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It’s a “Post-Advertising” Marketing World — Here’s How to Navigate It

Is your brand positioned for success in the new decade? To help you answer that question, we offer our insights from the recent JEGI | Clarity Media & Tech Conference.

Post Advertising hero

By Kyle Crafton


The 2020 JEGI | Clarity Media & Technology Conference, thematically titled “Radical Reinvention,” brought leaders from across the spectrum of publishing, tech and the agency world together in New York City in January. Like any conference, there were plenty of buzzwords and bold predictions from the dais. The opening keynote delivered by Accenture Interactive CEO Brian Whipple, however, stood out as a broader and more insightful breakdown of exactly what’s changed in the business of marketing.

Whipple offered salient advice to guide marketers trying to grow their brand in the new decade. These three pointers stood out to us in particular:

1. Know that brands are no longer built by advertising. In the past, the stronghold of advertising on the relatively limited channels of content available to the public could be used to convince consumers to do just about anything. In contrast, brands today are built on something much different (and more difficult to manipulate): the way that each customer experiences that brand. Nearly half of consumers will walk away from a brand that delivers a bad experience for them. Conversely, 67 percent of consumers will continue to purchase from a brand that has delivered a good experience regardless of price.

2. Pay attention to your values. By 2030 (just 10 years from now), millennials will be five times richer than they are today — more than $68 trillion of Baby Boomer wealth is in the process of being transferred to this younger generation. It’s a generation that cares — deeply — about ethical values, and that considers human impact when weighing which products to consume. Whipple notes that 62 percent of all consumers are attracted to brands based on their ethical values. Therefore, whether or not you pay attention to your values, your customers will certainly be doing so.

3. Diversify your agency mix. Working with only an ad agency is not going to provide brands with enough insights or capabilities to ultimately compel their growth. Instead, Whipple suggests that the “sweet spot” of creating positive consumer experiences (and thus long-term brand viability) comes from utilizing a blend of marketing partners: creative agencies, traditional consultants and technology providers. The intersection of expertise among these groups will provide the strategic guidance and execution firepower to ensure that all consumers — and particularly those with a growing share of purchasing power — will connect positively with a brand.

Change may be the only constant when it comes to advances in technology, marketing and media, but with an eyes-wide-open approach to understanding how consumers are making purchasing decisions today — as well as the importance of those consumers in the long term — brands needn’t be blindsided by every twist and turn in societal trends. With the right partners in place and a clearly articulated ethical stance, brands can be well positioned to grow and prosper despite an ever-evolving generational and behavioral landscape.

Kyle Crafton
Kyle Crafton Chief Executive Officer

Kyle’s career experience spans the media landscape, beginning as a magazine publisher and later as CFO and publisher of MediaBistro.com. He served as the publisher and GM of the Curbed Network, now part of Vox media. In 2010, he swapped New York City for Arizona and dove into agency life, leading digital initiatives — design and development, interactive marketing, UX and search — and working with clients such as Nationwide Insurance, Charles Schwab and NASCAR.

Kyle has taught courses on digital media entrepreneurship and the business and future of journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. He feels at home among the many Chicago ex-pats in Phoenix. His passions include cooking, college basketball and spending time with his (significantly more talented) creative director wife, his tween children and his dog.

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