It has never been easier for brands to communicate with consumers and get their message out there, thanks to the ever-growing channels of communication and developing marketing technology, but is this all positive?
- The frequency and level of communication opportunities have resulted in some brands publishing content with little essence for the sake of it that could be causing more harm than good to their brand experience.
- Now is the time for brands to rethink the dynamics of their relationships with consumers.
“95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram every day.”
Not only are the number of ways in which brands communicate with consumers increasing, but consumer’s lifestyles are changing, where and how frequently they communicate has evolved thanks to mediums like social media.
Whether people like it or not, there is an expectation to hear from brands almost all the time through the continuous stream of content that pollutes our experiences. With this development, consumers have also become more digitally sociable so, the omnipresence of communication has fast become a reality.
Are some brands falling behind?
“81% of brands could disappear and European consumers wouldn’t care.”
This key finding by Havas Group’s Meaningful Brands 2019 report, which constituted 1,800 brands and 350,000 participants across 31 countries, is sparking uncertainty through the success of marketer’s campaigns. Is this figure so high because some brands are failing to rethink their strategy and innovate in line with the development in consumers’ expectations and behaviour? Legacy strategy, where brands simply repeat the same campaign style activations each year because as it worked once they believe it will again, is a surprisingly common practice, however, the fact that 81% of brands could disappear without consumers batting an eyelid should wake up marketers to the inefficiency of this strategy.
The risk profile associated with each company will of course differ and in turn, affect how ‘out there’ the content they produce is. However, given the volume of content consumers are exposed to, brands can no longer settle for safe, relying on strategies that may have done ‘okay’ in the past, as this will not have a lasting impact on consumers.
While the safer type of marketing campaign isn’t completely without value, a new approach in line with developing consumer expectations and behaviours is necessary. For example, sports sponsorship or other high-profile calendar events are easy for brands to incorporate into their strategy, but if these fail to consistently maintain engagement levels, are they truly worth the investment? This is where constant communication needs more focus, both money and time are wasted if a brand simply takes on a sports sponsorship for the sake of it. Just like relationships built with friends, if continuous communication and attention are not invested in nurturing the relationship, it will not survive.
Furthermore, just because a brand managed to captivate an individual’s attention with one campaign, this does not mean their attention and loyalty is guaranteed in the foreseeable future. While there will be some consumers that base their future investment in a brand on that first connection, relying on this could lead to a huge loss for businesses. In today’s competitive landscape, brands must assume that there will always be a competitor around the corner who might steal that individual’s attention.
What is the solution?
Speed and ability.
These two features are a clear and crucial solution for brands facing these challenges. The ability and speed through which brands can use data to create more personalised communications will be essential to any future success. It is no longer just about understanding what content will resonate with each individual in their target market, but also the correct frequency and channels they populate to best reach them. This is the instance where technology will come into its own and forge a stronger relationship between tech, data and marketing departments. While there will be no one solution that fits all brands, the amount of data and channels to communicate that are available will mean that one solution isn’t necessary, but it starts with speed and ability.
Now that marketing campaigns are slowly losing impact and one-off marketing campaigns are not enough, will this pave the way for more bespoke brand relationships? A campaign that is developed on a more personal level, where a brand shows its consumers that they do know them is the goal. Consumers expect more, so now is the time for brands to deliver. Personalised relationships are the answer, with data and tech making it possible.