Why Pay Attention to Marketing Trends?
You’ve probably worked hard to develop your company’s values, processes and unique brand identity. You’ve probably made a business plan explaining your business’ USP and then repeated it to every investor, customer, bank manager and friend that you’ve encountered. So why, after all that time and energy spent on individuality and differentiating yourself, would you pay any heed to marketing trends?
Well, we have a couple of reasons. Firstly, these marketing approaches are usually being classified as ‘trends’ because they’ve been very successful, which in turn means that they reflect evolving customer behaviour and customer demand. And even the most established brands need to adapt, so that they can engage with how customers consume content, what products and services customers are looking for and how they perceive your brand.
Secondly, paying attention to and responding to marketing trends shows engagement with your audience and can help to widen your customer base. By understanding current trends around branding, demand, and marketing, you can be part of the conversation rather than on the sidelines.
Finally, new marketing approaches can introduce you to new platforms and ways to reach your target audience. Certainly not all new marketing methods and trends will suit your business, and trying to keep up with all of them is a waste of time and resources. But, you may find that by checking in with trends now and again, you will discover some interesting new ideas to add to your marketing strategy.
In this article we want to highlight some of the marketing trends that have stood out to us this year so far. All of these trends are based around really successful video ads or branded short films created to market the brand in question. We think that these promotional videos are not only technically impressive but they also demonstrate how you can combine your brand values with marketing in a way that’s clever, witty and emotional. And, by doing so, you can create a lasting connection with your customers.
The Best Marketing Trends of 2019, So Far...
Key Marketing Trend: Bravery
It’s not surprising, given the recent political climate and the growing awareness of social issues like sustainability, discrimination and representation, that brands are becoming more opinionated and open about their values. Environmentally friendly, inclusive and strongly ethical companies have become more visible and increasingly more successful as customers look to buy more consciously.
In the last few years, Dove and Patagonia have both successfully changed the perception of their brand by taking a stronger position on body positivity and sustainability respectively. In the videos below you can see how two very different brands have created videos to showcase long-term projects. Each project reflects a fundamental company value- widening beauty standards and eliminating fast fashion- and uses narrative videos, hashtags, and social media to engage with their audience.
Key Marketing Trend: Humour
A shared joke is one of the best ways to connect with someone. However, successfully using humour in marketing is one of the trickiest things to do well. When the joke lands though, it can have spectacular results both in terms of brand awareness and brand loyalty.
The first example we want to share with you was probably our favourite marketing campaign this year. And was definitely one of the year’s most talked about product launches, video ads and social media campaigns: the Greggs vegan sausage roll. The very British bakery chain launched its new vegan pastry by creating a mock iPhone ad that presented its new product in the best light, whilst also using self-deprecating humour that reinforced the brand’s working class appeal. Greggs’ showed itself to be unashamedly proud of its reputation for unfussy food whilst also coming across as a creative and modern company, open to customer feedback for new products. The overwhelmingly positive response to Greggs’ marketing approach (apart from a few famous tweets) suggests that customers are eager for smart, self-aware marketing.
To continue with British humour, earlier this year Irish bookmaker Paddy Power released a series of Brexit-inspired video shorts featuring Eric Cantona. Similar to Greggs, the branded short films are designed to appeal to their mostly working class customer base by playfully poking fun at the Brexit debacle and (affectionately) British culture, whilst also including a sense of gamification and a cleverly chosen celebrity cameo. Once again, this marketing strategy allows the brand to demonstrate that it knows its customer and is a relevant, innovative brand with strong values.
Key Marketing Trend: Emotion
Brands that don’t shy away from strong emotions and difficult emotional subjects in their marketing, tend to develop a reputation for authenticity and transparency with their customers. The basis for emotional marketing is that if you can create an ad that triggers an emotional response in a viewer, your brand is more likely to be remembered and trusted. Research suggests that emotional responses are central to our buying behaviour and that customers who feel an emotional bond with a brand are more likely to convert into a sale. And not only are emotionally engaged customers more likely to buy from you, they are also more likely to recommend you to others, building brand loyalty and reputation.
Emotional marketing works best if it includes three key elements: a story, a sense of community and an inspirational message or goal. John Lewis’ Christmas ads are a famous example of emotional marketing at its best. By using relatable and meaningful narratives, a consistent aesthetic and similar emotional themes, John Lewis has created a series of annual branded short films that its customers eagerly await enabling them to feel part of a community.
Lloyds Bank on the other hand, has chosen to tackle a more difficult emotion- embarrassment over money. By breaking the taboo around money, Lloyds has positioned itself as a bank that is approachable, trustworthy, open-minded and understands its customers.
The Power of Video for Marketing
All of these marketing campaigns center around video ads or branded short films. And even those that follow more traditional TV advert formats (Greggs, John Lewis, Lloyds) also make use of social media, YouTube and Twitch to ensure that their ads reach as many people as possible. This shift from conventional TV ads to online video content is not surprising given that 72% of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate, and that this year, in the U.S., digital ad spend exceeded TV ad spend for the first time ever.
The power of video for marketing is undeniable. Video has the ability to convey narrative, emotion and brand identity all in a quick and easily shareable format. And the marketing statistics and marketing trends support the idea that video content and branded narrative films are the way forward if you want to successfully market your business to your target audience.
In our next blog post we’re going to take a closer look at branded short films, so check back here soon. In the meantime you can follow us on Twitter and send us an email or give us a call if you’re interested in creating branded video content for your business.