The advertising industry is always changing. As creators looking to make purpose-driven content, it’s our job to not just see the trends but discover why they’re happening. This year at Advertising Week, we sent employees across the agency from creative and strategy to social and account to hear straight from brand professionals about the hottest topics in the advertising space. Here are the five key takeaways we learned:
Generation Z is changing the game. According to AdAge, this generation of consumers already control at least $50 billion in spending power and by 2020 they will make up the largest bloc of consumers in the world.
But brands need to approach this audience differently. Gen Z has the strongest belief that they can create change, in part due to the tools at their fingertips through social and digital. They are power hungry, opinionated and care more about brand values than ever before.
In order to stand out and effectively tap into this audience, brands have to look at how they can play a unique role in this culture, as this generation expects something different—brands that will engage quickly with emotion, entertainment and in an authentic way, because if they don’t, Gen Z will move on to a brand that will.
Stores are still a critical touchpoint of validation, confidence and better instruction, but customers are often introduced to products online whether that be in the beginning or at the end of their shopping journey.
In order to make that journey as seamless as possible, the trick is to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. From the perspective of the consumer, all of the touchpoints are for one brand, so the experience from website, to email, to social, to in store should feel cohesive.
How do brands do this? It starts with making sure teams work together, with media and creative working side by side in order to guarantee the consumer receives an easy and efficient customer experience.
According to a report from MagnaGlobal and Twitter, 25% of product purchase decisions are led by cultural relevance. Brands such as Nike know how to do this effectively and other brands can too.
To do so, stay true to your brand DNA, while adapting to cultural changes. People drive culture so know what, where and how your audience is consuming.
It’s also important to create an experience by telling a compelling story people will be talking about after the fact. Lastly, be a part of the conversation. People are on social to engage so don’t just use it to push a message.
HitRECord’s collaborative platform and creative community bucks the trend of typical online interactions because it isn’t focused on the “attention economy” or one-upping others. Instead, it’s about having a fundamentally different mindset shift and sharing in a common goal.
For example, Zappos’ 1% CEO project allows employees to start a business using the resources within the existing business, allowing internal teams to act as contractors and experiment with branding, messaging and collaborating with customers.
To fully tap into how Zappos’ full potential has a collaborative brand, a partnership with HitRECord would allow the brand to get inspired globally and hear from consumers directly.
Influencer marketing has skyrocketed and shows no signs of slowing down. But as consumers become more adept to it, how do brands make sure there still remains a level of authenticity?
First, creators and brands need to share the same values. You can’t fake authenticity so brands need to find partners that truly believe their values.
Brands also need to ensure its voice, messaging, etc. is being communicated loud and clear. Many brands think influencers want to “do their own thing” and can be afraid to be too prescriptive, but that’s not the case. Creators want to know a brand’s thoughts, look, tone and feel to make the content feel more authentic.
And lastly, creators should say no to fake followers no matter how tempting it may be. Fake followers have the potential to distract rather than promote and brands are now super hip to the game and won’t work with you if they find out.
The bottom line is remember to listen to the consumer, adapt when needed and tell a story in a way that’s authentic and genuine. That’s how we make believers of consumers.