2020 ushers in a new decade and as the world evolves, so does the marketing landscape. As some brands prepare to enter the new year with new campaigns, others are looking to expand upon current campaigns. In addition, both client and agencies look to not only integrate their campaigns, but integrate the way they work together.
New year, new campaign? Not necessarily. We are going to see campaigns that are extensions of bigger ones that were launched in 2018 and 2019. This means expanding new messaging to already existing campaigns and doing this in a holistic way. With new product offerings and benefits that need to be expressed, the challenge will always be to ensure that any new creative always has a dotted line to the bigger strategy and feels like a natural extension of what is in the market.
This is the responsibility of both the agency and the client. We must ensure our ideas always tie back to a bigger North Star. This relentless focus and honesty is key. An agency may be answering the brief, but the expression of the brief can be a solution looking for a problem. Q3 of 2020 should feel very tied to 2019 messaging.
In-House vs. Agency
To in-house or not to in-house? That’s the question some clients will be asking.
First, we have to ask ourselves why a client would take their marketing in-house.
The obvious answer is...to save money. But an entire in-house team poses operational problems that most organizations are not prepared to handle.
I think what leads those conversations is not a P&L and a spreadsheet. It's the working relationship that is flawed. Brands wanting more say in the work, wanting to give critical input along the way. Championing creative and strategic collaboration, not just weekly status calls. Having more frequent creative dialogue with creative teams -- not only account teams. If that is a brand wish list, then taking work in-house seems like a logical answer.
Agencies: What can we learn from this? Leading is as much about driving a brand forward as it is about listening and collaborating. We must create an environment where our clients can roll up their sleeves with us and be taken along for the process. Where the big “ta-da” moments are replaced with consistent communication. Where brands feel like the agency is a true extension of their team. Where our process is flexible enough to give everyone time to ensure alignment.
Let's make brands feel that they can lean on us for our expertise, while looking for ways to be more transparent and collaborative. We are all on the same team with the same mission.
Real, Raw & Organic Doesn’t Mean Unpolished
We are going to see brands becoming a little bit more raw and organic with their content instead of being overly polished. Tight strategic messaging with a more raw visual strategy. Not all brands can get away with this, but the ones that can will and should.
This isn’t reserved for social content only. This thinking will be applied to national spots as well. This doesn't mean that production budgets will drop, but that more companies will be curating visual aesthetics that feel more approachable without losing the integrity of the brand promise.