What is marketing? For many of us in the agency world, it’s the business of selling. Sure, much more goes into marketing than that one end-goal. But let’s face it: it’s centered around generating revenue. Metaphorical or literal, selling is what makes our world go around. Sell that idea. Market those emotions. Sell the newest Apple accessories (like their new $1000 “Pro Stand”). But just know that when you’re selling, it’s a result of marketing, and when you’re marketing, you’re doing everything you can to reel people in.
This attention-grabbing technique is done in a variety of different ways. Most involve in-depth research about your category and research concerning what fresh, new channels will work best for your brand. So, if you’re keeping up with the latest marketing trends, you’ll know how to use that information wisely. Here are just a few of the trendiest ways to get your brand, your agency, your client—whoever or whatever it may be—in the game.
Marketing, Personalization & AI
AI (artificial intelligence) is becoming a more popular marketing tool as we learn more and more about how it can benefit our marketing objectives. In this case, it can help with personalization. IBM reports that 94% of companies say personalization is critical to their success today, tomorrow, and beyond. That’s because consumers will blatantly ignore advertising that’s not catered to them. Personalization means giving people what they want. It's curated content for their eyes to feast upon. So, how do we do this? For starters, embracing AI technology and machine learning tools to make sure your ads are getting to the right place, the right people, at the right times. Custom news feed algorithms, like the ones employed by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and predictive intelligence are two major examples of this personalized content curation that can help marketers target their content efficiently.
As technology increases, so too does the production of creative content for marketing in different ways. This is thanks to something called agile marketing. This approach aims to continuously and incrementally improve marketing results over time. That way, you can avoid throwing a bunch of ideas at a target, hoping one will stick. Namely, it’s giving your creative and marketing teams alike more ownership over their work. This allows them to work across departments to hit smaller objectives for a bigger goal. Consequently, this can spur changes in priorities, better specify goals and objectives, offer better quality of work, and so much more. Scott Brinker, in his book Hacking Marketing puts it quite plainly: “…it operates on trust and transparency, more than command and control.”
Investing in the Emotion Economy
Understanding your consumer is key. But what Richard Yonck coined as the “emotion economy” is changing how we come to understand it in the first place. Emotions can pay the bills, believe it or not. This ecosystem is comprised of emotionally intelligent devices and software that can tell brands how their consumers feel about a range of categories. The point is: the more information on consumer habits and the emotions we have, the more data that can be compiled and used to your advantage. Sites like Facebook and their “react” feature can share that breadth of data companies who advertise on their site, giving them a bigger picture.
Know Your Brand, Then Attack
From our perspective here at SFW, harnessing the selling power of new trends works best when integrated into our longstanding agency philosophy and framework. That’s all to say: we know what kind of agency we are, and most importantly, we know our clients inside and out. That helps us better serve them in the long-run. The process goes something like this:
We first put ourselves in the client’s shoes. What problems need to be solved and what experience do they want? From there, we want to understand the client’s path-to-purchase before investing in any new tools or technology. Then, we focus on the point of sale, whether that’s online or in-store, and work our way out from there. Lastly, we keep in mind our belief that continuous learning and experimentation in the market is crucial before we can think about committing to a marketing course of action.
So, before all else, make sure to ask yourself: is my brand’s core philosophy established? The answer will help you to evaluate the hottest new trends in marketing, what’s right for you, and what’s not.