ITL #583 Innovation, technology and creativity: beyond formats

1 week, 3 days ago

(Comments)


Creativity is what makes communication more than just information. By Núria Vilanova.



We live in effervescent times. Communication, Marketing and Advertising are being challenged by trends that follow one another endlessly, by novelties that are bursting in to stay such as short videos, interactive experiences, the rise of podcasts... without forgetting the unstoppable irruption of AI.

Audiences today are also not the same as they were before the pandemic. Their way of relating to information has also evolved. Interest in reading or consulting news, for example, has declined by more than 30% compared to 2019. Half of pre-pandemic users. The new relationship between users and information is characterized today by selective evasion, lower participation rates and low levels of trust. Nowadays we prefer content that is short, direct, visually appealing, dynamic and easy to consume, understand and share.

The great challenge for brands, therefore, is to find new ways to connect and impact their audiences. We have left behind, for example, the times when advertising campaigns impacted an audience that waited for their messages sitting in their seats, waiting to watch their favorite television program, listen to their radio program or read their newspaper.  This has long since changed. The consumer has taken control: they now decide when they consume our brand's communication and how they consume it.

There is no doubt that technological change and the evolution of our audience have meant that we have to adapt to playing by other rules. Strategies, now more than ever, must have as their starting point an idea that society endorses. This idea must be given an attractive form, generating a conversation around it, because in times of much noise such as the current one, the real challenge is to be relevant. It's not enough to get there, you have to aspire to make an impact.

Advanced social listening

That is why it is key to activate advanced social listening as soon as possible, which goes beyond monitoring mentions: it is the strategic response for brands to be able to analyze large volumes of data, know consumer concerns or know what is being done well and in which areas they are failing.

Practicing effective advanced social listening isn't as simple as tracking online conversations and social media to gain insights into the public's perception of a brand or industry. This exercise is critical for companies today for several key reasons.

First, because it allows companies to identify and understand emerging trends in real-time, which is essential to stay relevant in an ever-changing market. Analyzing and interpreting the data obtained also allows companies to adapt their products and services to better meet consumer needs and expectations.

On the other hand, good listening gives us valuable insights into the effectiveness of communication campaigns. Companies can measure how their messages are received and adjust their strategies to maximize the impact and efficiency of their communications. This translates into a more strategic use of marketing budget and resources.

It also makes it easier to manage your online reputation. By keeping an eye on conversations about their brand, businesses can quickly respond to negative feedback and manage potential crises before they escalate or even happen. Taking the pulse of what they say and expect from us helps maintain a positive image and customer trust.

Likewise, listening allows us less margin for error in decision-making by providing a solid base of data and information. Business leaders can thus perform more successfully in product development, marketing, sales, and other strategic areas.

We are talking about the main tool for companies that today seek to stay competitive, communicate effectively and make appropriate decisions in a decentralized, digital, and increasingly complex and challenging environment. Listening takes us into a process of continuous improvement that optimizes the user experience; the best option to stay competitive in a data-driven, customer-oriented market.

The importance of creativity

In a market as competitive as the one that companies face today, creativity helps to differentiate, stand out and have an impact on the public. Technology, in this digital age, is also a great ally to help us be original, stimulating our creative capacity and allowing companies to experiment with a multitude of formats, platforms and emerging tools.

There is no doubt that creativity is what makes communication more than just information. Endowing an action with a creative concept exponentially multiplies the possibility of attracting attention, as it pushes it towards new visual, iconic, conceptual dimensions... Fortunately, companies are already well aware that there are better and more effective ways to sell products and services than by exposing and boasting about their differentiating or egalitarian characteristics.

Through creativity, businesses can find new ways to communicate with their customers, generating memorable experiences and generating greater emotional connection. This emotional connection is vital to building long-lasting relationships and fostering customer loyalty to the brand.

In addition, creativity also plays an important role in breaking down barriers and generating impact. With creative ideas, companies can overcome obstacles that may exist in communication, such as saturation of advertising messages, difficulty in capturing attention, or lack of interest. Creative communication has the ability to surprise and captivate the audience, leaving a mark on their minds and generating a lasting impact.

