A Rapidly changing consumer market will force brands to actively engage as a member of the community, rather than merely market and communicate their products or services. It will mean brands communicate and demonstrate their purpose and value systems, at a time when customers confidently reject those that do not represent their own values. In a decade that will see the rise of individual brand power, that will establish a more personalised approach to brand communication and where purpose will prevail over material, this could well be the time for you to assess if your communication strategy and roadmap is geared to the future.
Our annual booklet this year (we sent it to over 500 senior business leaders, marketing and communication heads) outlines six key trends that will be core to PR and communication for brands across sectors in the decade ahead. Here is a quick synopsis, check if these form part of your PR and communication mix and write to us if you would like to receive a copy of the booklet.
Customer experience is the new battleground where brand wars will be fought. Rapid growth in technologies have resulted in customers demanding consistent engagement across multiple brand touch points. This presents a unique challenge to marketers and business heads, forcing them to adopt an omni-channel communication approach.
In an integrated, Omni channel market, organisations will be forced to have meaningful conversations with their customers, communicating with them when they want to, with messages customised to their preference and delivered on a channel of their choice.
Real - Time
In a world of instant gratification, speed and agility have emerged a must for businesses to thrive. Decreasing time to conversations is paramount to marketing. Adopting to real-time PR requires the following:
- Leverage your social assets to break news about your brand or company. Increasingly, media & influencers use social media to stay informed.
- Create a calendar of relevant events and occasions and prepare real-time campaigns in advance.
- Develop personalised, multi-channel content when you develop your content calendars.
- Investment in sophisticated monitoring tools is a must.
With the lines between marketing and PR blurring, data analytics is proving to be critical in building and executing successful PR campaigns that drive customer engagement and conversations. Data challenges widely held marketing assumptions, to uncover hidden insights about your customers, that can help you customise your brand promotions to yield better ROI. It not only enables you develop relevant messaging, but also understand better who the TG are, what format they consume content in, timing of delivery and the context in which it has to be done, adding currency to your campaign.
Velocity and precision are two key factors that drive marketing today. Discovering, understanding, creating and implementing strategies based on the unique preferences of your customer is critical in a dynamic market. Context specificity calls for personalisation, combined with brand amplification on social media to garner brand attention. Nano marketing takes personalisation to the next level. Granularity, achieved with data analytics is key for brands to develop precision in messaging.
In the age of “breaking news” on the go, the ability to ideate and execute with speed, creating a positive brand perception is critical to grab, retain and increase mind share. Relevance and being current is the new currency to keep your brand front and centre.
Guerilla PR lends itself best to campaigns targeting broad, general audience and are used to break through the information clutter for consumer campaigns. Being unconventional with Guerilla PR strategies will get your brand noticed.
In an increasingly polarised and segmented world, people are no longer passive customers, they are active decision-making participants. Connecting with your customer through stories in different formats is where customer-centric, experiential communication is moving to. To nudge your customer in the sales funnel, you need a well-defined and comprehensive strategy that has the right mix of content with the right distribution channels.
Brands are not made overnight. It is your customers who hold the power to turn your product/service into a hot selling brand! The key is communication. If the brand communication is clear and reaches you audience at the right time and place, you’ve got a winner. This could well be the time for you to lay a strong foundation in building your brand for the future.
Sumathi Chari, Director & Senior Partner, PRHUB.
Sumathi Chari is an Integrated Brand Communication Specialist with hands-on experience in PR, Marketing Communication & Social Media Branding.