Trying to find your way round the new marketing landscape?
It’s a fair bet there’s no-one left in marketing today who isn’t constantly reminded how fast our industry landscape is changing – it’s a jungle out there. So, how do you navigate this uncharted territory – and determine what this change means for marketing thinking and behavior? Here’s your navigation aid…
There are seven paradigm shifts; each has a clear implication for how brands need to change, and examples of brands that are getting it right.
Shift 1 – from products to experience ecosystems
Brands of the future don’t just sell products or services: enabled by technology, they create inspiring content and experiences that engage people in their brand world…a world where each interaction (and that includes marketing) adds as much – or more – value as the product itself.
Brands must stop thinking just about pushing communication – and start thinking about creating content that holds genuine value for their audiences.
Red Bull has evolved from an energy drink into a media empire, creating deep experiences across channels that the audience truly values.
Shift 2 – from saying to doing
Talk is cheap – it’s what you do that counts. Brands need to have an active purpose at their core that frames the conscious role they play in people’s lives, the value they will bring. This purpose will drive all forms of activation, and should be demonstrated through actions, not just words.
Brands need to move from static transmitters to purposeful, active enablers.
Dove has taken its purpose off the page and into action by establishing a fund to educate young people on a broader definition of beauty.
Shift 3 – from linear to multiple
Today’s consumer has a T-shaped attention span – scanning broadly and quickly over content and diving deep when they find something of interest. In a world of fragmenting touch-points and proliferating content, the notion of a linear customer journey is simply irrelevant. Result: brands can no longer control the way in which consumers interact with their messages.
Brands need to rethink their approach – and engage in two-way conversations that reflect the way people consume content today: modular, multi-channel, accessible at any point.
Chipotle gets across its message of ‘Cultivating a Better World’ through short films, an online game, a song available on iTunes – which in turn link back to rewards at their restaurants.
Shift 4 – from single to multiple marketing roles
Brands are expanding the roles they play in people’s lives, developing multi-dimensional relationships with their audiences. Those who manage brands must have the flexibility to wear different hats and adapt as required: from brand manager to community manager, brand guardian to brand journalist, from content creator to curator, leader to listener.
Marketers need to think about what new processes and partners will best support them in the short term as marketing departments gradually evolve toward this new reality.
Gatorade has set up a ‘Mission Control Center’, a war room to oversee the brand’s performance online. As well as monitoring social media, marketers track brand attributes and sports trends, keeping Gatorade on top of what’s important to fans.
Shift 5 – from continuity to disruption
In the past, successful brand performance was about continuity, delivering the same reliable product time after time. To stay ahead today, brands must show themselves capable of reinvention, even disrupting their own model in order to remain relevant and fresh – before someone else does. New technologies have spawned many new possibilities, causing category disruption impossible a few years ago.
Brands must curate more of an entrepreneurial mindset, developing cultural awareness and becoming alert to change in order to identify and quickly harness opportunities to evolve.
Nest (now owned by Google) created the emerging smart home segment through its fresh application of technology to home climate solutions.
Shift 6 – from uniform and impersonal to personalized and targeted
While prioritizing the commercial agenda and focusing on efficiency means consolidation and streamlining of consumer communications, the danger is that brand and marketing initiatives become less specific and therefore less relevant. Yet the more messages proliferate, the more important personalization becomes. With Big Data, brands have the possibility to bring personalized, targeted experiences to their audiences – but these must start from consumer needs, not business efficiencies.
The real opportunity for brands is to focus on the value that Big Data can bring consumers, rather than the value it brings the business.
Ebay continues to introduce innovations that hand control to users, including a new homepage that allows them to create instantly shoppable visual collections, creating a deeply personalized shopping experience.
Shift 7 – from static to mobilized
Just like electricity, mobile technology is a constant in our lives, something we can’t do without. It’s increasingly the way we choose to consume all manner of things, even when we’re not ‘mobile’. Yet many brands aren’t enabling us to engage how and when we want. How often is the mobile version of an experience substandard, compared to the version on a PC? How often is there no mobile version at all…?
Brands must develop a mobile-first mindset, reflecting the way people live today – providing rich, relevant content that adapts in real time.
United Airlines have made a stand with their free mobile app. Co-development of the app with customers means optimal relevance to their mobile travel needs – when many of the world’s large airlines still don’t offer a mobile site.
About Jonathan Hall
Jonathan joined the Added Value Group in 2005 to work on global clients and moved to head up Added Value France in January 2008. In 2011, he crossed the pond to take the helm at Added Value Cheskin, before moving to New York to become President of Consulting.
He has spent his entire career in brand strategy and innovation, helping to build brands for products, services, companies and places around the world. His industry experience ranges from multi-national packaged goods, financial services, automotive, technology, pharma and utilities groups through to leisure players, retailers and luxury businesses as well as government departments, universities and charity organisations.
Jonathan has worked extensively with GSK within Oral Care, specifically on the Aquafresh and Sensodyne brands.He heads up Consulting across North America, having been responsible for thought leadership across the Group in both the Brand Positioning and Innovation offer pillars. He jointly developed our Controlled Chaos offer, and has a specific interest in digital insight & innovation, having led the development of the AV-id qualitative platform and AV Lab – our innovation platform.
Jonathan is a long-standing member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Brand Management and an Oxford University graduate.