Warc 2016 Toolkit — 6 marketing questions for 2016

A few weeks ago (all the way back in 2015!), I attended Warc’s Toolkit 2016 launch event, posing six key questions for marketers in 2016. As expected, predictions for the year to come have a strong focus on digital, with its role becoming both ever-more central and complex within the fabric of marketing.

So here’s my summary of the event, will the big 6 questions for 2016…

WHAT MOMENTS ARE YOU TARGETING?

Moment marketing is all about identifying fleeting opportunities to put the right message in front of the right person at the right time. Digital brings us a new ability to manage micro-moments and get far more granular and personal. Driving this marketing trend is the growing ability to spot and target ‘micro-moments’, alongside an increasing ability to connect these moments to purchase.

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED IN-HOUSE TO BLEND DATA WITH CREATIVITY?

Smarter analysis of data is creating better insights to build creative work around. Behaviour-based segmentation is getting smarter, meaning that brand-building creative can be tailored to audiences at scale through programmatic buying. Entire campaigns or platforms are now being built, tested and constantly optimised around real-time data feeds. Teams are also being re-shaped to include ‘marketing technologists’, content producers and distribution experts.

DO YOU NEED A CONNECTION STRATEGY?

The explosion of data, a plethora of channels and the propensity to buy means that marketing attribution has much higher importance on the marketing agenda. The biggest challenge marketers are facing is around tracking customers’ paths to purchase to understand which channels and messaging have actually impacted their decision. This requires cross-functional buy-in, clear objectives and high quality data.

IS YOUR DIGITAL INVESTMENT BEING WASTED?

As digital ad-spend grows, client-side marketers are becoming increasingly concerned about issues such as viewability and ad fraud — only 50% of ads are currently ‘viewable’. There’s simply a lack of consistency and transparency in the highly competitive ad tech space. However, there is also the argument that brands are becoming too fixated on viewability at the expense of other important factors in digital ad effectiveness.

Increased use of ad blockers is also a threat to ROI for brands. 18% of UK adults now use ad blockers, rising to 35% among the 18–24s.

ARE YOU USING VIDEO FOR MORE THAN SHORT-TERM CAMPAIGNS?

The number of video properties and formats are exploding. Brand strategies must keep up with the ever-developing requirements, both technically and creatively. Consider using a video framework with 3 main video types:

Taken from Warc’s Summary — examples of brands using digital, and more specifically, digital video led campaigns.

Hero content — the big campaign video, which you’ve put your main effort behind. Aim is to drive traffic and hopefully go viral.

Hub content — keeps a regular flow of new content on your site to bring people back regularly. Aims to drive followers.

Housecleaning content — practical how-to guides created to target popular search queries. Less about you pushing for attention, more about people finding you. Aims to drive search volume.

Go big with your Hero content, but make sure the same creative thread runs through your Hub content to maintain strong story and conversation, driving new people into other content. Realise that viral video is a new space, requiring minimal branding.

DO YOU NEED A STRATEGY FOR GEN Z?

Everyone is talking about millennials, but what about Gen Z — the under 18s. They have significant purchasing power, having been given both a great financial independence and greater influence in family purchase decisions than previous generations. They are also maturing into ‘grown-up’ product categories more quickly.

Some more examples taken from Warc — brands taking new approaches to engage the new generation of consumers.

Due to having tablets and smartphones at the core of their media consumption from a young age, they’ve been given the ‘generation swipe’ label. Brands trying to reach this audience must adapt their marketing to consider these habits, including platform optimisation, adapting to short attention spans and communicating on their level by using memes, emojis, ‘microcelebrities’/vloggers and more.

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