Our member Yardstick Marketing predicting that digital world will dictate industry trends for both brands and professionals as we move into 2018. These are the principal trends to take into when developing a marketing and communication strategy:
1. Switch on consumer content consumption – Videos have started taking the lead on social media, and this is likely to grow in 2018. PR agencies may need to create more of video content to reach media and influencers. Traditional press releases, will mainly be published by online news portals, however, as most print media today focuses on their digital strategy, video content from agencies is more likely to be embraced. Therefore, for agencies putting out traditional press releases, it might be time to now think of sending them out with video releases. Therefore, the spokesperson quotes could be videos whereby; it empowers digital media to upload on their social sites and websites instantly.
2. Evolution of the media landscape – Media landscape in the UAE has significantly changed in the last two years. Traditional media has found it challenging to survive and a number of publications have shut shop completely. A majority of them have stopped printing and have completely gone online. What then happens to the agencies fulfillingthe demands of costumers that continue to emphasize on “mainstream traditional media?”. 2018 is likely to witness majority of print publications switching to online modes, as the content is fresh and hopefully news is reported in “real-time”.
3. Growing number of bloggers and influencers – The region will witness a surge in bloggers that specialize in various different segments. Filtering these bloggers according to their real-reach and engagement will continue to become client-agency debates. More of “bloggers-only” events will continue, as media struggles to find advertisers to survive the downturn.
4. Emphasis on personal branding – As an SME, it’s a good reminder to understand and buy in the fact that “people buy from people”, and therefore as an entrepreneur if you are media shy, it’s time to embrace toastmasters / public speaking classes and undergo some rigorous media training programs. Brand equity will continue to be built upon personal branding as well.
5. Emotional Quotient – Marketing campaigns that focus upon building and nurturing the emotional connection with their consumers will lead to maximum customer retention. It’s important to now think about how can one build and maintain a space in the consumer’s hearts.
6. Values and CSR strategy – For companies that currently don’t have a budget for, or believe in giving back, it’s time to re-think your marketing strategy. Corporate social responsibility does emotionally connect with end-consumers, and does lead to building upon the credibility of a company. Narrating success stories, building and making a difference in communities, will significantly catapult companies to credibility and create a lasting space in the hearts and minds of their stakeholders and consumers.