an authentic path to AR and a richer narrative through immersive experiences. While this opens the door to new engagement metrics, it’s up to brands to capitalize and create brand affinity. We’re moving from ‘feed-based’ marketing to ‘camera-based’ marketing. The camera is the new home screen – it’s all about recording the moment and recording the story.
3. Touching base: Does your content strategy need a reality check?
Knowing your audience is crucial to creating brand affinity. We’re in the era of big data. We should be able to read data properly and narrow it down on a personalized scale. Digital has allowed us to allocate budgets in the right places, but we have to research and identify where consumers are in the purchase funnel. Once we’ve identified this, we can then serve relevant content based on where in the funnel they’re at on that particular moment.
Use data to drive insights
- You need both qualitative and quantitative research to glean the full picture.
- Don’t underestimate the power of talking to your target group, as this is where some of the most honest information is collected. One person can drive a whole campaign.
- Behavior speaks louder than research. Because, when asked, people tell you what they think you want to hear.
- Ask users what they want to see. Then A/B test, optimize, keep options open and work with powerful data partners (you don’t need to own it all).
- The rise of user-generated content allows brands to experience instant gratification and engagement. Events unfold on social in real time, and the fact that real people are interacting with the brand in real time offers a more authentic edge to brands, akin to users leaving a review.
- Create bespoke content for each medium. Production budget will increase, but your campaigns will be more meaningful.
- When data indicates that a user is close to making a transaction, reach them with quality content with which they can engage to move upwards in the purchase path.
The biggest challenge for brands is creating more efficient content that amplifies reach. How deep can you go with targeting, efficient content creation and emerging technologies (like AI and VR); and how is all this changing the media scene altogether?
4. Transparency in the era of influencers
We’re at a crossroad now with brands working with influencers; the traditional model is on its head. If influencers lose credibility as a push and engagement platform, this medium will lose all efficacy. In other words, the lack of transparency will kill influencer strategies:
- The honeymoon phase is over. A fancy product shot won’t cut it; we need to create more effective and transparent content with an emphasis on value.
- Social media platforms and governments will introduce new measures to enforce transparency. The first early adopters of absolute transparency will reap the benefits, as in the long run, this will deliver earned media.
- Partnership agreements with brands can help track analytics and evolve influencers to trusted partners telling great stories.
Rather than treating engagement as an asset, brands should be taking a more human approach. Finding the balance between all the pieces marketers can control will help brand messages reach their audiences in the right way.