Our industry faces significant change: the shift from TV ‘share of voice’ to consumer ‘share of mind’, moving away from the long lead time TV centric model of the past, to an idea centric model, with integrated execution, shorter lead times, and lower cost.
The ways we consume content will dictate the rules. Broadband and mobile on demand reshape how we consume content, allowing us to target with higher accuracy and ROI. Because of this, the 30” TV ad may slowly disappear. Clive Sirkin, Kimberly-Clark’s CMO says: “Advertising as we know it / as we were trained to think about it – is dead. The blind adherence to a model that is proven to be, at best, significantly inefficient is at odds with the fundamental behaviour we expect from world class marketers and brand builders; the requirement to constantly challenge the status quo.” Advertisers need dynamic digital content, for traditional and social media, broadband and mobile. Short length to deliver brand messages, or longer for in-depth information. The challenge will mostly be, in a digital world, to capture consumer’ attention long enough to engage them with a powerful message, but short enough to be watched, and shared. Vine, acquired by Twitter, allows only 6 seconds for video content, which plays on a loop. Why? Because constraint inspires creativity. It has led to breakthrough social media ideas, like Lowe’s Home Improvement, with #lowesfixitinsix, distributing fifty 6-second DIY videos.
Continuous storytelling, pervasive creativity. Jaime Prieto, President, Global Brand Management, Ogilvy & Mather, says: “the future of advertising requires some fundamental shifts: from integration to seamless collaboration, from individual campaigns to continuous storytelling, from packaged communications to pervasive creativity.” Brands will immerse themselves into daily reality, become dynamic, and responsive. They need to dialogue, and be ‘active social listeners’. Brands should leverage trending topics, cultural triggers, and plan for scenarios. Create content calendars around topics and insights relevant to the target. Marketers should plan the predictable, create creative templates, identify moments where these can be used. Exceptional marketers leverage the unpredictable, moving the brand into the spotlight in real time. Says Prieto: “Marketers and agencies must re-imagine the skills and people they require to succeed in an ‘always on’ world. We are hiring editors in chief of newsrooms, creative technologists, coders, and many more, to move us beyond the old model of an art director and copy writer originally teamed up to create static TV scripts and press ads.”
Working vs non-working spend. For years advertisers tried to reduce cost of TV production, to free up money for GRP’s. We will see a shift back to investment into content creation, as cost of content distribution will decrease if brands earn consumers’ willingness to share it. John Gutteridge, CEO of JWT Australia & New Zealand says: “The digital revolution has disrupted the Ad industry over the last decade at a speed few would have predicted. Over the next decade we can expect to see even greater disruption at even greater speed. Technology will continue to empower the consumer forcing brands to relinquish more control and allow consumer created content to drive conversation, consequently paid media will decline rapidly as earned media takes hold. We will see the more progressive brands embracing this continued shift by constantly recognising new forms of consumer engagement strategies, central of which must remain a truly compelling and differentiating brand idea.”
Traditional media companies will see their income reduced; more content will be distributed through social media. Agencies should have a bright future in all of this, if they successfully adapt to this new reality, and obtain brand co-ownership. While the client owns the brand promise and brief, agencies will develop more digital content than ever, and be involved in the daily reality of building brands. Client and agencies will be integrated, connecting people in consumer advisory services, corporate communications, and brand builders, on both client and agency side. Brands will be ‘always on’, 24/7 and 365 days a year.
Branded content with global reach: A brand’s values, quality and authenticity, will become even more critical. Andrew Towle, CEO of Kellogg’s Australia & New Zealand says “in today’s world of information overload and increasing insecurity, consumers no longer tolerate ‘one night stands’ with brands. They yearn for long term relationships with brands they trust, are authentic and stand for something they can agree with or believe in. This is the purpose of brand building and advertising and will only become more so over the next decade.”
While local positioning is critical, the brand’s promise may need to become more internationally consistent, as content will digitally reach world-wide audiences, and will no longer be isolated in a market. Creative produced in one continent can influence a brand’s image in another, positively, or negatively. Ideally, all brand experiences reinforce one brand promise, regardless of their origin. The best marketers will aggregate and localize branded content that is available globally.
More scrutiny on brand investments: Capital investments face far more scrutiny today, with ROI requirements and elaborate approval processes. Marketing spend is typically managed at the discretion of a few marketers and agencies. Everyone will have to up their game, to ensure marketing investments are effective, efficient, and sufficient to drive engagement, trial, and brand equity. Media agencies still focus on TV/Print ‘share of voice’, while we should discuss consumers ‘share of mind’. Real-time ROI measurement and increased agility are needed to market more effectively in a digital world.
The continued power of insights: Social media is the ‘great equalizer’. Brands no longer rely on the amount of spending, but on the quality of ideas. Small budgets can have massive reach if the idea is powerful. Smaller and new brands can make headway like never before, creating more competition, which will make us all better. While brand building and advertising are undergoing changes of seismic proportions, one thing will remain: strong consumer insights will continue to lead to the biggest ideas. Aside from this, the way we will build brands is changing dramatically.