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Where Should Great Marketers Take Their Brands in 2019?

This is a busy time for events!

The Whalar squad were discussing all things connectivity at the Barcelona Mobile World Congress a couple weeks ago and will be sharing how we see the role of online brand storytelling at AdWeek Europe with our Chairman John Hegarty this week.

Meanwhile, we are in the midst of planning our Cannes Lion activation and the great news is we have secured a huge space so the scope just got bigger!

Here in Asia, Campaign 360 is perfectly placed to really set the scene for the year ahead.

We are going through a period of seismic change in how the marketing ecosystem fits together to add value for brands.  That has caused many of them to rethink everything about how, where and why they partner with agencies, suppliers and specialists.

The sense of a new era emerging from the rubble was present throughout the day in the lush surroundings of the Capella Hotel.

Here are our 5 key takeaways.

1. Brands increasingly want and need specialism to perform the complex task of marketing in a digital world. However, they also want their agencies to simplify their model and become more integrated and transparent. Ultimately, we are all going to have to get comfortable with the fact that change is the new norm and there is no one model that works for one brand - never mind across brands and markets.  Partnerships are now more important than ever and brands will, and should, flex to multiple models and partners based on the requirements and business goals at that time. Tech is the partnership enabler and brand marketing partners need to live with that and collaborate.

2. Data’s natural home is (mostly) in-house. Decision making, omni-channel consumer engagement and media buying can then happen through a variety of changing partnerships. They are going to need to access that data though. Getting data right is an existential challenge in almost every vertical and in a world where partnerships matter and things get replicated and commoditised fast it is one of the single biggest determinants on the value of a business.

3. Creative is the biggest differentiator a brand is looking for in a partnership. The one thing you can’t build, buy or own and can’t be commoditised is the creative idea.  And ok, maybe love. Brands have a constant and never-ending lust to inspire, delight … and be loved! There are a myriad of delivery mechanisms now - too many - so the single biggest thing a partner can bring to the table is creative ideas, insights and reporting on how they are resonating and the impact they are having.  Authentic, localised and personalised marketing matters. Moment marketing matters. Making people ’feel’ matters. Partners and solutions that enable and help understand this are in demand.

4. The oldest rule in the book still applies - the brands follow the eyeballs. Facebook & Google still monopolise attention and eyeballs across their various platforms. Working with them to weave a brand story authentically is still what brands are spending a hell of a lot of their time and money on.

5. The role of the marketer and the journalist has now blurred. Brands are having to fight harder and harder to tell their own, unique and authentic brand story online. The upper and mid marketing funnel is fast moving online. The consumer has become both a more impatient and a more conscientious animal and is exerting more and more discretion. Ad fatigue is rife. Expect to see product placement and authentic content marketing become more and more prevalent. The holy grail will be understanding how this is affecting the performance of paid media ads at the bottom of the funnel.

What is fast becoming clear is that 2019 is the year where marketers will be focused on how they leverage creative, data and specialism to deliver a more seamless, engaging and authentic experience for the consumer. The brands and marketers that will win will be the ones that enable this through successful collaboration between their in-house teams, agencies, suppliers and specialist partners.  

What a time to be alive.

Originally published on LinkedIn by Whalar's APAC CEO, Matt Sutton.

Banner content from @escapingyouth.