Sticking it to the man; deleting social and not shopping on Amazon

If you thought the rise of veganism was bad, you’re about to be bombarded by a new wave of social consciousness that demands you delete your social media, especially Facebook, and stop shopping on Amazon in a bid to be more mindful to local businesses. Perhaps the hipsters searching for their gluten free loafs was just the beginning and we are indeed entering a new period of enlightenment, sparked by the recent revelations from Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. The carelessness of Zuckerberg with our personal data has led to trending hashtags and moral dilemmas everywhere as we debate leaving Facebook and joining platforms that are built on the notions of privacy.

Perhaps leaving social media and avoiding Amazon’s easy consumerism is the new way to stick it to the man as creating start-ups doesn’t seem to be doing the trick anymore, but how realistic is it and what does it mean for the world of advertising? Whether we like it or not, our social media presence allows us to be part of communities in a world where physical communities are dying out and as humans, we have a natural desire to belong to things. As much as you might sometimes want to leave the grind and retire to a cabin in the woods, it doesn’t really work like that and our desire for human companionship would start to kick in at some point. Not to mention the huge sharing of information that happens across social media and our ability to be part of conversations that are not always accessible to us in our physical lives. The question is less should you leave it, but rather is our world set up to give us what we need without it?

The advertising world certainly isn’t and if more people leave, will we revert back to billboards and posters advertising our wares? The reality is that social media or not, online has a place in most people’s lives and Facebook’s recent blunder means that a group of techies are probably sitting in a room somewhere, building the next social platform, all with the USP of absolute and total privacy, with the promise never to share data. As long as those platforms exist, companies will find a way to be part of them and therefore to advertise their products. The job of advertising is to be where the eyeballs are, and whether it’s online or in that cabin in the woods, they’ll find a way to be there too. The arguments therefore aren’t so much whether this will affect the ad world, but rather how will it change us because let’s be honest, advertising and marketing isn’t going bust any time soon.

And should a new wave of socially conscious consumers really herald in a new dawn where Amazon is shunned and Facebook deleted, surely then it will bring about a new of advertising and talking to consumers. It might make us all a little bit more innovative and a lot less dry. It might make things more exciting for us all, and maybe, just maybe, it might be the shake up some companies need.

Data, privacy, and us; the fight for information

If we ever thought knowledge was power, we were clearly misinformed. It’s not the knowledge of the cosmos or the history of Troy that’s powerful, but rather, the collection of personal data that has become the new trading currency in our modern world. Marketers, businesses, and even the casual salesperson on the street are all engaged in a battle of data to gain as much personal information as they possibly can to hit targets, KPIs or revenue quotas. We collect and horde data like it’s the last tin of beans in a post-apocalyptic world, and as we sit in the wake of the GDPR legislation, perhaps this is the post-apocalyptic landscape that marketing is experiencing.

For the last year there’s been a constant flow of articles, survival guides if you will, on exactly what GDPR is, what it includes and what you can do to get around it, but perhaps we’ve been asking the wrong question all along. Instead of looking for loopholes and evading legislative change, shouldn’t we be fighting to put greater power into the hands of consumers, instead of trying to praise it from their grasp with the assumption that we know best? Of course, the counter argument to that is that sometimes marketers do know best, because if we consider mental availability and a connected shopper journey, then surely some consumers don’t know what they want until we place it in their inbox or use their IP address to flash it across their screens. We’ve worked in retail long enough to know that the giants of this industry aren’t particularly keen on handing that much power back to the consumer, essentially because it will make their lives invariably harder. It will also serve as the call to step up to so many and let us just entertain the idea for a moment that perhaps the latest data protection laws could be the renaissance for the marketing and advertising world.

We spend so much time complaining about lazy marketing and uninspiring advertising campaigns, and with so much access to the consumer, because of the masses of data that sits in the palm of our hands, there isn’t really a need for too much creativity or genius. When you already have their eye, because you have their email address and consent, you’re not really stretching your creative capacity to catch that eye, and so the result can be below par content.

