Summary: The Trump administration’s tougher stance on China will surely continue to curtail global trade.
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s letter to shareholders in 2019 blames weaker economies and trade tension for lower revenues.
What it all means for marketers, strategists, and investors.
Read #DrKPI’s 11 trends for 2019 and get the insight story!
Share this blog entry: DrKPI’s 2019 trends: Google, Apple, Facebook, or Amazon?
Creating buzz is of interest to any brand manager I have talked to recently, but it keeps getting harder and harder to get it right. In the recent past, social media was useful to reach certain client groups. But will it still work tomorrow?
Remember Second Life? In Spring 2008, Madagascar and Sweden each raced to open a virtual embassy on the platform. By 2012 Flickr was a popular photo sharing site. Today, Instagram has surpassed it.
BMW and others spent plenty to engage with users on Second Life. And today? The platform still exists, but most large brands have pretty much withdrawn from it. If that isn’t enough to convince you that putting your bet on one or two platforms is risky, Beebo was once a formidable Facebook competitor – and who remembers MySpace?
Our past predictions covered these changes with 78% accuracy.
For 2019, we again address the trends in marketing and business policy as we expect them to unfold and why this matters to investors.
Just click on the hyperlinked points below to read more.
♥ Curious? Join 1,500 other subscribers to this blog’s newsletter and read on!
One way to get more buzz, in theory, is getting customers involved. In the past, some companies like Starbucks did it on their Facebook page. A popular way to get more likes or comments was giving people free goodies or coupons to get their next cuppa for free.
Long before that became so boring, however, Fast Retailing in Japan invited clients and bloggers to produce their own short videos.
Sounds stale, but in summer 2007 this was innovative and a creative way to get buzz on social media. In particular, it got those target audiences involved – the same people that were supposed to flock to your outlets when the new line of apparel went on sale in your stores.
The company produced a whole series of videos that bloggers were invited to show on their own blogs.
What was innovative was that it produced plenty of content, including videos, photos, text, and so forth. Most important, it was easy for bloggers to embed such fan-produced content along with their own blog posts.
In 2007, shared content and using a press campaign to launch a new line of apparel got attention, but will it suffice 12 years later in 2019? Of course not!
Much has changed since then.
Go back in time with UNIQLO new media promotion or view it on Fast Retailing’s webpage, where it is still shown (a very good thing). Or visit the Uniqlo international retailer website – no news is good news?. See also Fast Retailing cuts profit guidance for third time in 2016.
Private as well as corporate blogs have been with us for some time. But around 2011 many companies started to focus on social networks instead of corporate blogs. Since 2016, fast-growing and large companies seem to have rediscovered public-facing corporate blogs, however:
- 55% of Inc. 500 – the fastest growing companies in the US – use blogs, the third yearly increase since 2015.
- 53% of Fortune 500 companies use blogs, an 11% increase since 2017.
While blogs have regained momentum in the US, in Europe several companies and charities have orphaned their blogs (Caritas Zurich), or taken them down completely (e.g., Möbel-Pfister, Oxfam).
The primary reason may be a lack of understanding of how important blog content can be for branding, SEO (search engine optimisation), and getting increasing engagement from your target audience. Some had their budget reallocated or began re-focusing on their press releases.
Other misunderstandings about corporate blogs’ potential for getting your target audience’s attention can be:
- Believing your target audience cares about company events or new products, and
- thinking high-quality content requires neither time, investigation nor a writer that really understands the topic.
As well, the novelty of commenting on corporate blog sites, especially considering boring content, has long since worn off. As we know at DrKPI, it takes effort to get reader comments – i.e. engagement – for your corporate blogs.
When producing content like videos, for example, just ask these two questions:
- Why should your target reader view your content and spend time writing a comment?
- Are you answering these comments? If so, are you doing it in the right way? If you get comments, a thoughtful answer of each one is a must to show respect and appreciation for your reader or viewer.
So some people are falling back into behaviour from the lates 1990 and early 2000s: Broadcast and many will listen. Really? I don’t think so!
Crowdsourcing can mean many things. One example is Patek Philippe and Beyer Chronometrie (the oldest watch shop in Switzerland). They invited the latter’s employees to create buzz and attention with customers.
35 submissions from Beyer Chronometrie employees were made in the contest for the best design. One employee’s design was chosen as the winner of this contest.
The winner’s design was then used to produce a luxury Dom-Pendulette of which Patek Philippe only produces a few each year. Unfortunately, whatever else the employee may have received and whether she did her designing during work hours at Beyer Chronometrie is not known.
In this case, Beyer Chronometrie did a write-up in its magazine that is available online. It was also mailed in print form to clients. (Picture taken from the Beyer magazine, Beyond, Nr. 22 / 2016 – page 50 shows the winner of the design contest with the completed Dom-Pendulette.)
This is certainly an attractive approach for creating synergies between the manufacturer and the retailer. The latter’s employees may even create brand buzz, if they share their experience on the web.
However, it continues to be ever harder to stand out to your target audience. And even if you do, there’s no guarantee that they’ll spend time with your content.
Incidentally, micro-influencers such as employees or your customers are far more authentic and trustworthy to your target audience than people who sell their services as influencers.
The video shown under point 1 above is just one of many options that companies were and still are using to get their customers involved in campaigns. In 2007, Uniqlo was able to get quite a lot of #brandbuzz for its Fall collection release.
But in 2019 this will not be good enough.
As the above graphic indicates, real wages and therefore also real disposable income have hardly increased. This means millennials might be strapped for cash in some cities (e.g., New York, Paris or Munich), were apartment prices, public transport, as well as entertainment costs eat up much of the disposable earnings available. In turn, not having a car may be as much an economic decision as an evironmental one.
The above chart shows that building brand strength, trust, awareness, and loyalty can all benefit from word-of-mouth by your customers about how great your product is… such as value for money, innovation, great service. You know the drill.
By the way, just because media houses have rediscovered podcasts does not make this a trend we need to be concerned about. #DrKPI staff did podcasts starting in 2005 until about 2009, when it got a bit boring.
Welcome to the latecomers! And no, your customers or investors will rarely care about your corporate podcasts unless you are Apple’s Steve Cook announcing that you sold less or more than predicted for this quarter…
By the way, regardless of what you do, interesting content is popular – but what is interesting? For instance, US teens care mostly about groups and online forums that have content regarding hobbies such as gaming (41%), humour (40%), pop culture, and sports (both 28%)… position 9 is politics (9%). (Pew Research, Nov. 2018)
What is your opinion?
- What important 2019 trends for marketers, strategists, and investors did we forget?
- Know of other great blog entries on these topics? Provide a URL for our readers in the comments below!
- When was the last time you shopped for a brand or stayed at a hotel because of your awareness of the brand or positive feelings toward the brand?
Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
The author declares that some of the companies mentioned herein are clients of CyTRAP Labs or subscribers of DrKPI® services.