The world is changing fast and showing no signs of slowing. Our industry is being disrupted by new models of marketing and selling, new retailers, and a consumer-empowered new technology and a new age of transparency.
We’ve witnessed a fundamental shift in the balance of power. The 70s and 80s were the age of the supplier. The 90s and 00s saw the retailers come to prominence. Now, it’s the age of the consumer. They have more choice than ever before, more information than ever before, the power to make their voice heard like never before. And they demand more from us than ever before.
In this new era of consumer transparency and power, trust in brands and in institutions is declining. Yet marketing still has incredible power to reach consumers and win their hearts and minds. In 2015, we’ve seen an ever-increasing number of brands embracing power of marketing for good; creating inspiring campaigns that build brands, win consumer trust and loyalty but also make a difference in society.
We’ve seen this at P&G with the success of the Always #LikeAGirl campaign all around the world. A clear message, relevant to the audience, relevant to the brand, going beyond product performance to the role the brand can play in people’s lives.
But what strikes me most about this campaign is its broad relevance, not just to the brand and society but how we need to operate as marketing organisations. Diversity drives better creativity and innovation, and with that, better business results. We all need to ensure we have the best talent in our companies at every level, with diversity of gender, nationality, age, religion, but also diversity of style, ideas, approaches and experiences.
We need to focus on removing all the barriers that stand in the way of attracting, retaining and promoting the very best people in our industry. We need to have diverse role models speaking up and inspiring change. Only then, will we ensure we are representing the diverse consumers we seek to serve.
In this new, changing world, the secret to success remains the same – deeply understanding the consumer better than anyone else, designing everything you do for them better than anyone else and delighting them at every point they encounter your brand, product or business better than anyone else.
In the new age of the empowered consumer, let’s make sure we are truly putting them at the heart of everything we do in 2016.
Read more 2016 predictions from leading marketers