Let us, for a moment, look on the bright side of life and assume that even when buyers don’t give their consent, and ask to be opted out of the mailing lists and the campaigns, and they don’t even want to see your name flash across their screen, perhaps it will push us all to become a flurry of innovation and creativity. Perhaps we’ll discover new avenues of invention and find more exciting ways to build relationships with consumers and catch their eyes. Perhaps we’ll become daring and brave in our campaigns and maybe, just maybe, it might bring out some of our best work yet. Perhaps it is just another creative period, and if some of the best painters and artists came out of the last renaissance, surely, we’ll begin to see the best ad agencies emerge and maybe it will take us all into our very own age of enlightenment.

Make it Instagramable; a new world of social selling

There is an area in Miami called Wynwood. Wynwood has been, for many years, a part of town that you don’t walk through, ever. Not even in broad daylight. Even most South Florida residents wouldn’t walk through Wynwood. It’s a rough area with high drug and crime rates, and there’s always a story of someone who just got killed in Wynwood. However, there is one main street in Wynwood, and maybe three other side streets that are safe to walk down and are known for their beautiful graffiti murals. It also houses the Wynwood Walls, an outdoor museum that came later, showcasing large-scale works by some of the world’s best-known street artists.

Just about every inch of the Wynwood Walls are an Instagram bloggers dream. Bright colours, incredible patterns, potent messages are fashion bloggers answer to dull brick backgrounds. Once a few fashion bloggers discovered the walls, word spread, hashtags were added and suddenly, Wynwood is described as ‘the most happening’ area in all of Miami. Artisan coffee shops have sprung up, whole food bakeries and every type of craft beer imaginable suddenly has a home in this particular, once avoided, part of Miami. Derelict warehouses have been turned into bakeries, art galleries and stylish bistros, not to mention late-night bars and craft breweries, while every new start-up is vying for real estate. Once upon a time you could easily drive down the main street, however, the queues of traffic and throngs of people have made driving through Wynwood a myth.

Of course, there’s multiple factors at play, but so much of the success of this particular area is down to its fame on Instagram and as the need for beautiful backdrops rises, the masses flock to Wynwood. As consumers spend more and more time on the platform, hoping to find cool spots, great views and recommended products from their favourite influencers, social selling on Instagram becomes more and more important for brands. People will look for holiday destinations on travel blogger pages like Gypsea_lust and Doyoutravel before deciding their next holiday. Interior design ideas are garnered from bloggers like Alyssa Kapito and young millennials get life advise from the likes of Caroline Calloway. No matter what it is, we want to see it on Instagram before we buy it, the social platform becoming the new try before you buy.

The coffee shops and areas of London that suddenly become Instagram famous because of a cool light instillation or a bloom of flowers around the door tell brands and businesses that if you want to attract crowds, make sure that your setting is Instagram worthy. Make sure the walls are painted, preferably in bright colours, the unattractive elements covered up and everything so picture worthy that it can’t help but attract hordes of people who are living that #gramlife.

It’s easy to roll your eyes and logically think it’s ridiculous behaviour, and it absolutely is, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s happening every day. Entire areas of cities are making money, and having money poured into them in business development and real estate projects, and all because enough people on Instagram liked it.

Chasing Status: Keeping Up With The Changing Definition of ‘Premium’

Popping bottles, cruising in flash cars and toting expensive handbags (with six month-plus waiting lists)…no, it’s not an episode of beloved Noughties MTV show, Cribs. It’s how (until fairly recently) we’ve all thought about ‘premium’ products and experiences. But attitudes are changing – and so must brands change with them.

 

We’ve identified the two factors driving this change, and we’ve got four recommendations for staying front of mind in this new age of premium.

