Communicators Urged to ‘Focus on the Heart,’ Embrace Video and Take Calculated Risks
Last week I had attended the 2018 Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit, an annual exhibition for innovation, deliberation, and excitement in the communications world and the speakers at this year’s conference provided valuable insight into the future of marketing and what to expect this year. Here are the main takeaways I can recommend to fellow communications professionals:
Public Relations and Marketing are Blending Together – With the advancement of digital technology, organizations continue to see a breakdown between the traditionally separate departments of marketing and PR. The ability to drive sales and services is now influenced through digital spaces where everyone is a journalist and a critic. Organizations’ ability to communicate with audiences in this vulnerable two-way environment now requires PR and marketing to work closer than ever to achieve paid, earned, shared and owned media success. Looks like we’re in for a long-term marriage between these two occupations.
Video Continues to Dominate Content – The speakers that participated in the CMO Round Table discussion anticipate that next year 50-90 percent of our Facebook feeds will be video. This medium not only has the power to personalize and establish emotional connections, but it can be used on several platforms. The rise of video has left many, especially younger generations, completely ignoring content that doesn’t feature video. Though our practice has followed this trend with client projects, we can now say for certain that video story telling is here to stay at Van Eperen and the field of communications in general.
We’re in the Business of Breaking Rules – While many communication professionals are hesitant to take risks, it’s becoming the one of the only ways to get attention. The Creative Directors Round Table recognized that it’s no longer about simply driving impressions, awareness, and metrics. The challenge is not to be invisible and overcome indifference. Taking calculated risks every now and then is something we’ll have to get used to in order to avoid monotony.
Balance Data with Humanity – With so many great data acquisition and analysis technologies available to marketers, it’s hard to resist burying our heads in the metrics. We’ve recently seen public feelings of resentment and skepticism towards the methods that tech giants like Facebook are using to gather information from users. Perhaps we’re moving too far too fast and need to slow down and consider the individuality of our audience members. Having direct conversations with them and personalizing emotional messages that appeal to genuine thoughts and concerns throughout their journeys with your organization are crucial to establishing and maintaining a relationship. The panelists on the CMO roundtable said it best: “focus on the heart instead of the head.”
These are just a few ideas that came out of the 2018 MAM Summit, but the truth is there’s much more in store for the marketing world. As technology continues to develop and marketers produce new strategies, the possibilities for our industry are endless.
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