We are in a Post Media age traditional media is delivering even more diminishing impact. Marketers are seeking scalable alternate options to reach out to their targets.

Here is a list of 7 trends and predictions that will shape the future of brands and how they communicate with their consumers

    1. Brands will be forced to engage beyond awareness –  ‘Customer Experience’ based marketing and engagement offers a better model than one way advertising in a crowded information rich environment. Marketers will seek to move budgets from traditional mediums into newer and alternate mediums of scale.
    2. Customer experience based loyalty will rule and drive brand equity more than ever- across touch points. The more personalised and physical the better.
    3. User generated brand chatter & content will shape brand perception – A new version of  “It is not what you say – it is what they say”. On their (neutral) platforms….
    4. Future communication innovation will focus on small screen and no screen – Mobile will become the centre of marketing which will extend into physical interactions.
    5. Word of mouth will become even a bigger driver of choice – Instead of talking at the world – Brands will have to get the world talking. People share experiences. Not Ads. Social platforms multiply conversations exponentially for better or worse!
    6. Culture will be King – As media complexity increases, the idea of porting the same creative idea across different media is over. Culture will shape communication & experiences.
    7. Measuring ROI will remain an elephant in the room – Alternative measurement metrics like Return On Information, Return on Attention and Return on Experience will emerge.

This has been compiled by BrandTouch with inputs from CMO feedback, its own intellectual capital and secondary sources  including The Economist Intelligence Unit, Forbes & Fast Company.


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By Brandtouch & Analytics

The two major challenges of marketers from last year viz: obtaining real consumer engagement and extracting actionable answers from the deluge of data they deal with – will continue.

1: Hyperlink to Action

ALL brand communication will link and lead to action – be it advertising & activation or digital info or hyper customised offers or direct sales.

2:Direct to Consumer (D2C) and Direct to Media (D2M)

Marketers will seek disintermediation to reach and own their customer directly. The agency – vendor models will come under strain and be challenged with D2C & marketing automation, just as has happened in travel & hospitality. Imagine buying media directly to reach your target – as you would book hotel rooms. Control will begin to move directly to the brand marketers and increase choice & purchase efficiencies.

3: Disintermediation and Marketing Automation

D2C & Disintermediation is here to stay and will be enhanced by the emergence of scalable & neutral technology platforms that are plug-and-play business models. These allow multiple participants (brands, channels, media & consumers) to create an ecosystem and connect directly to interact with each other to create and exchange value. In house marketing tech will continue to be replaced by third party platforms that will continue to get better and more full featured to offer marketers speed and convenience.

4: The Emergence of Trust Clubs

Loyalty clubs can take a brand only this far in a deal hunting consumer market. Trust will need to be built quickly through trials and recruiting the recipient to generate word of mouth for the brand. Jio and Uber have demonstrated this efficiently. Traditional brands will need to figure out what’s their equivalent for this.

5: Digital will require Boosters

With the overload of digital messaging in this virtual world, there will be a need for a dose of reality. Digital offers and ‘Call To Actions’ will be brought alive with experiences. Online to offline and offline to online (OLO) systems will deliver this for brands to expand both reach and redemption.

6: PII Data & Enrichment

CPG Brands in particular will build their own PII data and enrich it meaningfully to build relationships directly (as they deal with GDPR etc). Dependence on one way communication with customers through advertising, media, retail, ecomm and other databases will begin to diminish.

7: LTRV – Lifetime Relationship Value 

As consumer understanding and direct relationship building goes deeper – LTV will be supplemented with LTRV – which will deliver long term benefits. Coke measures its customers LTV across three generations.

8: Customer Experience

The soft and intangible will matter even more and the focus will be on defining the brand through experience. More personalised experience on screen / in your hand,  will emerge. Short video content and visual storytelling will lead this. Agency type ‘big bang’ campaigns will be substituted by customised personal content. Consumers will give us signals – if not, create content for us. They will need to be recruited to share and amplify the brand messaging. People don’t always want to be marketed to, so brands will look to create conversations and generate engagement at every consumer touch point. Hyperlink to action!

9: Measurement matrix of marketing success will change

ROI will remain an elephant in the room. Businesses will have to allow for the soft, the intangible and long term to be included in the measurement.  Can ROI be challenged by ROX? Return on Brand Experience? Perhaps! The fact is numbers do not tell the whole story and a single metric is generally not enough to capture the complexity of our world! The CEO’s and CFO’s will have to deal with that!

To Feed The Future – Find Unknown Combinations Of Known Things

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