Another decade of marketing mishaps has come and gone. This past year saw plenty of new campaign tactics, design trends, and brand overhauls, but a few key things managed to stand out. Here are some marketing insights from our founder and president, Ryan.
From celebrity endorsements to fast food squabbles, 2019 saw no limits in the marketing world. While some brands struggled to keep their heads above water, others thrived on PR, both positive and negative.
Celebrity endorsements are nothing new. However, this past decade it became even more crucial to find the right people to represent your brand. Cardi B took on Reebok, Chance the Rapper took on Doritos, Jason Bateman took on Hyundai. Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad was an intentionally controversial PR move that ended up putting the company's name in everyone's mouths even more than usual.
Meanwhile, Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A went at it on Twitter over the title of best chicken sandwich. While an incendiary response from Popeyes could've had negative consequences, it actually worked out for them. It was entertaining to watch the two companies hash it out, and meanwhile, people were lining up at every Popeyes across the nation to see what the hype was all about.
Near the end of the year, a Peloton holiday ad went viral. The ad, which featured a husband gifting his already thin wife a luxury fitness bike, was called out for being presumably privileged and sexist. Even Ryan Reynolds used the company's negative PR to leverage his own company, Aviation Gin, in an ad featuring the same actress. The "Peloton girl" memes continued.
One of the largest transportation companies in the world that doesn't own a single vehicle, Uber, strengthened and diversified their brand this year. They rebranded, developed Uber Eats, and promoted it with celebrity endorsements. The results were nothing but positive. One of the key factors in Uber's success is their ability to research and understand their audience.
This new year and new decade brings with it a new way of understanding marketing. Because people are more focused on authenticity and transparency, companies will really have to nail their values and ethics. Not to mention, we should be seeing a lot more augmented reality and SMS.
Texting has been around for years, but companies are now starting to use it to their advantage. More businesses are going to look to SMS to further push their services, as reminder notifications produce an incredible retention rate. Though the service industry has started to dominate this realm, companies should think of creative ways they can incorporate SMS into their messaging without annoying their customers.
The "place" social networks are essential for a company's credibility. Short-links, reviews, and engagement on both platforms helps boost a business in the customer's eyes. Which place are you most likely to visit: the one with 0 reviews, or the one with some 5-star reviews and some 3-star reviews? Get those reviews, and contribute content (e.g. events, sales) to effectively engage with your audience. These platforms are only expected to grow in the coming years.
This technology still needs time to solidify and really become seamless. As of right now, we sometimes need equipment like headsets or extra devices to use AR. In the next few years, companies will fine-tune the usability and experience of augmented reality, and think of innovative ways to use the technology.
One of our projects at energyhill last year was to create an app for Founding Fathers Fireworks that makes historical figures come alive. Using augmented reality, a user can scan their box of fireworks and hear the legacy of figures like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. This project is just one example of a creative way to use an existing technology and create a seamless experience for the user.
This year, companies should push to diversify their brand and really polish their messaging. Using tools like SMS, Google My Business, and augmented reality can put your brand a step above the rest. Assure that your website and apps provide the best user experience, as nowadays, you have only seconds to make an impression.
What are your predictions for this new year/decade? Let us know in the comments!