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Digital Corner: Is Your Marketing Reflective of Your Customers?

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UNLESS YOU RARELY WATCH TV, never step foot in a retail store beyond your own anymore, or live in a cave or under a rock, you’ve probably (hopefully!) noticed how retailers are becoming ever-more conscious of portraying diversity in their advertising. Not just diversity in race but in relationships, body weights and social stances. The next time you’re tuning in to your favorite show, really pay attention to the advertising and the people portrayed in them beyond the ad’s campaign. Showcasing diversity was a big push in 2018 but 2019 trends are already taking shape towards next-level messaging. Here are some to be aware of:

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Bolder Campaigns

Who can forget Nike’s decision to highlight Colin Kaepernick in last September’s ad? It was guaranteed to be controversial and elicited both wrath and high fives alike. In 2019, watch for brands to continue showcasing ads that take a risk in their overall message. This will be more predominant when the brand’s shoppers are more likely to be in their 20s and 30s, according to Retail Dive.

Simplified Loyalty Programs

Shopping and not being a member of a rewards program can be a bummer if the perks are great. But not so much when the rewards you’ll get in return are fuzzy. In 2019, you’ll see larger retailers get behind a card-free program or better reasons to join than just points. Personalization and value will be the biggest drivers of a loyalty program’s success.

Brands Standing Up for What They Believe In

Last year, Dick’s Sporting Goods didn’t just announce they would no longer be selling assault-style rifles at their Field & Stream stores anymore, they also asked lawmakers to ban these firearms, raise the minimum age of purchasing firearms to 21 and require background checks. This took place after the shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school. Despite the mixed response, many studies found Dick’s benefited from their move. In 2019, look for more brands to follow suit, urging customers to vote, take a stand on a political issue, or support grassroots environmentalism. A few generations back, you would have never seen or dreamed of advertising that would ever address anything controversial or political. In 2019, it will be clear that this is no longer going to be unusual.

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Changing Branding Tactics

Turns out the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show just doesn’t resonate the way it has in the past. The brand, which has arguably featured beautiful yet rather idealistic female models in their advertising has found themselves struggling where other brands showing a more inclusive and comfortable approach to shopping for lingerie (hello, ThirdLove) are shining. Body-positive campaigns featuring authentic, “real” people have taken off in popularity. This is just one example of a brand that will need to pivot to stay relevant to today’s customer.

Social Marketing Gets Focused

In 2019, you’ll see more retailers utilizing their social platforms to not just showcase their products but to encourage shoppers to talk to them about changes they’d like to see. You’ll see more brands showing customer-generated reviews and videos.

What marketing messages will you put in place to stay relevant with your customers and your prospects in 2019? Send an email to [email protected] We’d love to start a conversation with you!

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