The year of innovation, collaboration, disruption

The year of innovation,
collaboration, disruption

With 2015 now behind us, I don't believe that anyone will deny the fact that the year has been good for digital. The year took off to a slow start but gained momentum along the way. But most importantly, it ended on a high. From all the interactions I have had with clients and industry folk one thing is certain, 2016 is going to be a great year for digital advertising. I believe we will see advertising taking a new shape as content creation begins to gain momentum. Here is a list of 10 important factors to ensure a positive change.

Data will have its day

This year we will truly see the potential of data and the use of it in the development of new services, marketing plans, and relationship management. Big Data will live up to its name and brands will be willing to spend a fair amount to analyze and get the best out of it. It just takes a few successful examples to get the buzz going and with ‘KaanKhajura Tashan' being one of them reaping huge rewards in effectiveness (and winning a bunch of awards while they are at it) things will only get BIGGER moving forward.

Risk-takers will reap rewards

Speaking of rewards, the risk-takers will be the ones to avail of them the most. Consumers don't want to see the same stuff. I believe age and attitude has a lot to do with the decisions we make in life. If we are attached to the old way of thinking and always look to see if there is a tried and tested model out there, this safe route curbs innovation. Risk-taking promotes innovation and risk-takers will take the lion's share (pun intended) of recognition for their vision and innovation.

Innovations – the new media

Which leads us to innovations. Innovations is the (new) new media. Whether its is trying to develop a better way to learn, work or play, if you are solving a problem in a different, simple and unconventional way, you are innovating. Being unconventional is looking at a problem in a different light and coming up with a solution that is simple enough to be accepted by the masses. Innovation is also pertinent for niche audiences. Spurred by the startup revolution in the country, apps and wearables will give a new lease of life for most brands that are not in the spotlight.

India will see a start-up boom

And speaking of startups, India is the hotbed of the same. Start-ups will be the fuel for innovations and with innovations brands will find new ways to communicate with their consumers. The startup revolution will also, sadly (from those that do not succeed), also give rise to a huge availability of talent. This will end up tipping the scale of the demand and supply ratio of talent and will make cost of development a lot lesser than it usually is.

Work will become network

With numerous ways and means to communicate with the customer, great marketing campaign will be about perfect collaborations. This year will see musicians, film studios, comedians, professionals, industry experts and even the common folk collaborate with brands to communicate to consumers through unique visual content and innovations.

Content will truly be king

But ultimately it will come down to the content. Content will continue its rule as king. Visual content will go through an evolution in 2016. We have already seen the revival of animated GIFs (all brought upon by compatibility on Facebook and other popular social media platforms), I believe moving forward we will see the rise of the micro-video.

Platforms like Dubsmash have already made creators of Indians (India being one of their largest markets for content creation) and with more such content creation products to be launched we will see a lot more of this (and a lot of this will be very good content surprisingly). The digital space has also given rise to a new breed of content creators.

Comedians had a field day last year and quite a few of them raked in the moolah. This year we will see a flurry of genres taking centerstage and we might just see Agencies creating divisions that focus on the same considering that brands are forecasted to spend approximately 35% of their marketing budget on Content Creation.

Disruption is the new normal

But first, one needs a good idea to begin with and it’s the disruptive ones that will have a longer and more fruitful life in the minds of the consumers. In this connected age consumers are privy to a plethora of ideas across platforms and the staid ones deliver little to no reaction from the consumers. Disruption can be caused by controversy too and a lot of brands will resort to this tactic to garner mind-space among the consumers. Secondly, disruption also needs to be prevalent across platforms/media and now more than ever seamless cross-platform ideas will be what brands are looking for and not mere plugins.

Experiential goes multi-media

Innovation and the need to have your communication everywhere will lead to traditional media becoming not so traditional. Technology will be used to make billboards speak and interact with you and experiential will truly go mainstream. This will also help in the promotion of disruptive brand communication.

Cause and effect

One of the biggest changes we saw in 2015 was the adoption of cause marketing. Granted, government policies spurred the use of the same but for most brands this was a blessing in disguise. Consumers were attracted to this mode of communication because it was relevant and real. I suspect there will be a lot more brands hoping to create impactthrough this mode of marketing. As long as some good comes out of this, I don't see anyone complaining. We will see a lot of these campaigns make it to the award books too.

Mobile will be the only constant

And in all this struggle for mind space the device that will remain king will be the mobile phone. It is the only communication device that is with the consumer at all points in time and with India taking leaps and bounds in mobility we can expect to see the mobile phone as the connecting tool being used in practically every form of communication. Some will use it to inform, some to interact and some to integrate. Mobile will be the constant in all forms of communication.

Here’s wishing everyone a very happy 2016.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor