During my travels for our project “Around the World in 80 Brands” I see 3 global trends submerging. Not only in Europe or the U.S., but also in the meetings I have with Indian, Korean or Brazilian brands these trends popup in the conversation.
1. Branded content, an extremely effective tool to reach consumers
Branded content is a fusion of advertising and entertainment. The goal is blend-in the advertising message in a seamless and transparent fashion, literally making it a part of the storytelling, while still getting the information across to the consumer.
Branded content has the power to help companies to incorporate product placement in an entertaining way, which results in an enhanced company and product image, better consumer relationship, and boost sales. (Read more on: Best of Branded Content by Justin Kirby)
2. Collaborative storytelling is the future of marketing
Stories educate us, they entertain us, and they inspire us. All great brands tell stories. But what is changing is the nature by which these stories are shared and even constructed. We’re evolving from storytelling to story sharing, and we’re on our way to story making. In the near future, the story of a brand gets created and shared through the personal stories of connected participants, where enlightened companies share the narrative, provide the prompts, and relinquish total control.”
3. Return On Engagement Is The New Thing.
ROI says something about how you invest your money, and what you get back mostly in economical terms (in media terms, e.g. how much free media got generated). ROE on the other hand aims at what you get back in brand strength: to what extend did your content captivate your consumer, and has it resulted in brand equity, in making the brand stronger?
With that in mind, the focus should shift to Return on Engagement [ROE], instead of “simply” ROI. The goal, in the end, is a long term one. And that goal is: bigger communities, stronger loyalty, an unbreakable bond with the brand, and a desire of the consumer to refer the brand to others. Engagement leads to brand interest and love and ultimately, sales.