Opinion

5 New Year’s resolutions for brand marketers in 2018

By Nicolas Deskos | 12 December 2017

WARNING: If you’re looking for another trend report to impress your colleagues, this is not the place.

If, like me, you’re sick and tired of all the bullsh*t trend reports that come out around this time of the year, then you’re in good company. Instead of looking at how we’re all be talking more to a voice-enabled operating system than to our friends, we’ll be running through the New Year’s resolutions we should all make as marketers in 2018 (but probably won’t keep).

I will stop using “going viral” as the main marker of campaign success

Hands up if you're guilty of this. And hands up if you drink a shot every time some brand comes to your agency with this request. Let’s face it, we’re all in love with the idea of going viral and having our brand seen by millions of people. But does it really give your brand anything more than 15 minutes of fame? Probably not. Unless you’re Dollar Shave Club. But, then again, even they’re not profitable yet (and that ad came out 5 years ago).

I will finally admit that the “big idea” is less relevant in the digital age

Agencies, this one is for you. Let’s face it, gone are the days of big grandiose ideas selling brands. Don’t get me wrong, having a clear purpose is still important (see my next point), but having a big idea isn’t enough to sell products any more. The web as we know it is all about micro-interactions. Consumers want utility from brands, not just well-produced 30-second TV spots.

I will stop confusing corporate social responsibility with brand purpose

“If we volunteer at a charity organization and get some killer PR, will more people buy our products?” Look at the math and you’ll find your answer. Brand purpose is hot right now, and some companies seem to think CSR is the same thing. Guess what? It’s not. Purpose is what your organization stands for—whether that’s inspiring athletes around the world or providing solutions to the environmental crisis. Unfortunately, just sponsoring a local marathon isn’t going to cut it.

I will only jump on the shiny new platform if it has value for my brand

Marketers LOVE jumping on bandwagons. Mainly due to what I like to call, “marketing FOMO”. So if Domino’s has just released a new Snapchat filter, every other brand will want to do the same. But what if teens aren’t their target audience? Who cares! Every platform has a purpose—whether that’s VR, AR, or MR—so take a step back to decide if it’s the right step for your brand. Easy, right? Let’s hope so.

I will stop using marketing buzzwords to sound like I actually know what I'm talking about

“Content is king”, “data is the new oil”, “authentic storytelling”, “engaging the consumer”, “omnichannel marketing”... The list is endless. For everyone’s sake, please stop.

Got more alternative resolutions? Leave yours in the comments section below.

Nicolas Deskos
Editor
When he's not cycling around Amsterdam, Nicolas is curating OnBrand events and writing frank, no-nonsense articles on branding and marketing trends. Coming soon to an event near you.