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What Matters in Marketing in 2019



INFLUENCER: Edelman's Justin Westcott looks into fresh approaches to storytelling to expect in the new year

What Matters in Marketing in 2019

2019 will be the year that money – and by extension, brands – will flow into other digital platforms and formats.

Twitch, for example, represents 15 million daily active viewers, each spending an average of 106 minutes on the platform. That’s a rare case where we are blending a highly engaged, passionate community with sheer global scale. What was once a niche site dedicated to gaming content is now a full ecosystem ready to connect content creators, brands and the media.

I checked this morning and TikTok is currently sitting at fourth place on the app store.

What’s TikTok? It’s a short-video sharing app which claims to have 150 million daily active users. It’s being touted as the spiritual successor to Vine, but I think it could be even bigger. The app is far more focused around user generated content and presents opportunities to create unique one-to-one brand conversations.

Reddit, while being a mature platform, is still one to watch. While they’ve had an extraordinary audience for decades, their advertising platform has always been playing catch up. This month, they’ve started positioning themselves to secure more ad revenue, cosying up to media agencies through a coast-to-coast US roadshow. This focus comes off the back of a year of strong updates and design changes to improve its user experience.

What’s interesting about these platforms is that they give us completely new formats for brands tell stories. And as we found with Earned Brand this year, the public are much more likely to engage – and make purchasing decisions with brands that can tell compelling stories.

These fresh approaches to storytelling, blended with gigantic audiences, pose an exciting new opportunity for brands using digital media.

More agencies will adopt Agile methodologies

As an industry, we’re all facing the pressure of developing content and creative ideas around the clock, to engage a multitude of audiences, and on an ever-increasing number of platforms.

Our industry will keep speeding up, and we’ll see expertise in Agile methodologies and approaches becoming increasingly important - to ensure campaigns and communications has the velocity for the speed of consumption.

Of course, strategy never dies – and we need to be mindful, as an industry, that we do not swap long-term strategic planning for short term activations. For every agency or brand that adopts Agile methodologies successfully, there’s another that uses it as an excuse for short termism. A blend of both is key.

We’re seeing a democratisation of storytelling on a global level

We are just at the start of a golden age of storytelling, where stories created in any language (enabled now by great technology for translation) are becoming global hits.

Just look at the successes on Netflix of stories like the Portuguese 3% or the German show Dark, which was in the top 10 watched lists in 137 countries around the world. It’s amazing to see how foreign-language programming is prospering, almost entirely thanks to deals struck up by on demand streaming platforms.

Next year, I think we’ll see this trend continue, and that can only be a positive for the creative and media communities.

Justin Westcott is general manager, Edelman UK, and European Head of Technology, Edelman

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Edelman, Fri, 30 Nov 2018 17:13:13 GMT