Last week, members of the BCW UK digital team headed down to Angel (London) for the annual Digital Marketing World Forum. For the past 13 years, #DMWF has been bringing together the global digital community to tackle challenges that the digital future presents. We relished two days packed with top-level strategic content and digital marketing insight.
Here are the top five forward-looking trends we took away from the event that brands should keep an eye on.
TikTok Live “is the Future”!
Live commerce has taken off in a big way in China and it is only a matter of time before it becomes the next big trend in Western markets, with TikTok poised to become a breakaway platform in the West. We spoke to the Head of TikTok Live (and ex-BCW London Digital team member) Yenan Wang, who told us that fitness and cooking are the fastest growing verticals and have fostered a great demand for live streaming.
The fact that TikTok’s algorithm allows anyone - regardless of their follower count - to reach a far wider audience should be reason enough for us all to start live streaming and eventually selling!
The Creator Economy is Only Getting Stronger
Currently worth over $100 billion, it’s no surprise that recent research shows 85% of consumers agree that user-generated content (UGC) is influential in their purchase decisions. We agree, and believe that there is nothing more authentic than UGC from a brand’s own customers, giving fans the opportunity to participate in a brand’s growth instead of simply spectating.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Demands More from Brands Than Lip Service
Chloe Downes, founder of SHFT, was crystal clear that companies must avoid being ‘performative.’ People can spot when something is not authentic and relationships are ‘forced.’ Brands need to do more in forming and creating long-term partnerships with influencers from marginalised and underrepresented communities. Furthermore, change must take place at a higher organisational level within brands, and hiring strategies need to change within brands and agencies to ensure change at a campaign level.
Test and Learn is Still Relevant (and Probably Always Will Be)
Alex Ionana, manager of Digital Content Experience at Booking.com, believes this! He says you need to test your hypothesis time and again to see if you can reproduce the same results. We need to “guess, measure, learn and then repeat!”
Social Media Management Teams Are Still Growing, and There’s No Sign They’ll Stop Soon
Gone are the days that a single social media manager is the copywriter, analyst, paid specialist, graphic designer and so much more. Aidan McGivern, from the Met Office, let us know that they have two champions per channel and that you cannot expect one person to do it all. They even have a WhatsApp group to alert each of other of the latest trends so that, as a team, they can react and create content in a collective and efficient manner.
Thanks to the London Digital team for these trends. If you’d like to get in touch to discuss you can reach them here: [email protected]