10/10: 10 turning points of the last decade in marketing and advertising

1. A little big window on the world

How many times in the last decade have we heard that the mobile year is coming. Until it finally arrives, or in fact it falls like a thunderclap. The small screen has acquired incredible power, much greater than all the others – it has become our window on the world and at the same time a digital sphere at our feet. The smartphone accompanies us at work, in our free time, it is a tool for communication with others. Anyway, try to get out of your house without a phone… Naturally, this has also become the first and most important marketing communication screen, leaving far behind the huge billboards or the screens stuffed with more and more sophisticated functions of televisions. The mobile age has arrived and there is no turning back. The only thing that will change is the content that this small screen will offer us: even more adapted to the recipients, more focused on their preferences, and the boundaries between ordinary content and advertising creation will become increasingly blurred.

2. The media that changed everything

A small screen like the first screen is one thing, but what happened to it! We have passed in a totally imperceptible way to the world of social platforms. Even if someone doesn’t have Facebook (Meta today), they use Messenger or some other messenger, which often becomes a mini-stream for us. It is safe to say that social media, initially intended only for contact between people, has changed everything, including in the world of marketing and advertising. Social giants have provided marketers with unprecedented opportunities and advertising tools that have forever changed consumers’ relationships with brands. The enormous power of social media is capable of not only influencing our buying decisions, but also interfering with our beliefs and changing reality, the most prominent examples of which were the 2016 US presidential election and the Cambridge Analytica case.

When it comes to social media, it’s impossible to ignore influencers. Only 10 years ago, this name could be used to describe a person known to everyone. Famous sportsmen, actors and celebrities were involved in the advertisements – a group of no more than 50 people. Today, 50,000+ of the so-called microinfluencers, which are lesser known, have a smaller reach and charge lower cooperation fees. Because even though they aren’t watched by millions, like the Kardashians, they have a much closer relationship with their followers – they’re believable and trust like a good friend.

3. Relationships as interpersonal

Social platforms have entered our lives and the business world with such force that the distance between consumer and brand has practically ceased to exist. From one-way communication, we naturally moved on to building an emotional bond and a close, even friendly, business relationship. Brands have begun to build multi-dimensional personalities so that we can enjoy our successes with them, mourn with them, and change the world for the better together. To build loyalty and engagement, you had to go way beyond traditional forms of marketing and start building a culture around the brand. Both in the online and offline world. Why did Ben & Jerry’s ice cream not only capture the hearts of American consumers, but also those around the world? Because the brand has been strongly involved socially for years and is not afraid to manifest its ideas, no matter where in the world it is. Plus, he has a great product. ; ) In Poland, she repeatedly joined the activities of the LGBT community, participating in the “reconstruction” of the rainbow in Zbawiciela Square or supporting Polish Equality at Bednarska High School in Warsaw. This was the vision of the company founders: that their company would change the world for a better one – more tolerant, “eco” and sustainable. And it’s for this authenticity that people love Ben & Jerry’s.

4. An advertisement that is not an advertisement

Brands that create their own world around products and an engaged community have completely reformatted advertising content, stripping it of strictly product messaging. Red Bull immediately comes to mind – a brand that has mastered content marketing. He builds his universe by creating high quality content related to extreme sports, alternative events, motorsports and music. And while it only has one product that everyone knows about, it’s not focused on advertising an energy drink, but what fascinates and delights recipients. Above all, Red Bull creates emotions, evokes excitement and commitment. Viewers want to be a part of that world, so when there’s a greater need for energy, they turn to the category pioneer.

5. Snacks for people, encyclopedias for robots

The world has accelerated dramatically over the past decade. Everyone is chasing something, transmission time has also become very telegraphic. A sentence and a piece of image are enough for us, as long as we are not looking for typical expert content. Communication with the consumer has been dominated by “snackable content” – snackable content that will grab our attention and allow us to move on to the next ones in three seconds. This state of affairs obviously did not send the editors out of work. On the contrary – the digital world needs more and more content – whole litanies, bloated novels and even particular encyclopedias. But not for people, but for robots that read content on the Internet and then place those who have written “the best” about their products and services in the top positions of search engines.

6. Video, then long, long nothing

Who needs so many words if everything can be said with a dynamic image? No one probably expected video to become the undisputed king of content so quickly. In the years to come, there is no question here of abdication. This form today represents up to 80% of all the data we have on the Internet, completely dominating the world of advertising and marketing communication. Why? Because it’s an ideal example of the aforementioned “snackable” content – easy to receive, short-lived (compared to, say, reading), and challenging our reward center. Internet video has changed our brains and the way we consume media. Additionally, any of the 6.5 billion smartphone users can become a video content creator today. Applications or social platform tools based on artificial intelligence are able to create for us more or less professional film producers in a few moments.

7. Athletes who don’t play on pitches but fill stadiums

If your parents said video games were a waste of time, they might be wrong. The value of the computer game market has surpassed the music and film industries combined. Today it is more than 150 billion dollars. Revenue per user in the gaming industry is three times higher than revenue per user on Google. Marketers can’t pretend gaming and esports don’t exist – gamers have become the same celebrities as famous footballers or athletes, and gaming events draw hundreds of millions of people to screens , filling the arenas where the games are played.

8. We don’t know each other that well

The advertising message that can be seen on the screen is no coincidence – it can be the result of up to 1.5 thousand different variables capable of calculating who the advertisement should be shown to and how they will react to it. Today, marketers know where we are, what we do, what we like, what we don’t like, and advertising algorithms very often know us better than we know ourselves. Few are surprised when talking about changing sofas in private messages, and ads from furniture stores bombard us moments later on newly visited websites. Despite everything, we can still feel anonymous, because there is so much data that we are reduced to a single line in an endless table. With access to such advanced technologies, it is surprising that only a few percent of Polish marketers use machine learning and artificial intelligence in their work.

9. Technology alone is not enough

So will we still be able to rely solely on tables? Well no. Creativity and experiential marketing are a chance to stand out in the crowd, and the coming world without cookies will only increase their importance. Innovative formats, engaging activities and storytelling are worth their weight in gold, and those who will be able to use contextual data for this – can be confident of the results. We go back to the roots, that is to human-centered stories, authenticity and simple truths, currently located in digital reality. For years, IKEA has shown us how beautiful and simple these stories can be, which in its communication always puts people at the center, creating interesting experiences around simple stories about the brand, thus creating a connection with the consumer, giving them something to experience or encouraging them to think about.

10. All-in-one, not just in terms of products

A decade ago, the landscape of the advertising industry looked a bit like the map of Westeros from Game of Thrones: here the kingdom of advertising agencies, there the press houses, and here the production houses or other specialized structures. In this ATL Byzantium, 30 on TV reigned supreme and marketers were given long-term audiences by teams from various agencies who knew each other by sight. Today, that distinction is blurring as the line between online and offline. Organizations that seamlessly integrate many services under one roof, which we can safely call all-in-one, are slowly and steadily emerging. On the other hand, we are seeing the appearance of new local structures, smaller, often more efficient in business than network players. These boutique organizations focus on strong partner relationships with the customer and sincere commitment, for better or for worse. Just like in a Formula 1 team, you have to trust each other and feel that you have the same objective. By adding a wide range of skills to this approach, we have a pit stop – full service in all areas, i.e. a real OneStopShop.

Authors: Andrzej Rogoń, Agnieszka DrabikowskaThe Communication Plus Group

The article was written in collaboration with Grupa Komunikat Plus.

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