The evolving landscape
As an agency, we regularly survey the landscape to ensure that we are informed and can incorporate new domain knowledge in our work. This means listening to different viewpoints across marketing channels that include podcasts, reading popular marketing periodicals/ magazines/ blogs, and studying the moves that big investors are making with regards to the field of communications and marketing.
Here are 3 huge trends that are taking shape and we list the pivots that you will need to take as a marketer and brand communicator.
1. Approach – from digital-first to blockchain-first
It used to be in the past that a great deal of marketing focused on getting onboard the digital gravy train. Marketing efforts moved from traditional to digital media. Campaigns began to focus on digital ads that are snappy and to the point, using influencers who are trendy and fun, and of course, the SEE NOW-BUY NOW feature then became all the rage.
Now, enter the blockchain. Permissionless, transparent, and of course, very novel. It has happened with decentralised finance (DeFi), and yes, while there are black sheep with rug pulls and scams, regulation is also moving in fast, nipping at the heels of those who currently herald success in this space. There will be a more settled equilibrium point but by that time it happens, a lot of financial services will be disintermediated.
Now, with marketing, the blockchain has immense utility. BitClout is the Twitter of the blockchain world. What it seeks to do with its social platform is to create an ecosystem where participants are co-creators within the space and to participate, they can buy tokens created by one another within the BitClout platform and gift it. These tokens are investable as a “voting” piece very much like a share of a company. You can read more about it here - https://www.coindesk.com/what-is-bitclout-the-social-media-experiment-stoking-controversy-on-twitter.
But suffice it to say, an influencer platform can be built on it, and the algorithm governing its smart contracts can ensure that the influencers’ profiles fit the target audience of the client before that influencer is engaged. Proper tracking can be done as to the number of engagements that the influencer’s post can garner. The influencer can be paid in real-time based on the agreement behind the campaign. The token can either be reinvested in the ecosystem or be sold for fiat currency for other uses. That is powerful potential sitting there.
2. Brand building - from customary to incessant
A lot of businesses talk about “doing more” for branding, but they touch it on a customary basis and hope to see results from touch-and-go efforts. They are making minor tweaks in cases when a brand overhaul is much needed.
With so much of competition and “benchmarking” (in short, copying) happening, many brands will end up looking like that they came up from a template shop. They have excellent crew running the brand and great skillsets to die for. So what sets them apart?
The brand itself.
Let’s put it simply – people buy brands.
Yes, you pay for quality. We are not dumping down quality. Quality is a minimum fee you have to pay to play this game. And we’re certain that you have it. But so does your competitor. With so much tech and sharing going around digital platforms, the playing field becomes levelled very quickly.
But not so with brands. Brand building takes time. Our Bureau was designed to lead the way in this amongst the agencies that you will come across. We will do this in the niche areas – brand communications, for example, which we are pioneering, and believe is the future for companies.
In a world with an increasingly equal playing field, you must position yourself to make it unequal for your competition to catch up. Be incessant in brand building, not customary, and definitely not lip-service paid.
One way to do so on a digital platform like your website (the most basic place to begin)?
Focus on demonstrating Expertise and Authenticity.
Google has sharpened its crawler to distinguish content. Pure keyword dumping will lead you to be penalised. Google’s primary business is search and it intends to keep itself in pole position. Content that is inaccurate in its representation that will hurt this primary business will be treated as “trash” by its crawlers and if the strategy is to dump out irrelevant content, penalisation will come swiftly.
To improve visibility on your expertise, collaborate with others in providing spaces on the sites of others to increase brand recognition on a quid pro quo basis, especially if you are in a place of building your own brand.
If you have awards that you have won, put it on your profile and on site. If your site does not have a profile of you, it is perhaps time to humanise it and add a page and have the various other links drawn to it.
If you have books written, published and sold, ensure that they link back from the publisher’s website or even Amazon (assuming it is sold there) to your website and profile. Create that ecosystem effect.
If you have not spoken at events, apply to speak and make sure that they capture you, your company in some digital form of content. The crawlers are sure to pick this information up.
3. Platform-driven to AI-partnered
The focus of this current age is on getting on as many platforms as ever to extend your marketing reach. This is becoming increasingly commonfare and loses its advantage. Being AI-partnered is now gaining traction. What this means is that on top of the basic platforms that you will be on – “omnichannelled”, marketers are using AI tools to write copy and do basic quick and fast design. Speed and precision is of the essence, and partnering with AI-empowered software can make a difference.
Watch the tech space, especially – with companies coming out with voice search AI, chatbots that are AI-empowered to learn from conversations. They will be the next wave.
First-mover advantage might not necessarily provide longevity in branding or allowing staying power in the pole position. So do not go off on a tangent and start adopting tech too quickly. Sometimes, a watch and wait laggard approach might work better. The hare does not always win.
With an increasingly polarised and unequal world, replete with problems that require solvers to be at the right place and at the right time, we believe that you will need to be armed with the latest insights and analysis to succeed. As a design / communications house, our work is informed by these insights as we continue to sharpen what we do so that our valued clients succeed in what they do.
If you are looking at having us share about trends or designing / communicating your brand for you, do reach out to us at email@example.com and we’ll be in touch shortly.