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Digitalisation affects the world of branding and communications in many ways. There is a much wider range of digital channels in comparison to traditional media. Target audiences are addressed more directly, and the choice of channel is more complex and takes more work. Reaching people at the right time, in the right place, with the right messages has always been a challenge, but success and failure can now be much more accurately measured. Some brands are still overwhelmed by this new kind of transparency. Shitstorms, whether or not they are justified, are just one notable example of this. This trend also has consequences for us as an agency, as the effect of almost every measure can be verified.
Brands need to respond to this dynamic world with more flexibility. The compulsive adherence to strict rules of branding – corporate identity, for example – ironically causes a loss of control, because it is then not the brands determining the speed of change, but the change determining the relevance of the brand. The interaction between brands and customers has now heavily shifted as a result of the high tempo of digital channels and the Internet of Things. Developments such as voice recognition technology and the rise in mobile and smart device users (beyond mobile phones and tablets) ramp up the process. Brands cannot put a stop to it, but they can help shape it.
Traditional advertising’s loss of significance can be seen particularly clearly in the use of innovative gadgets such as audio devices with artificial intelligence, as this technology offers a variety of options for new ways to address target audiences individually.
Although personalised banners often come across as a bit clumsy today, this field is set to become more intelligent, customised and thus useful for the user in future. At the same time, recommendations from friends, influencers or other users are rising in importance. In times of complexity, they increasingly offer a form of guidance that traditional advertising does not provide (any longer). Alongside this more personal targeting on social media, there is also a trend towards professionalism.
The trend towards video is still equally as prevalent. With “Live is life” as a motto, formats previously only used on TV are becoming increasingly important on social media, albeit in an adapted form – reality TV on YouTube. All three trends – video, professionalism and personalisation – very often go hand in hand here.
This all goes to show that standard solutions are a thing of the past. Not just for brands – for your collaboration with agencies, too.
Personalisation comes as standard at UDG. We like to call it ‘mass customisation’. We then develop the perfect agency setup with our hive mind of specialists from our fields of expertise. We prefer working closely with our customers every step of the way, from strategy development right through to specific planning. We call this process ‘co-creativity’.