2018 saw just as many brand victories as brand fails. As we move into 2019, brands will continue to have ample opportunity to inspire and activate customers in ways that improve the discipline of marketing and drive revenue impact. Reflecting on all the trends we’ve seen happening across our industry, here are five things to keep in mind as we head into the new year:
1. Be Sure Your Mistakes Are Original. To try new things and move ahead, it’s a certainty that failure will be a part of the process. There’s nothing wrong with failure, unless it is not instructive. As an industry, we have much to learn from each other, and we can share this knowledge through commentary and dialogue without having to give away proprietary secrets.
2. Build Trust In Every Action You Take. We’ve often commented on the decline in global trust over the years, and do not expect 2019 to be any better. Brands have so much potential to restore credibility to communications in ways that build the business. But they can’t build it on empty platitudes. Actions must align to the values of the brand, and customers need to see those values being lived by every worker and in every transaction, internal or external.
3. Embrace The Concept Of ‘Minimum Viable Data.’ The last several years have seen a fetishizing of data, especially big data. What many consumers don’t realize is that the aggregate data is actually more valuable than the individual data. With all of the scandals around data in the past year and questionable ethics from data brokers like Facebook, consumers will be slow to fully understand the role of data in product development and marketing. Fjord/Accenture calls this ‘data minimalism’ and suggests, “Ensure your data strategy follows the minimal viable data pattern and collects only what’s needed to drive the service. Closely align your data collection strategy to your business objectives. Collection, measurement and tailoring of services are intrinsically linked.”
4. Put An End To Short-Termism. As Geoff Colon details in his teaser trends video, there has been a war on brand. The prestige of marketing is losing fans in boardrooms and it is losing budget, largely due to our industry’s obsession with performance marketing and “digi-babble.” Fast, agile execution is fine, and necessary. But fast strategies are often implemented with an eye towards the next quarterly business review only, and not with long-term brand growth in mind.
5. Prioritize Effectiveness Over Efficiency. In a brilliant post on LinkedIn, Bruce MacTeague highlights important points about effectiveness making its comeback. As leadership has always tried to “do more with less” those of us in the middle have realized, “that effectiveness actually creates value – for business, brands, products and even people’s jobs & lives.”
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