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Waypoint Predictor: branding, marketing services, growth hacking, ways of working, data and behaviour


By Richard Draycott, Managing Director

December 22, 2016 | 6 min read

Earlier this week The Drum and Waypoint Partners launched the Waypoint Predictor in which a number of agency leaders from a range of agency and business types outlined what they thought was going to be happening in their sector in 2017.

Waypoint Partners founders Otto Stevens, Miles Welch and Andy Maher (image courtesy of Luis Costa)

Waypoint Partners founders Otto Stevens, Miles Welch and Andy Maher (image courtesy of Luis Costa)

In this final part we look at agency/client ways of working, data and customer behaviour, growth hacking, branding and marketing services.

Sharon Whale

Agency/Client Ways of Working & In-house: Sharon Whale, chief executive officer, OLIVER Group UK

As big brand clients take increasing control of their marketing capabilities – take PepsiCo, Goldman Sachs, and, and their new in-house content studios as cases in point – the coming year will mark a turning point in the client/agency relationship.

Content and customer experience remain key marketing pillars for brands, but in 2017 clients will be looking to corral their content, which in turn will lead to tighter briefs. Data and performance will play leading roles within this story, as vital drivers behind optimizing content that properly connects customer experience via programmatic media, ever more efficiently and cost-effectively.

As clients press pause on investment in innovation to try and squeeze more out of their budgets, agencies will have to adapt to survive. Transparency and strong working relationships will be key, across all disciplines, with media being a big part of that play.

Kohlben Vodden

Connecting data and customer behaviour: Kohlben Vodden, founder, StoryScience Ltd.

2017 will see the convergence of data with insights from the field of behavioural science to influence and predict customer behaviour. Data-driven marketing is now the norm and most brands have built impressive data-technology stacks.

While many have seen exciting initial results, they’ve quickly found themselves coming back to the same question “how do we create competitive advantage when our competitors are using the same tools and buying the same data?” Combining data and behavioural science in this way empowers brands to create the ultimate customer experience.

Richard Buchanan

Branding: Richard Buchanan, managing director, The Clearing

2017 will be a strong year for British manufacturing brands. Nationalist sentiment is running high and the pound will remain weak, so “designed and made in Britain” will resonate both financially and emotionally as we rediscover what being British means in Brexit Britain.

With IKEA’s Sustainability Head confessing earlier this year that ‘consumption of many familiar consumer goods was at its limit,' expect experiences to grow further. Brands that connect with consumers in ever more intimate and powerful ways will win.

Think about the intelligence, efficiency and desirability of Nest applied across every aspect of our lives. Expect such ideas to spread like wildfire in 2017.

Liam Reynolds

Growth Hacking: Liam Reynolds, chief executive officer & founder, True Up

A quick visit to Google Trends shows that ‘Growth Hacking’ is still on the rise and only getting more popular. Although the term may be divisive, the principles behind it are as strong as ever - testing and iterating across the entire user journey to find the optimum marketing mix that works.

Dedicated growth hacking agencies will start to displace their more traditional digital & marketing agency counterparts. Omnicom launching its first Growth Hacking agency Kern X is a good sign of what is to come. Expect words such as ‘agile’, ‘lean’ and ‘iterative’ to become more commonplace in marketing lingo.

New & evolving platforms & channels will continue to provide great but often short lived opportunities. In particular, Apple launching its App Store ads (currently in beta in the US) is likely to shake up the app acquisition landscape and provide interesting opportunities for those quick to take advantage.

Psychology will play a more important part in the marketing mix. Growth hackers who can harness psychology, behavioural economics and persuasion in their communications will find their growth curves up and to the right.

Andrew Roberts

Marketing Services: Andrew Roberts, managing partner, Gravity Thinking

In 2016 the UK shared more than 3.8 million cat pictures and videos every day - to put it into context that is more than twice the number of the 1.4m selfies shared, this will only get bigger.

This points to the single biggest challenge brands will face in 2017 - how to take the audience’s attention from what they care about – family, friends, interests and clearly cat videos.

Brands must start with the much-quoted stat from the Meaningful brand survey that 74% of consumers wouldn’t care if your brand disappeared tomorrow and this means they need to change their mindset. In essence the competition is not the competition, it is the internet.

So how can a brand become relevant in their world in 2017?

The Reithian principles of information, education and entertainment apply more than ever but brands also need to consider how they do this in a way that is authentic, useful, inspiring and entertaining. In short talk to people as people or rather ‘humanising’ their brand.

This also relates to distribution, brands need to consider how they use intimate social platforms such as Snapchat and Persicope to get closer an audience. Keeping a dialogue going is also important so messaging channels such as Whatsapp or Messenger become increasingly relevant.

So the challenge I would set for all brands in 2017 is setting the benchmark of competing with cat videos.


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