electronics, telecommunications

Changing Technology Continued To Challenge Brands In 2017

Never underestimate the power of two big brands coming together for a common goal. 

That seems to be the message of the most-read story in the consumer electronics, telecommunications, entertainment and packaged goods category. A simple story about Samsung and Microsoft teaming up for the Xbox One X launch garnered more than 9,000 reads, by far the sector's most-read story of the year. 

While that story was about an isolated case of two brands coming together to promote each other, many companies in the category were making great efforts to show how they were adapting to ongoing technological advances. Campaigns for Cox Communications, AT&T and Sonos showed off how each company was adapting to the central role connectivity plays in consumers’ modern lives. (The Cox campaign, for instance, showed off the regional cable company’s panoramic WiFi system, which cuts down on in-home dead-spots, while the AT&T campaign capitalized on the brand’s connection to the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament to show off the synergies offered for AT&T wireless and DirecTV customers.)



As in past years, the changing content consumption habits of consumers remained a reliable theme throughout 2017. The second-most read story in the category covered the different demographics and attitudes of cord-nevers vs. cord-cutters, suggesting that both groups were looking to save money, but for vastly different reasons. Meanwhile, an account of PayPal’s Digital Goods Economy Survey illustrated how the smartphone has changed how people consume content and, in doing so, how entertainment companies can make money from it. (Not surprisingly, mobile transactions for video entertainment and music were on the rise.)

Despite these changes, a survey from the Boston Consulting Group found marketers gave themselves only middling scores when it came to digital advertising. Many of them admitted lacking expertise in mobile and video challenges and testing overall. CPG companies will also have to look to changing demographics for their future sales, as ThinkNow Research found  so-called “Bicultural Hispanics” — those who are generally first- or second-generation Americans who identify with both the U.S. culture and their Hispanic heritage — have the most brand loyalty across several CPG categories. 

But perhaps the story that will have the most resonance into 2018 is one that examined the hot water Keurig found itself in when it pulled ads from Sean Hannity’s Fox News program. Experts weighed in on the brand’s “no-win” situation, noting that every move can be viewed through a political lens these days, and a backlash is waiting around the corner. The smart brand are already planning for that eventuality, said Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants. 

“What’s coming for brands will be to have an in-house political advisor or political consultants,” Schiffer told Marketing Daily. “Politics is going to be an important analysis that CMOs need to incorporate into their thinking. You’re going to have to think through these things before they come up.”

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