by Ankush Manchanda. As we move forward, here are some of the trends and insights we marketers must continue to embrace to win in 2019.

Authentic co-creation, storytelling crucial to winning digital strategies

Consumers today are highly averse to forced messaging and are looking to engage with brands in an interactive and authentic manner. Our millennial and Gen Zs consumers share one common thread with brands: “self-expression”. Our consumers are on the hunt for purposeful goals, bespoke experiences and meaningful dialogues, and are looking for brands to inspire them with ‘relatable’ content and stories.

Successful brands today see content as more than part of an overall marketing strategy but as a tool that crafts cultures and builds communities. From tech to consumer and lifestyle giants, brands that truly connect with their consumers begin with understanding their cultural and environmental nuances to successfully tap into the beliefs that drive them. The ability to identify these shared values and capitalise on the right sentiment is what allows brand to play in the sweet spot where a brand’s point of view and crowd-culture collide.

Trendsetters such as Adidas, Airbnb, Uber, Apple, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Oreo have created striking and longstanding relationships with their consumers through the route of “communities”. Moving from interruption to interaction, these brands have changed and challenged the global forms of traditional marketing — huge billboards and massive, elaborate TV campaigns which bear in mind a purpose. From co-creating with consumers to co-creating with creative minds in the digital realm, we’re nurturing stories beyond the limits of individual imagination.

Customer centricity is key: listening first, then speaking

Brands need to put their customers at the heart of everything they do and invest in creating sustainable platforms and experiences across brands that impact the consumer in a meaningful manner — by identifying and popularising new cultural trends that our consumers are already invested in. We believe we will see more and more brands following this trend in 2019 as the marketing conversation needs to move even further away from single-source communication and closer towards a two-way conversation between the brand and the consumer.

Social listening allows us to really understand consumer desire and also see trends that help adapt our future campaigns and initiatives and allows our consumers to have a seat at the table and a louder voice in the brand conversation than ever before.

Video content at forefront of driving engagement

Video continues to be the dominant medium in social media and for storytelling. Research has found that 90% of consumers say video can help them make buying decisions, and it’s been predicted by Cisco that, by 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic.

What is key to video is creating content that is entertaining, engaging and inspiring. Instagram, You Tube and Facebook continue to be the main platforms for content distribution, prioritising video content that’s driving both higher reach and engagement.

Micro-moments taking over consumer journeys

Audience members say they are 63% more likely to connect with brands when they feel high emotional intensity, according to a recent Live Nation study. It’s crucial to create real moments that touch a consumer’s life, but then to also be able to extend that experience through digital. As brands, we need to deliver to a clear purpose at every touchpoint and put our consumer at the heart of everything we do, ensuring that we offer something unique, useful, fun, or unexpected.

It is by creating these micro-moments of wonder, joy and excitement that brands can really connect with their audiences. Alcohol brands are making good use of experiential platforms such as music festivals to do this.

Consumers are multifaceted

Brands need to fully integrate into consumers’ lives and showcase their value through multiple passion points. Consumers aren’t one-dimensional and are excited by music, travel, food, film etc.

As brands, we need to ensure that we’re communicating through each in a relevant way. For example, work with content creators who’re experts in a variety of areas in order to bring brands alive within different markets; it enables brands to consistently enthuse and engage audiences in an impactful and refreshing way.

See also


MarkLives logo What are the industry expectations for the marketing and advertising industry in 2019? Kicking off our “Big Q” column for the year, a panel of key agency and marketing executives discusses the macro environment, budgets, changes in messaging, movement in the industry and any consumer and communication trends they’ll be looking out for in the year ahead.

Ankush Manchanda is the regional lead for digital and PR marketing communications for Bacardi’s portfolio of brands across the Asia, Middle East and Africa region. He also leads 1862, Bacardi’s Global Digital Centre of Excellence, delivering brand point of view via content and generating insights through digital behaviour.

— One subscription form, three newsletters: sign up now for the MarkLives newsletter, including Ramify headlines; The Interlocker, our new monthly comms-focused mailer; and Brands & Branding, launching soon!

Online CPD Courses Psychology Online CPD Courses Marketing analytics software Marketing analytics software for small business Business management software Business accounting software Gearbox repair company Makeup artist