MPAD Predicts The Future

27.01.2016 |

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  • As an integrated communications agency, we’re lucky enough to have a wide variety of talents and interests buzzing around at MPAD Towers. There’s so much value to come from discussing things as a group, so every now and again we like to rack each other’s brains to try and work out just what’s happening in the world. January’s discussion revolved around trends and predictions for 2016 and beyond. So, after consuming plates of homemade goodies and a vast selection of cheeses, here’s a short summary of our top points:

     

    The hashtag fades away

    Famous for its use on Twitter, the hashtag has become adaptable over the past few years’ appearing on everything from t-shirts and bags to wallpaper. We’ve noticed that the prominence of this symbol on Twitter is fading. This could be down to the sheer mass of information that’s flung at you on Twitter, (also known as a ‘Floordrobe’) and the fact that quite often a hashtag doesn’t narrow it down all that much.

    But if you’re a hashtag enthusiasts you needn’t worry: use of the symbol on Instagram is more frequent than ever, with users copying and pasting lines of hashtags in attempt to increase their following.

     

    Emoji’s alive

    Language can be the unwanted barrier in many great campaigns, however there’s now an easy way to bypass this issue…Emojis! Language experts are predicting that emoji’s presence will spill over from the online world to become a globally unifying communication medium.

     

    The Internet of everywhere

    We are on the verge of a new era where the Internet is everything and everywhere. Ultra-cheap, internet-enabled, solar-powered screens displaying advertising in HD will be on bus stops, shopping centers, restaurants and they’ll all be operating on a centralized advertising model.

    What’s more, these HD monitors have beacons that allow them to dynamically change content as your phone passes according to your specific preferences. Targeting the market has just reached a whole new level.

     

    Top navigation not such a priority?

    More and more websites are focusing on the ‘online experience’ and providing user journeys, to get customers to where they need to be. This may suggest there is less reliance on the top navigation? Introducing ‘the hamburger’ button; a button predominantly used for mobile viewports to create a hidden navigation for improved usability. A lot of websites now use it on their desktop applications to create a clean style and enable more focus on scrolling and content.

     

    Dead does not mean dead

    Print is dead! The logo is dead! The homepage is dead! Even social media is dead! But is this really the case? With so many forms of marketing and messaging is it just a case of a more integrated approach and using a bit of everything to get the message to your audience, with the correct strategy?

     

    The rise of paid content, and the fall of earned.

    Paid content will continue to increase, in fact it’s likely that by 2020 we will see the end of “earned” content. Enough said.

     

    Campaign as a Service

    There can be differences between executive and board, especially in the charity sectors. The high profile case in 2015 of Kids Company has led many board members to become overly cautious when it comes to spending donors’ money, even though it reduces the opportunity to generate further income.

    In order to overcome this we believe 2016 will see the rise of licensed campaigns giving charities and other organisations the opportunity to use material that has been proved to work for similar organisations.

    Campaigns like this need to be flexible to give the executive what they need, as well as provide reassurance to the board.

     

    Open Grieving Fatigue

    The deaths of Lemmy and David Bowie led to an outpouring on social media.

    This was followed by a spate of obituaries of well-known faces, who had in fact, died many years ago.

    Details weren’t read properly and people frantically shared these posts as they felt like it was the right thing to do.

    Do people think they will look bad if they don’t publicly grieve?

    While this will probably increase over the coming year, expect open grieving fatigue to kick in (depending on how many more high profile people die this year).

     

    Anti-Meme

    This is Bill. Lots of people like Bill. Lots of people have posted his stick image to tell people to be more like Bill. But lots of people don’t like Bill. Those people have aimed profanities at Bill. Those people have created other memes showing their dislike towards Bill.

    Get ready for the anti-meme in 2016. For every meme that trends on people’s Facebook walls, expect an anti-meme to appear to highlight people’s annoyance at the current trend.

     

    Digital Burn Out

    I’m hearing from more and more people who are taking a “social media” break. Anecdotally I hear friends say they are deleting their social apps from their phones.  The mindfulness movement is growing in popularity. I am personally guilty of multi-tasking far too much, and you can end up doing a bad job. With more platforms, more apps, content being uploaded at a dizzying rate, we’ll see more digital burnout and individuals turning away from social as a result.

     

    Traditional media budget is increasing

    Social media is not the only media that is growing. A recent survey of marketing managers across the UK showed that traditional media spend is not reducing, in fact it’s going to increase in 2016. This shows that traditional media is long from being dead, more an important part of the media mix.

     

    Collaborating with other agencies

    2016 will see more and more agencies collaborating on projects to achieve the best results for clients. We have long been advocate of this way of working and we intend to work with like-minded agencies throughout the year.

     

    Collaboration between sectors

    Charity campaigns succeed when they stimulate core emotions. This is where businesses can stand out among their competitors. Consumers are no longer solely swayed by promotions and prices, but are more interested in connecting to a business’ values. Charities could also benefit from the management and structure that that the private sector can bring. An alliance between the private and third sector will provide solutions for all.

     

    Current charity market donor model is unsustainable

    There will be a bigger reliance on a younger audience as the current charity donor demographic decreases in size. What will become the ’65 female’ group, will have less affluence to be classed as the generic donor. Charities will need to start looking at new ways to capture a younger donor audience.

     

    Perfection is becoming obsolete

    Transparent messaging is becoming increasingly relevant to an audience who want to see a more human side to brands. Apps like Snapchat, Periscope and Meerkat are recongising this and putting authenticity back into communication; and we like it.

     

    Let us know your predictions for the year ahead…

     

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