It also makes it possible to adapt to the rapid and constant changes in the market. With evolving technologies and audience preferences, businesses must constantly look for new ways to communicate and interact with their audience. Creativity offers the flexibility and adaptability necessary to find innovative responses and generate effective communication strategies according to the demands of the environment

However, before the how, there is always a what. The first requirement to conquer with our story or our message is that its foundation has this ability to captivate us. Otherwise, we will only be making up a non-existent reality or, as it is popularly known, selling smoke.

Collaboration between technologists and creatives has led to brilliant campaigns, but the crux of the matter remains the strategy behind it. Creative communication is not a balm of happiness that fixes everything. We cannot focus on how to convey the message by detracting from our attention the content and the essence of it. External and internal communication have a common purpose: to convey a message effectively. However, the way they are approached and valued can vary. Externally, communication seeks to project an image, transmit values and connect with the target audience. Internally, it seeks to strengthen the organizational culture, motivate employees and foster a collaborative work environment.

In both cases, creativity is essential. We should not underestimate internal communication, considering it inferior to external communication. Both are vital and should be treated with equal relevance. However, only by starting from a solid foundation will the efforts to communicate and transmit in an attractive and unique way, capturing the attention of our recipients and generating a positive impact that does not fade, be compensated and profitable.

In an era in which people penalize deception with unprecedented force, creativity can never be used to try to show what we are not, what we do not do or do not have. But it will surely be our safe conduct to success if we put it at the service of a good purpose.

On the lookout for brand-lovers

If we take into account that only 1 in 2 people express interest in reading the news and that misinformation generates growing distrust, it is essential to create an emotional connection with customers and consumers: make them "brand-lovers" so that they are the best ambassadors of our brand, as we give more credibility to other users who are like us.

How to achieve this? With a good dose of creativity and courage to do original things and in a different way. Nowadays, being an attractive brand for the consumer entails a fresh, different communication, offering your consumer something more. Something that makes them identify with the brand and that leads them to feel part of it.

You have to be there, to dialogue with your consumer wherever you are adapting the communication and the message to each medium and each channel. Therefore, a company's channel ecosystem must be much more than a catalog of products or services. It is necessary to create attractive content hubs for the brand's followers, who must be seen not only in terms of gender and age, but also taking into account their tastes, habits, priorities, causes and concerns. For this reason, we always talk about channels in the plural but never about strategies, because the strategy is unique

And in this search for consumers willing to "tattoo" their brand on their skin or follow it in an almost messianic way, new formats such as short videos, interactive experiences or podcasts are imposed on traditional formats. They offer brands unique ways to engage with their audience, creating more personalized and memorable experiences.

We must never forget that what users reward in the digital age is both creativity and authenticity. The perceived authenticity of content and its creators has gained a lot of weight, to the point of becoming one of the aspects most valued by audiences, regardless of their age.

 

 


author"s portrait

The Author

Núria Vilanova

Núria Vilanova is president and founder of the global communication and corporate affairs company ATREVIA, and president of the Business Council Alliance for Ibero-America CEAPI.

mail the author
visit the author's website



Forward, Post, Comment | #IpraITL

We are keen for our IPRA Thought Leadership essays to stimulate debate. With that objective in mind, we encourage readers to participate in and facilitate discussion. Please forward essay links to your industry contacts, post them to blogs, websites and social networking sites and above all give us your feedback via forums such as IPRA’s LinkedIn group. A new ITL essay is published on the IPRA website every week. Prospective ITL essay contributors should send a short synopsis to IPRA head of editorial content Rob Gray email



Comments

Welcome to IPRA


Authors

Archive

June (4)
May (4)
July (5)
June (4)
May (5)
July (4)
June (4)
May (5)
July (4)
June (4)
May (5)
July (4)
June (5)
May (4)
July (5)
June (4)
May (4)
July (5)
June (4)
May (4)
July (5)
June (4)
May (5)
July (3)
June (4)
May (5)
July (4)
June (5)
May (5)
July (5)
June (4)
May (4)
July (4)
June (3)
May (3)
June (8)
June (17)
March (15)
June (14)
April (20)
June (16)
April (17)
June (16)
April (13)
July (9)
April (15)
Follow IPRA: