Rich Henderson, Digital Director at JJ Marketing discusses what brands can learn from the Q4 2016 Bellwether report to help them succeed in the year ahead.
While, on the whole, marketing budgets may be on the decline, there are lots of opportunities for brands that are brave.
2017 will be a tough year for brands. Not only are marketing budgets forecast to be reduced, but the ever-increasing number of communication channels will make it increasingly difficult to gain, and retain, the interest of consumers. Today, there are countless ways of reaching consumers and engaging with them; however, with less money to spend and consumers now dividing their time between a growing number of channels, it’s becoming more and more challenging for brands to get noticed.
When the world is falling apart, we need to come together
To do well, brands need to take a holistic approach and look at how all marketing activities can work together. Sharing work and learning through multiple channels can drive cost and work efficiencies for the brand whilst, ultimately, delivering a better user experience. This consistency needs be a key focus for successful campaigns in 2017. Consumers want the same experience wherever they are, and whatever channel they are using, so that they believe the messages they see are authentic.
Further than this, the new landscape presents an opportunity for those brands brave enough to embrace the challenge. The need to understand what works (and what doesn’t) will increase the importance of testing and learning in any brand’s communication strategy. In these uncertain times, marketers shouldn’t be scared to test and experiment. Instead, the learnings gained from successfully using testing to gain insight into what does and doesn’t work for a brand’s marketing justifies the spend and can even create a clear case for investing more.
What we will be counting in 12 months’ time?
It has always been important for brands and marketers to stay focused on business objectives, but this statement has never been more true than at this moment in time. We need to work towards real business targets and not just goals or metrics that measure our marketing activity. The number of video views or advert clicks is irrelevant unless they are indicators of returning value to the business. At the end of the day, if the business isn’t doing well, there won’t be money to spend on marketing.
Be clear on what you want to achieve and take all opportunities available to achieve it In times of change and uncertainty, there are always big opportunities if you brave enough to take them. As long as you stay focused on business objectives, we could be looking back on your brand as one of the big winners of 2017.
Rich Henderson is Digital Director at JJ Marketing.