2019 – what will we be (or should we be) focusing on
By Richard Badley
A (proper) customer centric approach.
This isn’t new. In fact, we have talked about omni-channel and customer focused recruitment and marketing for ages. The problem we have is that we aren’t doing it.
Teams are still most commonly structured around channels, disciplines or worse still our own processes. To add to this, we aren’t always joining up our activities with a real focus on the experience our customers go through (“why aren’t our ‘social team’ working with our “comms team” is not acceptable anymore).
It’s time to start making changes. Prioritise projects that link-up, optimise and fundamentally improve your customer’s experiences and you will see benefit.
Another annual chart topper. Still here, still important. And as we focus on customer centric experiences, this will only become more important.
Whether we are talking video (long or short form, vertical or not), display, social, audio, experiential, partnerships (the list goes on and spans paid, owned and earned); we need to make content engaging, interesting, relevant and fundamentally underpinned with a solid ‘value exchange’ proposition. It’s not enough to puke our own sales messages in different shapes and claim to be content generators.
This year, we will also most likely see a rise in live video. It’s different from standard video (in it’s format, pace, digestion and value), and needs to be considered as such.
Bots and voice
Another repeat, but it’s going to mature and become of higher value to its users this year. Which in turn means we need to consider how we start to really use it as marketeers.
The growth of clever bots and regular use of voice will continue to be driven by audiences looking for ease, convenience, relevance and instant results. Underpinned by the maturity of the tech, AI and our pocket based personal assistants.
In my opinion, this is harder to action for every recruiter, but perhaps one to learn about and keep a careful eye (or ear) on.
Don’t skip this bit. I know we all know it’s there, but it’s not going anywhere. And we need to keep giving it the love and attention it needs.
This year we will likely see changes in the platforms themselves, how we use them, and what they want to be for us (apparently Facebook is launching a currency?!).
Facebook is plateauing (all audiences except older ones are in decline). They have had big challenges with trust, and commercial growth has won over user privacy. On the other side of their fence, Instagram continues to keep winning (with growth across all audiences).
We are still surrounded by new entrants, all doing something a little different. And a lot the same. Audiences will continue to flit between the new ones, only to return to the masses.
What’s key is ensuring you have good content, a strong value exchange, and a purpose for your presence.
Analytics and reporting
Nerds – welcome to the table. You have earned your place (I can say that, I am constantly called a nerd).
Analytics and reporting have finally become more than a retrospective tool to prove our decisions were correct and we should earn more money. It is now common place for it to lead strategic and tactical planning. And even the most ‘data adverse’ colleagues are willing to base large investment decisions on a single sided report.
Businesses are developing their own functions, teams and smarter measures to understand not only their investments, but their organisational performance and health. It is being joined up. In clever ways.
I also expect people analytics to feature more heavily in this space. Understanding how wellbeing, engagement and personal contributions all feed into the larger ‘organisational ecosystem’.
Finally, from a media perspective, as data matures it is in turn shifting media strategy and investment plans. We are starting to measure effectiveness, not just efficiency. And hopefully bringing our sights up, away from short term ROI to longer term change.