Tips to help brands excel in 2020

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Appetite Creative outline five trends for brands to look out for in 2020 and heed advice on how best to tackle them.

"Each business is a victim of Digital Darwinism, the evolution of consumer behaviour when society and technology evolve faster than the ability to exploit it. Digital Darwinism does not discriminate. Every business is threatened."

...so says Brian Solis, a thought leader in the area of social media, communications, technology and business.

As ominous as it sounds, it is true. That doesn't mean, however, that we can't see the positives that such evolution brings. So, let's have fun while trying to avoid becoming digital dinosaurs and satiate our appetites with our top five tips for brands in 2020.

Be Disruptive

Disruptive marketing, when successful, is a thing we look upon with deserved awe. It is because of their disruptive force that names like Netflix and Uber become the proprietary eponyms that define entire new industries. That takes vision and courage but brings with it the kind of success that will only ever be imitated, at best. There is only one Airbnb, only one Dollar Shave Club. These will always be the originals, and they will always be synonymous with a product or service that the consumer suddenly can't live without.

But disruption doesn't happen by accident. It's the rigour of the process that leads to it - continually learning from the consumer, listening to what people want, finding niches, testing and refining and finally bringing the picture into focus - that ultimately changes an industry for the better.

Immerse Yourselves and Everyone Else

Last year, Appetite Creative designed an event for Vodafone. It was nothing massive, it was not expensive, but it was very successful - a virtual treasure hunt inside a shopping centre, with a brand new iPhone as the prize. It sounds simple because it was: participants used their phones to scan QR codes which, in turn, provided them with clues to the location of the next system, and the first person to find enough of those codes won an iPhone. The exercise benefited everyone involved: the client, the shopping centre and all the shops and food outlets along the way.

Immersive marketing, delivering messages across numerous channels, is the natural successor to engagement marketing. The message is simple but powerful, and each link in the chain - every participant, shop, phone store, Facebook or Instagram viewer - passes a single idea along the line in one shared experience.

Talk!

Having graduated through handwritten notes, telegrams and faxes, emails, spam, reply all etc., we finally have live chat.

What we must remember about live chat is that the conversations happens in customer-time. The consumer finally has control. Conversations are still personal and hopefully helpful, but now, thanks to conversational marketing, they are even more tailored to the customer and to that person's most valuable asset: time. HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah commented recently that: "The key is to remember that conversational marketing should be designed around the needs of the customer, not the needs of the business."

And with the "when" comes the "where". Conversations can now happen through whichever channel our customers are most comfortable with, whether that is Facebook at 22:15 after Downton Abbey or on the phone as soon as we all arrive at the office. Businesses now have the chance to provide the right message to any client, at the right time, and via the right channel.

Go with the automated flow

Automated marketing still carries a stigma. My Apple Watch has just popped up with an email that I don't want, and I know that I am not the only person on the mailing list. It is not personalised to me in any way, and it is a nuisance.

Good automated marketing, however, will put an end to this. It should be backed by an inbound strategy and centred on the prospect. Using the lead and the information collected, it should deliver information, when and where it's needed, via the most appropriate channel. It should use data based on social media, price comparisons or content views - not to bombard a lead with information that might be useful, but to actively avoid serving them any information that is not necessary.

Let yourself be influenced

  • 63% of consumers trust influencers' opinions of products much more than what brands say about themselves
  • 58% of people have bought a new product in the past six months because of an influencer's recommendation

And it's here to stay, so use tech to make sure you get it right.

Artificial intelligence can help make the process of finding the right influencers to more comfortable and faster. Identify those with better engagement, fewer fake followers, and a higher chance of generating a positive return on investment (ROI) also means steering clear of potentially embarrassing backfires.

At Appetite Creative, we understand marketing, and we want to share that. We pride ourselves on our ability to listen to our clients. If you are worried about digital darwinism or feel that you may benefit from a chat, please feel free to contact us.

Jenny Stanley, managing director at Appetite Creative.

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