As we enter a new decade, we’re excited for what’s to come in the world of advertising, design and branding. We asked our amazing directors what they’re predicting for 2020…
Valuing good creative again
Over the course of 2019, I’ve been keeping a close eye on a really interesting debate around the value of creativity in advertising.
With ever more marketing spend being pushed towards digital media, many people feel that creativity – particularly the brand-building element of it – has taken a bit of a back seat. Instead, the focus has very much shifted to short-term metrics such as sales activation, where reach trumps creative and rational persuasion trumps emotional storytelling.
Of course, there is a place for both. But an overbearing focus on short-term success has been proven to stifle long-term growth, as sales spike and then fall back to base level with each campaign.
Thankfully, the pendulum has begun to swing back towards a better balance. Marketers are realising that even though brand-building isn’t as easy to measure as sales activation, it’s essential for growth.
They’re also realising (or re-realising) that quality creative is the key to effectiveness across the board. So my prediction for 2020 is a return to good old-fashioned advertising. Less pushy, spammy, intrusive online ads and more intelligent campaigns that are creative, imaginative, entertaining, consistent – and quite obviously designed to make people fond of brands, not irritated by them.
Nick Farrar, Director
More collaboration with in-house teams
I guess my prediction for 2020 is a combination of what I think will happen and what I’d like to see happen!
The last couple of years have seen more and more businesses building out their in-house teams, whether that’s adding extra design resource or creating entire in-house agencies.
I’m including several of our clients in that. Which may sound odd, as you’d perhaps expect them not to be our clients any longer if they’re increasingly bringing things in-house.
But actually, we’re finding that we can develop really valuable and collaborative relationships with these teams. Whether it’s coming in to help develop a ‘big creative idea’ for a brand or product campaign that they then roll out internally, or simply dipping in occasionally to offer a fresh pair of eyes on the odd project, we just make ourselves available when we’re needed. More often than not it works really nicely.
So I think that next year, we’ll see more businesses bolstering their in-house teams. But I’d like to see them recognising that this shouldn’t mean shutting the door completely on creative agency partnerships. There are opportunities for collaboration that can reap powerful rewards, as we’re already demonstrating for several of our clients.
Dave Corlett, Business Director
Opinion: Consistent branding should really be a given when it comes to brand communications.
Fact: Consistent branding across all platforms has been shown to increase revenue by up to 23%.
Yet with many organisations producing ever-greater volumes and varieties of assets, maintaining consistency whilst achieving optimum time to market is becoming a huge challenge.
The reason for this is that these assets are often manually created in different ways by different people in different teams. My prediction for 2020 is that during the course of the year, businesses will reach breaking point on this issue. Peak inconsistency, if you like.
It’s a fairly easy prediction to make, as we’re already seeing evidence of this first-hand. Our clients are increasingly turning to our custom-built brand asset management tool, Flex, for asset management and creation – particularly in terms of assets for social media.
Flex makes it easy for employees across an organisation to quickly and easily access branded templates and customise them without straying off-brand. They can be empowered to create and share branded content, whilst brand managers can restrict access to these assets, assign authorisation roles to avoid misuse of corporate material, and limit compliance risks through version control, leaving less room for human error.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if next year, we continue to see an increase in Flex subscribers as more organisations commit to the task of tackling those creeping inconsistencies that are costing them business, 23% to be precise!