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The 5 Key Trends Driving Our Work with Clients Today

 

If you didn’t go to the Gartner Marketing Symposium 2019, don’t worry, Allie Clark did.
 

Written By Blue Sky Agency • 3.28.2019

Whenever we can, we attend industry events and conferences so that we can stay up on the trends that are affecting our clients. I recently attended 2019 Gartner Marketing Symposium in San Diego and across all of the sessions, the same themes emerged. Allow me to distill them for you:

 

1. Brands that make customers feel or do something will win customer loyalty.

Brands have an opportunity to be a stabilizing presence for consumers in a volatile world. Marketers that make “helping customers” a priority through personalization, content marketing, customer experience and brand value will be better positioned to differentiate themselves from the competition.

“Strong brand connections are less about whether or not the brand presents itself in a way that is consistent with customer values, and far more about whether or not the brand helps customers present themselves in a way that’s consistent with their own values.”

- Brent Adams, VP Advisory, Gartner

2. The evolution of the tech savvy marketer is underway.

It’s the age of data. Underutilized data. On average, only 5% of customer data is being leveraged. Marketers that can tap into it will be able to dominate the landscape for years to come. To that end, the hot new role of “Director of Marketing Data” will be tasked with creating and deploying a useful customer data platform (CDP).

3. Agile marketing is now accelerating.

If you’re not agile now, become agile quickly. 37% of client organizations have adopted agile ways of working internally and 50% of those who haven’t, plan to soon. Agile companies are able to shift gears quickly and increase teamwork while remaining productive and aligned to the business. But if you’re serious about adopting it, don’t go it alone, invest in agile training.

4. Millennials defy stereotypes - and brands who are empathetic can win.

Millennials are often maligned as entitled, but the opposite is actually true. They show increased ambition, discovery, expertise and individuality, all while facing financial challenges from college debt and recent recessions. They represent a broad age group and are ambivalent about social media with 47% of them feeling overwhelmed by it and 55% saying they are kept informed by it. In short, they are not of one mind about anything. Brands that are empathetic to that reality without falling back on stereotypes will have an advantage. Leaning into ideals such as self-expression and individuality will also be key to brand success in coming years.

5. Generation Z ushers in a new era of diversity and inclusion.

Generation Z will be the biggest, most diverse (majority minority), and inclusive generation to date. But they’ve grown up in a volatile world and it has left its mark. As a result, they seek stability and tools to create a more predictable future – they’re involved in their communities, policy and the environment. They want brands to acknowledge real world issues and align their values with real world situations. Brands that do so will be rewarded with loyalty (think Lyft offering rides to the March protests).

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