 

Like most good stories, ours starts with a digital disruption

 

You may not associate the rise and rise of Uber, AirBnB and Amazon with premium living (at first). But actually, getting exactly what you want – when you want it – at the tap of an app challenges an idea at the heart of traditional premium and luxury brands. By making consumer interactions instant, seamless and personalised, tech brands have turned ‘premium’ from exclusive to empowered. And without the same benefit to trade off, luxury brands have already begun collaborating and experimenting with tech in order to create new products and services – which don’t always come with the hefty price tag.

 

Attitudes change, values evolve

 

As consumers, we think differently now. And our expectations of brands are higher than ever. No longer satisfied with the latest and greatest material things, today ‘having’ has taken a backseat to ‘being’. Experiences beat products, and brands with a point of view win out against those peddling the shiniest goods (or the longest waiting lists).

 

And no generation has been as influential as Millennials. (That’s right, them again.) Accounting for almost 30% of the world’s population and a mighty $2.5 trillion in spending power, this social group gravitates towards brands that reflect their personal values. Usually expressed through art, culture, cause and social good. Millennials buy premium products for themselves, not to impress others – which has affected how we all think, act and shop.

 

Challenge accepted

 

In a world where everything’s in reach, premium brands must find a way to maintain appeal. Walking into this ever-changing landscape unafraid to experiment and challenge their own status quo. Let us walk it with you.

 

Key takeouts

 

Shake up the surface…

 

Where once premium brands were dictated, idolised and policed, today the most successful labels are unafraid to experiment with their brand, challenge the status quo of their aesthetic and collaborate with unlikely partners. Think Louis Vuitton x Supreme for a premium mash-up consumers can’t get enough of.

 

…but stay true to core values 

 

Ahem. There is a small catch. Experiment and tear up the brand toolkit, yes, but never lose sight of your unique brand story. Be meaningful. Offering experiences that chime with consumers as relevant, genuine and true to the spirit you started out with. Who were you before you hit the big time? Strip off the diamond and furs and be that guy or gal again.

 

Make it shareable

 

Social currency always stands. Give consumers something worth talking about and sharing with others. Remember: it’s less about them wanting to show off, and more about what experiences say about them as an individual.

 

Think about what’s scarce, not what’s exclusive

 

Owning an exclusive means enjoying something others can’t. But what’s really scarce for Millennial consumers? How about time, honesty and individuality? Create unique products and experiences that give today’s consumers more of what they feel is lacking in their lives.

Two Key Ways to Sell Smart, Smarter

Did you know…

Alexa tells the best dad jokes.

With a smart camera, you can check in on your cat from your desk.

A smart energy meter means never having to argue about ‘putting an extra jumper on’ again.

Introducing the internet of ‘things I actually care about’

When it comes to smart home, some ideas have started to trickle into our hearts and homes. A new report from TechUK shows 77% of consumers are aware of connected technology. And device ownership is on the rise – with 80% of UK households now owning at least one smart home product1.

But it’s down to brands to find out what really motivates us and join the dots between that and the technology. Not to mention between the products themselves.

A crucial home truth

As salespeople, we know emotion is 24 x more persuasive than reason. It stimulates the mind 3,000 more than rational thought2.

And nowhere is as emotive as home – as a physical space and as a social idea. It’s the centre of our world (some of our favourite people even live there). A sanctuary, a playground and a door we get to close on any daily chaos we come across. Which might explain why 1 in 4 Brits admits to continually redecorating their place3. There’s nowhere quite so important.

Too much smart, not enough home?

With that in mind, you’d think a category called smart home, would sell itself. And yet…

One in three consumers remain on the fence about the smart home revolution. Even when it comes to the fun stuff like home entertainment or saving money on energy costs, where appeal sits above 40%. For most of us, operation smart home still feels a bit out of reach. And – unlike moving to Italy, or working a 3-day week – ‘going smart’ isn’t as aspirational as it might be.

So what do paint retailers understand that tech companies don’t?

