In recent months brands around the world have embraced social purpose and altruism in huge numbers. Will this shift in sentiment mark a permanent change in what we expect from brands?


That seems to be the overarching takeaway from all this. There’s no escaping the irony — being forced apart has bought us all closer.

We’re neighbours again. We care. And we want to help.

A social reset has slowed us down and given us time to reflect on what’s important. We’ve tumbled down Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, placing greater importance on fundamentals like safety and security.

As we look to rebuild, we are starting to think about things differently.

In a more we, less me business world, stakeholders are being prioritised over shareholders — putting capitalism in its purest…

Visual advertising is all around us. From billboards to mobile ads, our eyes are bombarded with thousands of branded messages every day. But what about advertising for the ears?

In pre-literate cultures, products and services would be marketed orally in the street. That’s fine, if you didn’t mind limited reach. But it wasn’t until the first UK radio ad in 1973 that audio started to be used by brands at scale.

Nowadays, the landscape has fragmented with the rise of podcasts, ad-supported music streaming and digital assistants — which provide an attractive option to comms planners looking to reach people ‘on the go’ where other media can’t.

Think commutes, the gym or multitasking at home. Audio is even changing the way we buy, with voice shopping promising a new…

Bigger. Faster. Better. 5G promises it all. But what exactly is it?

The 5th generation of mobile communication employs higher frequencies and bandwidth to allow quicker wireless data transfer than 4G — creating a massive leap forward in speed, quality and latency. Phew.

In other words, say hello to on-the-go, super-charged entertainment in the palm of your hand. And it’s certainly getting people intrigued.

Since May, 5G has overtaken 4G in Google search volume whilst 37% of consumers in the UK say they will switch to 5G as soon as it’s available.

As the UK becomes increasingly 5G ready, early median speed tests put 5G at 4x faster than its predecessor. …

According to author Simon Sinek, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Standing for something, it seems, is good for business.

A clear stance on the world inspires employees, builds customer loyalty and attracts new business partners, which all help boost the bottom line — for those brave enough to do it.

Say hello to the rise of brand and social purpose in marketing.

It seems that traditional unique selling points of quality and value just don’t cut it anymore and we need to feel good about what we’re buying. From Netflix documentaries to climate activism campaigns, we’re more educated on social and environmental issues than ever before — which has led to a collective awakening of conscience in the UK.

With high street footfall down -10% over the last seven years, consumers are ditching bags for bytes as online shopping has grown by nearly two-thirds in 2019.

Time spent in brick and motor stores has decreased 5% year on year with consumers now shopping online for an average of 16 minutes a day. As shopfronts become increasingly digital, brands are investing more in e-commerce capabilities and it’s big business.

In fact, digital sales are predicted to grow 10.9% this year to reach £106.46 Billion, or 22% of total retail sales (£476.65B) in 2019. …

We live in a post-truth world. And when it comes to products and services, only 59% of us actually trust the brands we buy from.

For marketers, this means shifting focus from short-term performance metrics to long-term relationship building for sustained growth in the digital economy.

In the words of Zig Ziglar;

‘if people like you they’ll listen to you, if they trust you they’ll do business with you’.

But how do you build genuine trust and affinity with a brand? The answer lies in a content marketing approach using a key medium of marketing communication — video.

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Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

The content…

Video consumption habits are changing.

We’re consuming more content than ever before yet user attention span is only getting shorter.

In fact, on average we now scroll through the height of Big Ben in feed whilst spending around 1.7 seconds with a single piece of content on mobile — highlighting Faris Yakob’s notion that ‘attention is the scarcest resource of the 21st century’.

To put that into perspective, research suggests we have less attention span than goldfish — a real challenge for marketers in a consumer market that is increasingly cluttered with me-too products and services fighting to be heard.

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Photo by Louis. K on Unsplash

Since the first UK TV…

Social platforms are working hard to become more attractive to e-commerce marketers, by delivering an increasingly frictionless experience of product discovery and purchase.

The landscape is everchanging, with new ads and organic formats constantly being introduced which blur the lines between shopping and socialising.

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Photo by Alexandre Godreau on Unsplash

Beacons of taste in their established niches, the influencer and e-commerce relationship will grow even stronger as users will be exposed to a heightened sense of attainable aspiration — with pricing and information on every product, service or experience they see positioned just a click away.

This kind of interactivity in social media will create a…

Hugh Fitz-Gibbon

Communication Planning Manager from the UK interested in creative strategy. As featured in The IPA and Mediatel.

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