No one could have predicted the impact digital marketing has had on the success of the modern brand. And with the breakneck speed of adoption (or deletion), from consumers, marketers need to constantly re-survey their strategies.
At Gravity Labs, we’ve created a cheat sheet of six marketing & advertising trends that your brand shouldn’t ignore.
1. Do More with Less. Repeat.
It’s a given that today’s marketing dollar is worth less than yesterday’s. We’ve seen firsthand how marketing dollars need to stretch to the point of breaking to create more content than ever before. Add to that the complexity of producing in more channels and more formats… well, it’s easy to lose the plot.
Time is of the essence. We’ve learned that getting strategy and ideation off the ground sooner means you can learn, course correct, and get content to market sooner. As a bonus, a shortened timeline also saves you time, money, and effort.
2. Legacy Model Quicksand
Traditional agency models are good at story and craft, but we know how their processes can become a little sloth-like. Digital shops may pride themselves on efficiency and speed, but craft often suffers as a result.
We believe there is a sweet spot somewhere in between.
Smaller agency teams can provide clients with closer collaboration faster. And the less layered the agency, the easier it is to pivot when the brand hits an unforeseen challenge. There will always be unexpected challenges. It’s how you react that really matters.
3. Fractured Media and Technology
There’s often paranoia of missing out if you don’t put your brand everywhere. Or sometimes, you’ll run certain media just because the competition is doing it. While it’s an easy trap to fall into, the result is often a dilution of your brand’s impact.
Instead of doing everything all at once, do a few things well. Our mindset is to start with something we call “Practical Strategy.” It’s a simple-to-understand strategy statement that anyone on the brand can understand and use. With that lens, we discover the best media. No more than a handful. Five or less.
4. In-house Agencies Are Not the Enemy
Most big brands have their own advertising department. And truth be told, in-house agencies might be the perfect resource 85% of the time.
But there will be times when they need help. Maybe there’s a strategic discipline they don’t have on staff? Perhaps there’s a need for top-down conceptual thinking that the in-house group can execute? We at Gravity Labs have learned long ago that sometimes our role is to help brands by supplementing their own staff. So, stay open. And stay flexible. You never know how you can help best.
5. Chicken and the Egg Innovation
Consumers want innovative experiences. But the brand only wants to invest in innovations they know the consumers will buy. So how do you know the future until you create it?
Start small. You don’t need to re-code the internet to bring an innovative experience to life. Start with a microscopic budget and work backward. Is there a white label Augmented Reality (AR) experience you can re-skin? Or how about maximizing a little-known but existing functionality of a content platform? Every innovative project you create on your clients’ behalf grows their trust and appetite for innovation.
6. Unexpected Lessons from COVID-19
The pandemic changed the consumer landscape because it changed consumer behaviors. Some new technologies were adopted, and some older tech, which used to be on the sidelines, is now back in the picture. QR codes are a great example. Before the pandemic, they seemed gimmicky, but all throughout the lockdowns, we saw how QR codes became the go-to for touch-free information.
New light was obviously shed on working from home, but the pandemic also amplified and accelerated behaviors that were nascent in most consumers. Look no further than the car buying process. Buying a vehicle solely from your phone was shied away from until consumers were forced to use mobile as one of the only ways to buy a car during the pandemic. The growth of brands such as Carvana and Cars.com only proved how consumer behaviors could change with the snap of a finger.
The world moves quickly. And just as these six trends have shaped the last twelve months, there will be new ones just around the corner. We believe the ability to pivot is the key to brands staying both relevant and profitable.