Three key trends within marketing innovation


Real human insights, personalisation and the integration of voice are key trends in marketing innovation, according to a new WARC analysis published today: the Effective Innovation Report 2019.

Drawn from the winners of the Effective Innovation category of this year’s international WARC Awards, a global search for next-generation marketing effectiveness, the Effective Innovation Report includes in-depth chapter analysis with views and opinions from the judges, as well as summaries – objectives, insights, strategies and results – of the winning case studies.

WARC’s Lucy Aitken, Managing Editor, Case Studies, comments: “Following our analysis of the winning entries, we see that there’s a shift away from marketing via algorithm towards real human insights that can power effective communications, as well as desirable products and services for consumers that offer genuine convenience and solve problems.”

Effective innovators need real human insights

Human and cultural insights can power innovation. “A brand has to add value to lives by understanding the culture that people value and incorporating it not just in communications, but in the product itself,” observes jury member Jem Fawcus, Group CEO and Owner, Firefish.

He cites examples like SOK Media’s Block Wish for Alepa, a Finnish convenience store that asked its customers what they wanted to see stocked on the shelves; and My Line by MullenLowe SSP3 for Colombian Ministry of ICT, a simple but effective campaign that successfully provided 99.3% of Colombians with internet access via feature phones.

Personalisation can transform innovative communications

Personalisation continues to obsess brands and combining it with innovation has led to great results.

Stand-out campaigns include The Woman Behind the Veil by FP7 McCann Riyadh for Al Rajhi Bank in Saudi Arabia, which circumnavigated advertising regulation and won favour with women by using mirrors in outdoor sites.

Hannah Mirza, Media Programme Lead, Diageo, and member of the jury, comments: “Data and technology have empowered the potential of marketers all over the world. The creative interpretation of how to implement personalisation is what is differentiating the innovators in its application.

“Brands that are thinking beyond the screen and into consumer utility through personalisation are having the breakthrough moments. This leads to growth and brand salience as not only fit for purpose but useful to consumers’ lives.”

Voice is becoming more integrated

Voice, and other manifestations of AI, are gradually becoming more integrated as brands use them more cleverly to increase brand recognition and capture attention.

Jury member Federica Bowman, Managing Director, Digital, FirmDecisions, says: “With AI at the heart of business transformation, the impact on the cost of products and services, as well as the return on marketing investment to drive sales, is a potential game-changer.”

Juha Halmesvaara, Media Innovations Director, Carat Finland, added: “Voice commerce will be worth over $40bn by 2022, and it is where the strongest and most top-of-mind brands will win big.”

The judges were particularly struck by Australian pay TV brand Foxtel for which Mindshare created the truly game-changing campaign Monty to encourage people to pay for a product they’d previously enjoyed for free; and DDB Group New Zealand’s Re:scam for Netsafe New Zealand which used chatbots to divert scammers away from actual people, helping to curb cybercrime.

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