Ringing in the New Year offers a fresh opportunity to pause and reflect each year. As campaigns vie for the attention of consumers everywhere who are looking to get fit, read more, and practice better self-care, the question begs to be asked: what can we, as marketers, do better? Surely there are plenty of existential answers to be explored, but quite simply, are we reaching our shoppers where they are, emotionally as well as physically?
A quick review of 2017 reveals many shifts in the way consumers experience content. Instagram allows for multi-photo compilations, Twitter loosened its character limit constraints, and photo filters continue to evolve across platforms. Social media users afraid of missing out on limited-time content had to face that ephemeral “stories” are no longer ownable by Snapchat alone, but compete for views on Instagram and Facebook as well. If that wasn’t enough, brand content is evolving to a greater degree of personalization within stories too.
Diving deeper into the trends, though, there seem to be greater undercurrents of change at play than simply shortened attention spans. In an era of cultural awareness and individual empowerment, the self-expression of consumers transcends the language that we have been using to target them. They are not simply “Millennials” or “Moms” – their identity includes an intersectionality that overlaps race, gender, sexuality, and class. With this search for self-expression, there is a growing hunger for brands that relate to their life experience in an authentic way.