Commentary

How A Culture Of Learning Can Help Us Tackle Today's Top Communication Trends

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, November 17, 2017

The marketing world is beginning to feel like a revolving door of digital technology, social media platforms, and consumer trends that disrupt the way we reach consumers one minute and then disappear into oblivion the next.

Are we doing enough to keep up?

Brand evolution is an essential part of surviving and thriving in our fast-paced society. Today’s consumers crave instant communication and personalized experiences. But who knows what tomorrow’s consumers will demand. That’s why I firmly believe the best way to ensure an organization not only meets but also anticipates and exceeds its consumers’ expectations is to emphasize a culture of lifelong learning.

Evolving With the Trends

The only way to drive innovation and fuel success in an evolving world is to create a culture unafraid to learn from failure. SeaWorld provides an excellent example of this. Though its damaged image seemed beyond repair, the marine life park released the most-liked advertisement of 2017's third quarter, according to Ace Metrix. The 90-second spot reinforced the brand's commitment to learning from its mistakes and making a positive impact moving forward.

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To ensure our brands are continually growing and learning with the world, we must consider how we're embracing and capitalizing on these dominating trends:

Instant communication: The 92 million Millennial consumers have grown up with technology and have become accustomed to instantly communicating with anyone at any time. So it’s only natural they’d expect the same 24/7 access to the brands they care about.

To succeed, we need to be doing more than simply embracing the latest technology. Rather, we must be engaging with consumers in real time, all the time. The entire team — from the latest hire to the CEO — should be fluent in consumers' tech, interests, and lingo. Personally, I like to read Mintel Trends to get up to speed on evolving preferences.

Targeted messaging: Instead of developing mass advertising campaigns, we'll find greater success targeting specific audiences with customized messages. Getting the right message in front of the right audience is the fastest way to spark interest, generate trust, and grow support with consumers.

Our audience's interests are always changing, so it’s critical that we gather and analyze new data to learn exactly where and how our marketing efforts will have the greatest impact. It has to be an all-hands-on-deck effort when developing new ways to reach and engage with various groups so we always get the freshest ideas.

Consumer connections: Per Media Dynamics, consumers see about 360 ads every day, so it’s critical that brands emphasize that "something special" only they have to offer. When we can connect our consumers to something bigger — a unique, meaningful experience or opportunity — we'll be rewarded with loyalty.

To truly discover what our target audience is looking for, we must step out from behind our desks. That means hitting the streets, attending conferences, or working with subject matter experts. Once the information is in hand, it's all about brainstorming as a group to develop alluring, authentic offerings that will compel consumers to choose our brand again and again. For example, when my teammates attend South by Southwest, they're required to come back and present what they've learned in a group setting.

We can only remain relevant in today’s quickly changing world by adopting new technology and creating new social media accounts. But to be truly agile, innovative, and successful, it’s essential that we emphasize a culture of perpetual evolution and learning.

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