2018 has seen copious amounts of highs and lows. We’ve seen micro-marketing scandals with Cambridge Analytica, successes with Easterseals Southern California’s (ESSC) ingenious “Change the Way You See Disability” campaign, and the GDPR black cloud which has invited marketers to re-think their uses of big data and targeted marketing campaigns.
This year we’ve reached out to bright sparks of the marketing industry to give us an exclusive inside scoop on their year of marketing, and what lies ahead for them.
What’s their view of the year? Is there anything you’ve missed whilst you’ve been creating marketing and content magic? Well, fear not because we have you covered.
Without further ado, here’s Infinity’s roundup on marketing in 2018.
Attribution At Its Finest
Buyers’ habits are affected by multiple circumstances and preferences throughout the year. As mentioned previously, 2018 has seen a turbulent rollercoaster ride of events, political nuances, and economic changes that are dictating the way our customers are spending their money.
But when habits change inexplicably fast throughout the year, how do you get a grip on your attribution model to ensure it’s capable of adapting to the changes in your customers’ consumption habits?
“Every year as a marketer you learn a new lesson from the consumer - as buying and browsing habits change, sitting on the analytics at a top level supports thinking on consumer approach and engagement. Attribution is everything, but also create a contribution model for everything that can’t be isolated.”
Mark Bloxham | Chief Marketing Officer, WendyWuTours.co.uk
Print Isn’t Dead, It’s Vital
We’ve been hearing this same buzz phrase of “print is dead” for over 10 years now, but clearly not as print publications are still around, and still have millions of loyal readers subscribing to their content. In today’s society of digital this and digital that, we as marketers need to think outside the box and sometimes delve into the past for inspiration. Print is a unique form of communication, and also has a benefit of being a physical object for its readers to interact with, it becomes stand-alone marketing collateral.
Kelly O'Flaherty, Digital Partnerships Manager, of New Market Holidays summarizes this perfectly when asked: “What surprised you most in 2018?”
“Despite the sheer volume of people online and as a result on social media – print still plays a vital role in the marketing toolkit. Influencer & social media marketing might be the hot buzzwords at the moment but traditional channels should not be forgotten."
"We need only look to the two major trust building campaigns this year and realise the importance of print. Oxfam and KFC both took to print this year to apologise (granted for two very different reasons...) and to attempt to claw back some trust.”
Mirroring his view of print and disruption of marketing is Jos Dewing, managing director of Voyages to Antiquity
“Digital is ubiquitous and continues to disrupt in its own wonderful way but traditional marketing, direct mail and print, is definitely not dead.”
Print will always hold a special place in consumers’ hearts. Consumers enjoy the physicality of a publication and, as seen above, taking this away from your strategy could be the difference between being seen as innovative or irrelevant.
Invest In Your Platforms
Partner platforms can provide a strong foundation of technology, processes, and people. Companies in 2018 have started to shift more focus, and investment, to this digital platform landscape as a way to enhance their product offering. When asked about platforms in 2018, Sasha Bogojevic, the Founder of RP2 USA (an agency and Infinity client), states that
“we've significantly focused on building partnerships with platforms that allow us to prove and execute our activity."
In agreeance is James Boyle, head of digital marketing at Flight Centre Travel Group. James states that his biggest marketing lesson of 2018 is to
“Invest in platforms that have utility and scale across the business. The value of Infinity has been educating other stakeholders, how can we use across other areas (operations etc.) This is how I look at all platforms, not just Infinity. How can it benefit other areas, as a digital marketer, what can we get out of it?”
The GDPR Storm
GDPR is evidently here and is here to stay. Some have treated it like the annual trip to the accountant, delay as long as possible and hope it all works out for the best. On the other side of the coin, others have embraced it with a warm marketing hug. Scarily, the maximum fine of non-compliant companies results in a whopping 17.5 million. Clearly, GDPR is not to be ignored.
GDPR has made marketers rethink how their messaging can resonate better with the people who’ve opted to stay in their books.
Here’s what Louise Newton, Travel Marketer, has to say on the topic
“Brands’ preparedness for the GDPR change in May really surprised me. How many data managers had their heads in the sand? Anecdotally, only 10% of those asked to opt-in via email did so before the deadline. How much data is now not usable? After years of build-up, I do think this is a sad indictment on the marketing sector.”
Similarly, Kelly O'Flaherty, Digital Partnerships Manager, of New Market Holidays says
“You can’t really talk about learning in 2018 and not touch on GDPR. Preparing for the arrival of GDPR was something everyone had to do (though I feel not everyone may have enjoyed) and something we all learned from. Following the implementation of GDPR, we need to make sure that we continue to take our data collection & storage very seriously. From a marketing perspective, changing the way we permission our data doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing.”
So, was GDPR really an annoyance or has it taught us that we, as marketers, need to really focus on how we target our audience with the data we’re able to retain?
More importantly, can this limited use of data influence more creative marketing campaigns in 2019?
A Very Merry Christmas
2018 has provided us with a wide variety of considerations for the marketing industry. One of the overarching themes of 2018 has been the need for marketers to really consider how they're going to be using data to create customer-centric campaigns, ones that not only resonate with their following but also provides a sufficient ROI to their bottom line.
Stay tuned, as soon we’ll have Infinity’s 2019 projection blog, featuring marketers throughout the industry, and what they feel the future has in store for them.