First, let’s run through a few key, reasonable barriers standing in the way of Total Tech Utopia (TTU):

39% of Brits are concerned about the cost of smart home

Making your home smarter involves many products, none of them cheap. And even though the cost of devices is becoming more affordable, many consumers question the value of a big smart home spend.

22% are concerned about the privacy and security of smart devices

We’ve all seen the high profile hacks in the news. And we fear corporations knowing too much about us; using smart devices to bank data on our lives that we never offered up. A concern not based on Black Mirror-esque fantasy alone. A recent survey by Which? revealed 8 out of 15 tested smart home devices contained at least one security flaw4. Yikes.

16% of Brits are put off by devices that work across different systems

Until recently, brands have acted as islands. Treating their own tech products and operating systems as gospel. Which is great for corporate profit margins, bad for usability and consumer satisfaction. We want to mix and match what we buy and for it to all work together. Thankfully, voice controlled smart hubs (“Alexa, turn the lights on”) are helping to create connections room to room, device to device, person to person5.

Despite these barriers, the appeal of smart home devices is growing. Today, 39% of people agree connected home technology offers an attractive proposition. An increase of 10% from 2016.

It’s getting late, shall we get the bill?

Okay okay. We get the hint. Let’s wrap this up with a few practical tips.

Selling smart: recommendation #1

If you’re going to sell smart tech, you’re going to need to be human about it. Only 10% of Brits claim to ‘know a lot’ about smart home technology. And no one likes to feel stupid.

Brands need to demystify products in plain speak. Online, in advertising and in person. Lead with tangible benefits. Always put people, their homes and their personal concerns first. Gadgets and fancy features second. And only sell hard when you can show how tech will make real contributions to someone’s life, with very little effort and no routine upheaval at all.

Ask yourself…

What’s in it for them? Why do they need it? Will it make their life easier, more convenient, simpler?

…Then tell them precisely how.

Store staff are crucial in turning abstract concepts into handy everyday tools that make home life more fun, less faff. So be sure to put your people at the heart of everything smart you do.

Selling smart: recommendation #2

51% of people interested in connected devices say they are more likely to buy if they can demo them first. In-store demonstrations break down consumer barriers with personal service and real-time experiences.

A model example of this is the dedicated smart home space in John Lewis on Oxford Street. Visitors wander room to room, seeing connected home devices in situ. Using them as they would in their own kitchens and bedrooms. The technology becomes both aspirational and attainable all at once.

So consider giving your products a showroom. A changing room in which consumers transform from ambivalent into I-can’t-wait-to-get-this-thing-home.

Ready?

Then let’s close this conversion gap together. It’s time to bring smart innovation home.

 

Sources          

1Tech UK Report, 2017

2SBXL Research

3Furniture123.co.uk

4Which? UK

5Mintel, The Connected Home 2017 – UK

The importance of live events

Time is currency and if your audience is willing to invest their minutes, you’re in. Put simply: experiential events offer a more authentic way to connect with people. This way consumers are way more likely to absorb your messages than through a billboard or an Instagram ad. The idea is to have a conversation and develop interest rather than ram sales pitches down their throats. Learn the gift of the gab and you’re golden.

Events work because they give the impression that people must act right away – the immediacy of them draws the crowds and sells tickets. Pop-ups have proven extremely popular for retailers as they close the gap between people and brands. They offer instant gratification for those pesky short attention spans. They’re seasonal and shareable; braggable and brazen. This also means brands can access wider, non-traditional audiences if they put the work in.

To pull this off successfully you need to discover where your market hangs out and follow them there. That way, you’re not begging them to come to you, you just kindly interrupt their day… Street corners, train stations and festivals are all prime spots for campaigns. And think big – shop takeovers and tube station stunts work well. Give out freebies but make sure the branding is subtle and the crap is actually useful. Neon sunglasses are a nono, but a handy tote bag is perfection. Pair branded swag with a social competition and Bob’s your uncle. Another technique is to teach them something – consumers are hungry for information so why don’t you feed their curiosities? Or let them create; encourage them to put their stamp on something and they’ll be dying to show it off. When it comes to online, the priority is incorporating a hashtag that is simple and instructions to share as easy as pie.

