What The Last Decade Brought Us
And What To Expect From The Next
The only constant is change. This has never been more true than with marketing over the last 10 years. Let’s take a look at the main changes that have occurred and try to predict what might happen over the next 10 years.
The decade of digital marketing
Digital from zero to hero
In 2010 digital marketing was in its infancy. Over the following 10 years websites, social media, and SEO have become essential tools to stay competitive in our markets and to maintain customer engagement.
The growing necessity to be authentic
With everything at our fingertips, the most engaging quality a business can have is authenticity. People want the same connection with businesses they’ve always had and while the digital world has brought speed and convenience, it has removed the personal touch.
Consistency. The key to brand success
The number of touchpoints has increased over the years, everything from websites to social media have become the image and voice of your brand. The need for a consistent brand presence has become more important than ever.
What changes will the next decade bring?
10 years is a long time in our industry and it’s difficult to say for certain what the future holds. By looking back we can see clues for future trends. Here are some of Breathe’s marketing predictions for the 2020s.
Branding will need to say more than ever
As customers become more informed and wearier of the marketer’s messages, we’ll see a shift in buying habits. With everything you could want just a few clicks away, convenience will become the norm and a less powerful selling point. Authentic brands that represent the customer’s ideals will become the most powerful factor in the buying decision.
Quality and optimisation will trump quantity and mass appeal
Businesses that focus on quality and optimising their marketing will flourish over the next 10 years. The increased cost from digital means that targeting your budget at specific market segments through the most appropriate media online or offline will be the key to success.
Businesses that can connect with their audience will flourish
Connecting with your audience in the digital age is a game-changer. Social media is a powerful tool that will become a divider in the next decade. Those who use it well will forge connections with their customers and those who don’t will struggle to keep up with their competitors.
Whatever the next decade may bring, we all want to be ready for it. Invest the time and money your brand and marketing needs now and make the next 10 years the most successful your business has ever had.
Why Do I Need A Strong Brand?
No matter how great your product or service is, no-one will hear about it if you don’t attract attention – it’s that simple.
A strong brand attracts attention. It makes it easier for your sales team to sell because your customers have clarity about your strengths, USPs, value proposition, and why you are different from your competitors.
Branding builds awareness and understanding of your company and its promise, creating opportunities for your sales team. It makes it easier for your customers to buy because they have confidence you will deliver what you promise.
Your future success is dependant on generating recognition, creating awareness and building your reputation. Your brand is an invaluable asset to help you do this, to drive loyalty, launch new products, penetrate new markets, find and retain staff.
In time your brand will become a valuable asset on your balance sheet.
AI in Marketing
Artificial intelligence might conjure up images of sentient machines modelled after humanity or a supercomputer bent on world domination, but thankfully the reality is far more benign than sci-fi movies would have you believe.
AI has opened up a wealth of new information for marketers by analysing and interpreting big data into something we can take action on.
Are we closer to a machine takeover than anyone realises? AI is certainly more prevalent than most people believe. You’ve probably used it yourself without even realising, just by running ads on Google or Facebook.
You might even have talked to a robot impersonating a human and never known. Websites that have chat features for customer service will often start with preprogrammed messages and transition to a human operator once one is available. The more sophisticated the chatbot, the longer it can engage with you before a human needs to take the reigns.
Fortunately, films like The Terminator are still firmly in the realms of fiction, but if predictions are accurate we’ll see more applications for AI in marketing moving forwards.
A strong brand is a powerful asset that attracts new business and promotes continuous, stable customer relations. Consistent branding is the secret behind strengthening your brand.
Your brand consistency has a direct effect on how recognisable and trustworthy your customers view your brand. It acts as an integrity filter that customers use to evaluate whether or not you are worthy of their business. The brand they know and trust the most will be the brand they buy from.
The risks of an inconsistent brand
Brand recognition happens over time after multiple interactions with your brand. Without consistent branding, your customers won’t associate their interactions with your business to your brand. This makes you less recognisable and less likely to stand out from the competition.
Inconsistent branding casts your brand in a bad light. It looks unprofessional and puts doubt in the minds of your customers. If you aren’t willing to put the time and effort into making your brand consistent, how can they trust your product to deliver them what you’ve promised?
Perception is everything
Your brand is more than just your logo, it’s what your customers’ think about your business. People form their opinions over their different interactions with your business. Consistent branding ensures that they associate these interactions with your brand, adding to their overall impression of your brand.
3 Factors that affect brand perception:
Visibility – Being seen in your market is key and repeat exposure
to your brand over time will plant the roots of your brand in the minds of your customers.
Image – Not only do you need to be seen, you need to be seen in the right way. Your marketing materials need to catch your audience’s attention and deliver your message.
Identity – Your prospects need consistent branding to identify your business. They need the imagery, messaging, offer, value, and tone to remain the same each time they interact with your brand. This way they build their own idea of your brand identity.
Keeping up appearances
A new brand can be fresh and exciting but it’s the consistent brand experience that over time builds real brand value. Brand consistency doesn’t just happen. It needs careful planning with the right tools, processes and mindset to manage the brand. Lack of brand management has been the downfall of many promising brands.
Everything your customer sees must fit your brand and brand values or the identity you’ve worked so hard to create will begin to fracture.
McGowan Transcriptions rebrand & what they said about it
McGowan Transcriptions are a market leading transcription agency with an enviable reputation and ambitious plans for growth. As part of their growth initiative they added translation services to their offering and decided that now was the right time to match their brand with their new brand proposition.
They wanted a slicker feel to their brand image and consistency across all their brand communications. The chosen brand design was based on sound waves creating an M. The website continued the use of circles from the logo creating a clean fresh look with intuitive navigation and strong call to actions.
The client is pleased with their new branding and has been enjoying showing it off. Please see below the before and after images.