Since tis still the season of predictions and ‘looking forward to in 2011’, and because I brought up the subject of brand agencies reshaping themselves for the future, I thought I’d share with you three of my favourite decks of insights from the many that I managed to scan in the last few weeks.
We’ll begin with JWT’s ‘100 Things to Watch in 2011’. (via Surekha on Reader) While there are many things in this that you might already think is a trend, what I liked about it is its thinking outside of any specific prisms – brands, technology etc, but still managing to capture the essence of trends in human behaviour, culture, consumption, the shifts happening therein, and thus, a good reckoner for marketers.
The second one I’d like to share is Edelman’s ‘Digital Trends to Watch in 2011’. Though there are a few commonalities with the JWT deck, this seems more focused. While this is definitely quite a sensible thing to do from a client perspective, I missed the “completely out of the blue, but damn, why didn’t I think of it?” moments that I usually associate with its creators. But that’s just a testament to my high regards for Armano and Rubel, more than anything else. What I liked most about this was the trend + best practice combining, that layering gives excellent perspective.
The last one I’d like to share is Rohit Bhargava’s ’15 Marketing & Social Trends to watch in 2011′ (via Gauravonomics). There might be some overlap with the other two, but again, the idea of examples with each trend makes it a must-read, in addition to the overall quality of insights.
While its easy to see that there are commonalities in these, I also noticed an interesting thread of thought that resonated most with me.
‘There’s an app for everything everywhere’ is perhaps the underlying theme in #3 (Apps Beyond Mobile), #7 (Ubiquitous Social Computing, more specifically its best practice) and #9 (Appification of the web) in the JWT, Edelman and Rohit presentations. We then move on to ‘production of consumable content and experiences across platforms’ that connects #93 (Transmedia Producers – faint connection), #4 (Transmedia storytelling) in the JWT and Edelman presentations respectively. And at last, we move on to how it can scale which is brought out through #3 (Developer engagement) in Edelman’s presentation and #7 (Crowdsourced innovation) and #11 (Employees as heroes) in Rohit Bhargava’s presentation.
While I may not endorse a brand strategy only basis tools, the ‘appification’ across platforms actually throws open the door for marketers to not just satisfy their ‘short head’ consumers in better ways, but explore the ways to reach the ‘long tail’. It allows them to blend or distribute their ‘story’ across platforms and if done well, raise the interest level of their consumers. And an agency or brand manager cannot do it alone. While the idea of crowdsourcing is looked down upon by many, there are enough examples to show that if targeted well and executed with clarity, it can deliver results. More importantly, here, the ‘crowd’ is not consumers, but developers who can re-create the brand’s experience on multiple platforms, and employees who can create a human story that will resonate with others.
If these possibilities for 2011 don’t excite you, I’ll try again next week, but I really don’t have any more of these awesome presentations to back me up.
until next time, slide rules!