One of the reasons live events prove so popular is they put control back in consumers hands – they have the power to leave when they want. The public even leads the content, so marketing teams can sit back, relax and watch it roll in. Social platforms act as a hotbed for user generated content that the brand can use and recycle. Trust us: “98% of consumers create digital or social content at events and experiences and 100% of these consumers share the content” according to Cronin.

A perfect example of this was Krispy Kreme’s hole-in-the-wall dispensing Nutella flavoured donuts. Everyone went mad for it and all of the proceeds went to Teenage Cancer Trust. Another one was the vending machine that dispensed free Reebok trainers if you ran past it fast enough. And it’s scalable with social, unlike billboards where you can only guess footfall, you can monitor likes and engagement.

Don’t forget it is powerful for brands to exist in live, physical spaces as well as online. Dominating the digital realm is great, but we cannot forget that human touch to engage customers. Just how we did with Body Shop’s #PlayforPeace campaign; turning shopping centre spaces into a Christmas wonderland adorned with cosmetics offering live makeup demos, board games and tastings. For every gift bought from the seasonal gift collection, The Body Shop made a donation to International Alerts Play for Peace Project. An unshakeable combination.

Delivery based DNA

The Oxford English Dictionary definition for marketing is “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.” So, are we seriously considering Moz the Monster good form? Emotional storytelling is great for party small talk and opinion column fodder, but does it bring home the bacon? Are brands getting more than a viral video and some great tweets? Does the whole thing end in one single person picking up their product and taking it to the cashier, because if not, what’s the point?

Having worked with retailers for nearly 30 years, from Morrisons to World Duty Free, we’ve learnt a thing or two about physically shifting products off the shelves. We were born out of retail and we’re tired of seeing lame video campaigns and ballsy social media content – at the end of the day, we want to guarantee stability and financial security for our clients. It doesn’t always have to be a short film that wins six LION awards, but it does have to sell and make clients’ money.

There’s nothing wrong with personality, and everyone loves a great story, but we know our clients need purpose. Zany marketing campaigns trying to pull on heartstrings or cause a PR buzz are fine, but do the numbers add up? Are the millions spent on video editing and sound bites worth it? It’s time to dig down through the chaff to the fundamentals.

We know, brand awareness matters. OF COURSE it’s important, we’re not denying that, but it’s too easy these days to become sidelined by blowout creative ideas. Regardless of trends and likes, we remain focused on one thing: selling. We live for the KPIs and we thrive on hitting targets. A brand only exists if consumers are spending money on it, otherwise it’ll wilt and shrivel up. We’re never down for letting that happen.

Our purpose is to diminish the gulf between brand communication and sales conversion. How do we do this? Through years of experience in this field and a roster of 75 hugely talented staff. We have shared knowledge that makes us smart, agile and capable to make the most of every opportunity that comes our way. We not only admire but respect our clients – we care about the brands that we work with and this translates through our work. One of our key messages is to imagine every point of interaction as a point of purchase. We give our clients the courage, tools and skills to jump on those opportunities to close the conversion gap. Because you do have to mind that gap and it’s hella important to bridge it, make it smaller, bring it together or whatever you need to do to make sure sales ring true.

Don’t deny the need for normcore

Mainstream is cool: you heard it here first. Gone are the days of revelling in choice; people are bamboozled. Consumers are beginning to mistrust fad following brands and running back to old faithfuls. There’s comfort in our favourites and in this tumultuous time, people want to settle down and cosy up with what they can rely on.

