Wavemaker trends to impact brand growth

The Gen X creator economy presents an opportunity for brands

Wavemaker’s Global Client Presidents (Anna Hickey, Alastair Bannerman and Alex Altman) shed light on the current topics which are top of mind for CMOs/CEOs just now — and the trends that will make an impact on brand growth for the future.

The advertising industry is evolving at an unprecedented pace, driven by a dynamic landscape and changing brand demands. In the world of advertising, staying ahead of the curve is essential, and understanding current marketing trends is key to achieving this goal. At Wavemaker client trends are constantly monitored and media approaches adapted and evolved.

AI dominance

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of client enquiries. Clients are eager to harness the potential of AI to enhance their marketing strategies. They seek guidance on how to tap into AI capabilities, leverage data effectively, and navigate the evolving AI-driven landscape. Wavemaker is advising clients on AI adoption, ensuring they stay ahead in the tech-driven marketing game. Brands are eager to explore how AI can enhance their creative endeavours, improve search strategies, and optimise their media investments. The growing interest in AI reflects the industry’s quest for innovative solutions that can drive efficiency and effectiveness. They are grappling with the implications of AI on various aspects of their businesses, from creative production to search advertising. The challenge lies in navigating the legal, ethical, and operational aspects of AI while leveraging its potential for growth.

Transformational journeys

Transformation has become a buzzword in the industry. Clients are increasingly recognising the need to transform their businesses to stay competitive. However, the challenge lies in defining what transformation means for their specific context. Both large and small businesses are looking for ways to transform themselves in the digital age. For well-established brands like Colgate-Palmolive and Danone, this means getting closer to performance marketing, leveraging data, and adapting to new tech.

e-commerce and data synergy

e-commerce has experienced significant growth, particularly in recent years. Clients are now exploring ways to integrate e-commerce seamlessly with their data strategies. This entails forging partnerships with retailers to leverage data effectively, creating a more personalised shopping experience for consumers. The synergy between e-commerce and data is a trend that is likely to continue shaping client strategies. As the advertising industry evolves, clients are relying on agencies to provide expertise and insights into these trends. The ability to adapt to these changes and drive innovation is critical for both agencies and clients, as they navigate the ever-shifting marketing landscape.

Alex Altman, Alastair Bannerman, and Anna Hickey

Gen X and the creator economy

This concept revolves around leveraging influencers and advocates to create impactful content. This trend holds the potential it holds for engaging audiences in novel ways.

Wavemaker’s recent research into marketing mishaps and bias towards over-45s in social. The report, Finding the Gen X Factor, investigated 45-60 years old audiences or ‘Generation X’ often ignored by brands and the advertising industry, particularly across social media advertising. Gen X is one example of the creator economy which presents a huge opportunity for brands — they’re highly engaged, loyal and wealthy consumers — and shouldn’t be overlooked by advertisers. When it comes to engaging Gen X audiences, brands need to think long-term, long-form and community-based content to gain their trust, loyalty and ensure they feel represented.

Navigating the complex media landscape 

Clients often seek guidance on how to structure their organisations to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of their media investments. This concern reflects a universal need for strategic advice in navigating the complex media landscape.

The duality of client needs

Interestingly, client trends in advertising reflect a duality. Fast growth clients, typically born in the digital economy, already excel in areas like performance marketing, search, and digital media. However, they often lack experience in building long-term brands. On the other hand, more established clients seek assistance in adapting to the rapidly changing digital landscape. We’re responding to these trends by developing innovative approaches that bridge the gap between brand and performance marketing. For fast growth clients, this means transitioning into brand building, expanding into multiple markets, and pursuing long-term growth strategies.

Consistency and simplicity

Integration has always been a challenge in the advertising industry, but it has taken on new significance in today’s complex media landscape. Clients are increasingly seeking streamlined workflows that encompass the entire advertising process, from brief submission to distribution and invoicing. Simplifying these workflows can make interactions with clients more efficient and effective.

For multinational clients like Colgate-Palmolive and Danone, consistency is key. They want their advertising partners to deliver excellence across all markets. While consistency may not sound glamorous, it’s a fundamental requirement for clients with a global presence. Delivering consistent, high-quality work is a top priority for agencies working with such clients. As client requirements in advertising continue to evolve, Wavemaker aims to play a pivotal role in helping businesses navigate the ever-changing landscape. Whether it is helping clients embrace transformation, bridging the gap between brand and performance marketing, or harnessing the power of data and AI, agencies are at the forefront of innovation in the industry. By staying attuned to client needs and trends, these agencies will shape the future of advertising.

Understanding and responding to client needs is vital for agencies to remain relevant and successful. The landscape is constantly shifting, and media agencies must be agile, creative, and responsive to meet the diverse needs of their clients.

Featured image: charlesdeluvio / Unsplash

Anna Hickey, Alastair Bannerman and Alex Altman, Global Client Presidents, Wavemaker

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