Marketing 'renaissance' trends are back. Email, direct mail, podcasts; the hark back to arguably simpler times communicating with audiences has been noted over the past year or so. The Drum Network asked its members, what other renaissance marketing techniques do you think we will be hit with this year? In Part 2, we looked at bringing the human back into advertising, a hankering for analogue and the need for brands' physical presence. Here our members take a look at personalisation, mobile and the desire for authenticity.
Pete Gomori, creative director, Idox (Rippleffect and Reading Room)
Bombast and bullshit have gone too far and consumers are catching on. Ads have become Hollywood productions and are getting more and more hollow, just something shiny to look at with a pun and a logo at the end. Flashy but meaningless hi-tech gimmicks are getting boring. And as it turns out, not every product transforms you into a superhero or a supermodel.
Let’s not be naïve – marketing has hardly been a bastion of truth over the years – but a slightly more down-to-earth, humble and everyday approach would go down well with consumers. Rather than trendy ads packed with emoji and tropical house, I expect to see a return to simplicity, humanity and everyday scenes of real people. Lloyds is doing this well at the moment.
Mark Ellis, creative director, Manifesto
It seems like only yesterday when breakthroughs in digital printing technology were ushering in previously unseen of levels of personalisation, effective and achievable with very little data. Receiving a piece of direct mail with my name incorporated into the story was certainly a novelty for a while. However, the novelty wore a little thin, mainly due to the lack of variation in execution and huge variation in creative quality.
Now, we’re getting very excited about where personalisation is going. Personalised video, for example, is stepping into a different league, with clever tech, augmented reality, 360 video and carefully crafted creative ideas all being brought together. Alongside conversational interfaces, which are opening up a whole new world of personal interaction, we’re bringing audiences into brand stories like never before. It’s all about making the user the star of the experience.
Here’s to the future. It’s like the past, just more personal - and far more engaging.
Rob Edwards, client insight director, Intermarketing
The outdoor industry has been at the front of any economic fluctuation for decades, however, it is striving to be innovative in ways of engaging consumers with brands. The drive for programmatic capabilities on the street has pushed the out of home industry to pull it socks up and bolt in more technology than ever before. It offers a really interesting dynamic around the physical and digital worlds with the growth of the real-time relationship between brands and consumer going about their daily routine. People are time poor and so struggle to digest ad volume/content, thus having the ability to influence creatively as we move around is extremely valuable, especially with emotive content displayed at the right time of the moment (pay day perhaps) to create the unexpected purchase. Consumers are now speed daters with brands so the most valuable consumers are those who act of desire, rather than lengthier thought process.
Mike Teasdale, founder, Harvest Digital
I really think we’re going to see more of email. Email is so often forgotten as a marketing tool, but it’s one that sees the highest ROI – 3800% according to DMA. Email used to be everywhere, so naturally it became incredibly spammy, so much so that it’s really hard to do email properly now.
Companies need to focus on the fact that emails will be read on mobile, so they should be formatted as such. Campaign Monitor reckons that 53% of emails are read on mobile, so why are businesses sending out emails not formatted for that platform?
The same goes for conversions. Most of us judge an email campaign on the conversion rate, but rarely do I see emails that are formatted and written in order to drive conversions on mobile. But I think where this renaissance of email comes into its own is with the addition of new tech, and this is where 2017 can really revive good email marketing that actually converts.
Jen Musgreave, planning partner, Rapp
If EasyJet's 20th anniversary email had been developed as a physical mailing, how would that manifest? If Spotify's 'Your Year' communication had been tangible, how treasured would it be, and what emotions would it inspire? In an uncertain world, the trend from digital to tangible reflects the wave of nostalgia and desire for authenticity amongst Generation X and Millennials, evident in the demand for vinyl and cassette tapes, vintage typewriters and beautiful stationery. Being written to by a brand in your life, personally, using gorgeous or surprising imagery and formats, will make your customer relationships, more meaningful in 2017. Our doormats are empty and letterbox communications now have huge stand-out. Let's be clear - this is not cheap sales junk I'm talking about, it's personal, inspiring, captivating and brilliantly data-driven brand communication, a new generation of direct mail that people will want to keep; that adds weight and authenticity to your brand relationship, elevating it effortlessly.
Sean Potter, content manager, Evoluted Media
This year, we expect email marketing to continue its recent resurgence. Previously, many companies had been guilty of neglecting emails, due to the emergence of channels such as social media. In lots of cases, focusing energy on these areas has proven to be an unsuccessful means of replacement marketing. Companies are now recognising the power of email lists. Emails are currently one of the most effective ways to engage customers and generate more revenue.
Technical SEO will also continue to prove more important than ever. Due to the common misconception that content marketing will bring you SEO results in isolation, too many companies have neglected technical SEO. In lots of cases, this has ultimately led to detrimental performance in search. Those that realise this and rectify their approach will reap the rewards. Those that think you just need to do content will be left behind.