The best example of this is craft beer. Independent micro-breweries were all the rage a few years ago and consumers would avoid your Carlsbergs, Foster’s and Becks like the plague. It’s the same as “I knew them before they were big” claims with indie bands; as soon as they’re famous, fans move on. At one point, big beer brands even tried distressed labels to seem more “authentic.” But as craft beer has boomed, it’s no longer hip to namedrop the obscure. Fast forward a few years and consumers have circled right back by coveting friendly brands they’ve known their whole lives – we call this “poptimism.” We’re now experiencing a serious backlash to craft beer in the media, but isn’t the whole definition of being cool being different? So shouldn’t contrary consumers be doing the opposite of what the media is preaching? The whole thing makes your head spin.

The same is happening with coffee. Those iced almond-macadamia milk lattes are just too much to fathom when you just need a good old-fashioned caffeine kick. When you’re trudging into the office on a Monday morning, the warm lights of chain coffee shops represent a home from home. They draw you in during sensitive moments like a moth to a flame. It’s times like these when consumers opt for cheap buckets of filter coffee over a brag-worthy flat white (even the Instagram likes aren’t worth it). Campaign explains that the media has nicknamed this movement “normcore.”

Just look at “clean eating,” which has shaken up the food industry over the past few years. Causing endless opinion pieces on spiralizers, now consumers are retreating back to cake and abandoning complicated courgette recipes. The rainbow plates of exotic fruit and vegetables may look better on Instagram than a greasy burger, but who can be bothered with that? Cutting out entire food groups is not only time-consuming but the effort is pretty damn stressful. VICE’s Munchies is leading ‘food porn’ media by quashing health food fads one dripping cheese toastie photo at a time. As soon as people, along with hoards of trained nutritionists, started to question the credibility of fancy food aficionados, the trend was dissected and is, thankfully, slowly dissolving. The biggest issue? The complicated recipes isolate a huge chunk of the population who can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods for bone broth, sumac, chia seeds and the like. On top of that, most of those behind the clean eating surge are white, attractive, thin women (more on that in our blog on diversity). But we digress, all this aside there is proof that consumers are going back to basics – just look at soaring supermarkets.

Time and time again, consumers get sucked in with fancy logos and ridiculous names, allured by something new, only to be disappointed in the product. In other words; the novelty and fleeting excitement does not justify the risk of losing out on what they really want deep down. What’s the lesson for brands? Think it through before jumping on the bandwagon as you could end up wasting piles of cash and crawling right back to where you started. You also risk losing loyal customers who always loved your original product in the first place. Don’t follow the trends for the sake of it, choice wisely and be 100% sure your market will understand and respond well to your new tricks. But trust us; there is really, really, wrong with sticking to what you know.

Making dollar out of downtime

As schedules become more packed, real leisure time has become sparse and more precious than ever. Ironically, the rise of mobile means consumers may be more efficient in spending money, but the distractions are overwhelming, making downtime more frantic than it should be. How can brands help? By providing a product or service that enriches leisure time rather than diluting it.

How consumers spend their free time and their cash has changed since millennials came into the picture. As The Observer puts it: “It’s not cool to show off your logo or handbag. Now, the way you brag is flaunting your healthy lifestyle, so it’s a selfie at SoulCycle, a 10 dollar green juice or geotagging a hike.” We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: it’s all about experiences.

Because of this, the fitness industry is booming; nowadays working out is considered a treat rather than a chore. The new influx of boutique gyms in big cities are catering to the needs of millennials who prefer a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system rather than committing to a membership. Consumers’ relationship with fitness is changing; they want bespoke classes, the best instructors in the business and the snazziest equipment out there. Each workout session has to be good enough for an Instagram post. According to Courier: “Eating healthy food, taking part in group fitness activity and choosing where to live based on whether young people can walk or cycle to work is now mainstream and seen as a marked shift from previous generations.” Health is a huge priority for millennials and if their precious leisure time is spent working out, it better be worth it.

