Marketing trends are hard to predict. Now that Mystic Meg is well into retirement and we don’t have time to dust off the DeLorian, we’ll just have to rely on our experience of the marketing mix to steer us in the right direction. 

So, here’s a quick peek at the top five trends, challenges and opportunities expected to rock the marketing world in 2016:

1.  GETTING PERSONAL WITH MILLENNIALS

“A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is - it is what customers tell each other it is” - Scott Cook

Millennials can be a difficult yet rewarding demographic for us marketers.  Research conducted by Ofcom* showed millennials spend more time glued to digital devices than they do sleeping. So, in a digital era where Grumpy Cat can command over 8 million followers on Facebook, how do we help brands stand out from the crowd?  Surely, we can give that miserable moggy a run for her money.

The answer of course is right under our noses. By engaging with consumers through social media, brands are able to start a conversation with their target audience like never before. User generated content, influencer blogs and a blend of offline and below the line campaigns require slick and consistent service but the rewards are endless and if executed right, brands are able to create moments and memories that consumers can’t wait to share with friends in person and on social media which will resonate long after the event has finished.

So, embrace the digital age of the consumer and create brand enthusiasts to become part of your brand story. It is no longer a question of whether this should be introduced into a brand’s marketing strategy, but how it can be done in a meaningful and measurable manner. Fundamentally, it’s all about connection, building - and importantly, sharing - unique experiences.

2.  GET TECHY WITH IT

“Any tool that enhances communication […] has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other” - Bill Gates

Let’s be honest, technology can often be a bit of a marketing minefield. It’s developing at a truly mind boggling pace and the jargon jungle is a tough one to navigate.  Knowing your SEO from your CRO or your AMD from your SMP is often a bit of a pickle but do not ignore digital marketing and the vast opportunities it provides. It’s the equivalent of opening a business and not bothering to tell anyone about it. 

One fundamental opportunity is that the growth in technology allows businesses instant real time feedback and engagement never seen before and as a result brands are quite rightly now demanding deeper analysis and intelligence rather than just raw data from agencies. Live brand experience agencies now have the ability to provide and evaluate not just ROI but ROE (return on engagement) for you so don’t get left behind.

3.  COLLABORATION

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success” - Henry Ford

What an exciting time for Scottish brands; the wealth of forward thinking businesses - such as the exquisite Edinburgh Gin - provides exciting opportunities for tours, hands on experience days and collaborations between producers to be hosted in creative ‘on brand’ environments. 

Live brand experience agencies can create high impact campaigns that help you reach your target market through crafted organic experiences that engage the audience and remain true to the brand ethos. Think outside the box and create exciting collaborations that make your consumers the influencers so they then promote brands for you.

4.  CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY

“Knowing who your customers are is great. But knowing how they behave is even better” - Jon Miller

The emotional connection between a brand and consumer is more important than ever. Customers are expecting more and the need for brands to engage, excite and captivate an audience cannot be underestimated; that is why our approach here at MASCOT is rooted in psychological principles. 

Excuse us for tooting our own horn here but at MASCOT we pride ourselves on our understanding of human psychology.  In fact, we believe it is that important to experiential marketing as a whole, that we even went and got a degree in it. We proudly lace these principals through everything we do from planning, implementation to campaign evaluation. We look at why consumers want to engage with your product and review the environmental factors influencing their thought processes.

These considerations - amongst others - help us create the consumer experience that is unique to your brand. 

It’s our USP and we like to think we’re pretty darn good at it.

5.  MEANINGFUL & MEMORABLE LIVE EVENTS

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make but about the stories you tell” - Seth Godin

Granted, our fifth point may seem slightly contrived coming from a live brand event agency but it’s a point we just cannot ignore. As consumers are becoming more savvy shoppers, we can allow them to create positive associations with a product and experience it with all five senses. Think back to the smell of your mother’s perfume or the nostalgia listening to a certain music from your childhood. This immersive, emotional connection is a powerful and exciting one indeed.

Of course, this type of marketing is not restricted to large corporations - some of the most successful and creative campaigns have been demonstrated by smaller brands. At MASCOT we can manage digital, social, events, data and evaluation for any size of business and have the choreography know-how to tie it all together.

So there you have it. The Mad Men era of whiskey, women and wine is a distant memory as the digital explosion takes over the marketing playing field. The focus is less on challenges and more about opportunities. So, time to roll up our sleeves and get creative!

Don’t get left behind. If you want to help bring your brand to life then contact Jo at the MASCOT team via jo@wearemascot.com and let us take you for a coffee to discuss your marketing needs.

 

**image sources: break.com, metro.co.uk, optimum7.com**