Category Archives: Client

The race we’re facing in 2019

So many people in our converging industries seem to be super charged for 2019, which by their accounts (and I would agree) is partly due to a turbulent and testy 2018. A collective sigh of relief has been expelled as last year drifts away and we look ahead to which rollercoaster we might jump on next.

I have a few things I’m expecting. To be on trend let me state, these are not ‘predictions’ given no one wants to use that word anymore, so let’s roll with ‘anticipations of trends’ based on how last year played out (in my point of view). Here goes:

  1. Brands will campaign for more. We will see a demonstrable shift from creative campaign ideas being enough to satisfy client briefs to demands for business ideas built to live (not die) that address the transformation trinity; brand, business and consumer (not necessarily in that order). The knock on effect to this shift will result in a more rigorous creative shake up within departments that will force blinkers off and digital diversity to the centre.
  2. An uprising will create groundswell. A growing breed of agency-to-consultant (and reverse) hybrids will start to rise and break the Accenture / Deloitte 90 page approach to ‘agile’ and instead take an ‘in the trenches’ approach to change. This in turn will see lofty vague strategies start to (finally) become a thing of the past.
  3. Diversity will drive money. More diverse revenue streams will be required to see agencies and consultancies through this year into the coming ones if they are to sustain or grow. Long gone are the 70:20:10 rules for income. A spread of hub and spoke approaches will see new shapes of teams come together and incubate fresh income. Smart disruptors will prevent an ‘I want one of those’ copy approach to ensure this new freshness prevails.
  4. Intelligence will reign over data. AI and it’s benefits (beyond speeding stuff up) will become better understood by marketers so we will start to see ethics put in place as an output of the committee discussions from the last few years. Smart leaders will start to map these AI architectures to their data stacks and in turn provide new insights to their CMI teams thus closing the loop. At some point (though possibly 2020) GDPR all face an AI specific challenge as old and new data sets merge for new use.
  5. Audiences will rule the rules. The comms saturated Millennial audience will grow tired of farcical ‘purpose’ attempts from brands to capture their attention, they will start to more actively call out those that don’t actually do what they say they intend to. Brands that fail to realise that just saying something and not taking action is not enough will start to lose their audiences to disruptors new and old. Shared narratives will no longer sustain and an uprise of direction from audience demand will more consistently inform NPD.

Short but hefty so I’m keeping it to five.

I am super excited about this year, indeed the next few years. This coming chapter will be harder because so much change is in the air, but change raises both expectations and standards so I for one want to be on this rollercoaster.

Hope to see you at the 2019 finish 2020 starting line…

start line 5

Image found on Google – thank you 

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Content meets Commerce

I was presenting to the CEO of a leading global brand a couple of weeks ago, and was once again starkly reminded of just how divided so many businesses are from the advances in today’s (and tomorrow’s) technology.

One moment we were talking about the fact they still don’t have a cross platform infrastructure allowing them to take content to wherever their consumers are, and the next we were talking about closing the gap and speeding ahead with a technology solution based around Artificial Intelligence. A conversation which leaped around the room; rest assured the irony was not lost on me.

Sat at the table were two generations in ages, yet about six in technological terms.

The fact still remains though, that beyond theory and strategy, businesses across the world are still divided by their operational set up; one half mainly serving commerce and the other, marketing to consumers, and it is in this divide that nearly every client I speak to, struggles to truly step ahead. With one team tracking sales and demand, the other tracking website visits and consumer comments, it’s not surprising really.

To succeed as a brand and truly deliver a holistic experience touching every point of the digital journey a consumer goes on, can no longer be about great content on one side, and a commerce platform on the other… brands must provide the glue in the middle.

I believe this ‘glue’ lies within three key initiatives:

  1. Board members steering the middle management teams
  2. The commerce and marketing sides of the business coming together to provide a service that meets in the middle
  3. Content that differentiates and adds value

I also believe the biggest failure of brands being able to do this, stems from a lack of collaborative belief and belief in collaboration.

In other news, these guys produce super cool content… and this is a cool picture.

Cool Content

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