What do consumers look to when they have a free minute? In the queue, before bed, during the ads – straight to their smartphones. As Campaign put it: “One of today’s great paradoxes is that mobile technology makes life more efficient and productive, yet it generates enough distraction so it seems there is less free time.” Brands need to capitalise on this by making sure their website is slick and mobile ready. Even the tourism industry has turned ‘mobile first’ as more consumers are not only shopping from their smartphone, but they’re booking holidays too. (Yes, this probably means late at night in bed). Every step of the customer journey in booking travel must guarantee connectivity to allow a good dollop of social bragging. According to Campaign: “Facebook reports the second most shared activity as being a ’travelled to’ event.”

As for hospitality, leisure time doesn’t necessarily mean eating out; now supermarket brands have made it acceptable to eat in. M&S does this well with their hugely popular £10 dine-in deal. The way people consume entertainment has changed too; the rise of Netflix means on-demand TV is the chosen format, rather than passively flicking through channels and therefore wasting valuable time.

What’s the best way to make dollar from downtime? Most importantly, make sure your content fits the consumers’ needs and desires. According to Campaign: “Millennials use cell phones for moments of relief, so brands should consider making their messaging short and snackable.” Whilst they’re scoring their social scrolling hit, if you can shave minutes off, they’ll love you for it. It’s also about timing; see how food brands capitalise on pre-lunch hunger pangs with mouthwatering recipes, whilst fitness brands bombard consumers with inspiring workout videos first thing.

In a world where we’re scrambling for more seconds, leisure time is an opportunity for brands to swoop in to act as help, not a hindrance. People are forever looking for ways to live, shop and work more efficiently, and now is a great time for brands to monopolise on the addiction to mobile whilst maintaining integrity through relevant content and a worthwhile product.

Do it when it’s good; riding the high

We all know what a high feels like. It’s euphoric. Exhilarating. You feel invincible and like nothing can touch you. So naturally, you kick your shoes off and relax, feet up on the table sipping on your pint while exuding a loud sigh of satisfaction every couple of minutes or so. You become comfortable. Get complacent. And as is the natural order of things, it all comes tumbling down. It’s the normal cycle of brands and their advertising campaigns, hitting budgets hard when sales are low and pushing to meet the end of month targets that are forever looming.

But get your feet off the table and get up, because the cycle has to end and it’s time brands started their advertising campaigns well before sales take a nose dive. The rush to lift sales often leads to misplaced marketing campaigns and ad flops, and if your sales are in trouble, you don’t have time for that. There is no good reason why brands, or any business, needs to wait until things get bad to kick off their advertising budgets. In fact, there’s loads of bloody good reasons why they shouldn’t, for example:

Consumers aren’t stupid:

If modern advertising has taught us anything, it’s that consumers are savvy and they’ve cottoned on to marketing tactics. Not to mention, they hate being sold to and they’re longing for authenticity. Which means real. Which means honest. Which also means, not trying to shove a load of product at them in the hopes that you’ll shift it off the shelves before month end. Come on, we’re all better than that. Plus, they know what you’re doing and it just doesn’t fly anymore.

Room for bravery:

In a world of awards, every brand and agency are looking to push boundaries and do something different. In our noisy world it’s almost impossible to not stick your head above the parapet and if you hope to gain any kind of social clout, you had better start innovating. However, leaving it until things are bad doesn’t allow room for brave advertising campaigns and bold marketing. With executive backs up against the wall and bonuses (not to mention jobs) on the line, no one is comfortable or willing to push the envelope. When sales are high and business credit is strong, that’s exactly the time to experiment and test what your brand can really do.

Your footfall will be stronger:

We’re all looking to get more consumers into our shops, whether that be our physical stores or digital spaces, and so footfall is important. When the pressure is on, any footfall you get is a win, but if you’re pushing ad campaigns when things are good, brands have huge opportunities to create massive footfall into their shops. People essentially want to ride the wave when it’s high and that’s an opportunity for brands to capitalize on.

Things don’t have to be bad for brands to push out great marketing campaigns, and in our experience, when things are bad it never leads to the best work. Instead, time, resource and good customer feelings can be the ingredients for viral ad success, as opposed to hurried campaigns in a bid to get consumers through your door.