As the great Prince once sang, “I have seen the future, and it will be.”
With the New Year just passed, and another trip around the sun completed, it’s that time once again to take a peek into the future and offer up what we think it will be.
As part of an annual series, we asked industry leaders what they see coming in the year ahead while also looking at the year just passed.
Next up is Agatha Yap, Director of Marketing, Communications, Marketing Partnerships and Loyalty at Scoot, taking a look ahead, a look back, and at the fate of her New Year’s resolution for 2023.
What are three trends to look for in the coming year?
1. Artificial intelligence (AI) will augment creativity and marketing outcomes in bigger ways than we can imagine
While the marketing function at its core remains the same in strategic opportunities and principles, AI-powered tools will now potentially push us to evolve some of our approaches and processes. Today, most marketers will have already adopted some form of AI-powered algorithms combined with in-house predictive data analytics to have an insight into customer data, behaviours in consumption patterns to forecast trends that are inserted into our marketing plans, and/or targeted media buys.
Other opportunities that AI presents will be the potential for further tailoring of digital experiences and segmented approach for our customers. Clearer, faster, bite-sized data-related insights help us further tailor our touchpoints with the customer, possibly even in real time.
In the airline business, campaigns and outreach to consumers across many markets that we fly to are often fast and furious, and require some level of nimble adjustment to cater to operational and commercial changes. It will be interesting to explore how we can work smart with the efficiencies that AI tools provide.
Lastly, it streamlines production processes and content and artwork production for faster and simpler day-to-day campaign turnarounds. When generative AI made a splash in late-2022, nobody expected that content could be generated at such great speeds, which could either mean a huge success or go completely south for us.
This is an area we’re exploring further at the moment while balancing time and space for creativity, birthing some of my favourite campaigns of the past year. An Adobe research found that in Asia Pacific (APAC), 9 in ten marketers already use generative AI in a customer experience/marketing campaign – the question is, how can we encourage and invest in more effective usage of this burgeoning technology in 2024 with the emergence of new innovations.
2. Data privacy will become a key differentiator and brand advantage
With the phasing out of third-party cookies beginning in 2024, marketers are in a tight spot – many organisations and media buys today are reliant on third-party cookies and do not have sufficient tools to manage large amounts of customer data and keep up with evolving data regulations at the same time.
In the upcoming cookie-less world, a lot has been said of building up first party data, also look-alike targeting. Consumers will hold brands responsible to safeguard their data, which impacts trust and customer loyalty in the long run. As such, we scrutinise real data needs for various campaigns. By approaching data through a customer experience mindset, we can potentially collect, interpret, and activate data in a different but more efficient way.
As a marketer, data protection and trust must never be compromised, now or the future. We will be examining data-driven capabilities that will help us deliver personalised campaigns and cultivate authentic customer relationships without compromising data privacy that will help us form a foundation of trust.
“As consumers continue to show increased interest in supporting environmentally and socially responsible brands, social impact marketing and the focus on sustainability and ethical practices will continue to grow.”
3. Social impact marketing will take centre stage
As consumers continue to show increased interest in supporting environmentally and socially responsible brands, social impact marketing and the focus on sustainability and ethical practices will continue to grow. Consumers today care, and we need to be the custodians of their values. This means that moving forward, we can expect to see a rise in impact marketing campaigns, partnerships with organisations that champion causes that matter, and innovative solutions that address environmental challenges that we see today.
While there has not been much buzz around this in APAC, I expect that younger consumers, regardless of where they are based, will start to be more vocal about wanting brands to be more socially responsible and environmentally conscious. They are increasingly looking to fill the gaps that exist today, and are willing to stand behind brands that want to be a part of a solution.
Your favourite trend of 2023
Trends come and go, which makes it difficult to choose just one favourite! But I got to say, the emergence of short-form video content and its dominance today may be the most powerful thing I saw in the recent years.
Short-form videos and live streaming on mobile applications have shifted the needle in how brands connect with customers. Today, more so, consumers are faced with a whole plethora of content and information sources. To a huge degree, it makes perfect sense that many pivot to short-form videos for news, product info, research, trends…and good old entertainment.
In the travel industry, trends get picked up quickly, especially as wanderlust makes a full comeback. Not only do creators get a chance to showcase their creativity and leverage the creator economy to generate beautiful video content, but it also helps to increase awareness and drive traffic to brands and destinations. I look forward to seeing how video content continues to evolve in the coming year.
Your favorite campaign of 2023?
Mattel’s holistic branding strategy for the Barbie movie took the world by storm – an ‘old’ brand and character came back to life and the world turned pink! It was all anyone could talk about for weeks on social media and media outlets. In addition to driving immense brand awareness to the Mattel and Barbie brand, it also sparked conversations about feminism and beauty standards in the society today.
While Barbie has always been known as a girly doll that people play with, somewhat a contentious role, I saw a smart pivot to role modelling of female empowerment and self-acceptance for girls and women of all ages, that they could dream to be anyone they wanted.
The underlying message is so powerful once you are able to see underneath the layer that is pink, girly, and fabulous. Aside from igniting nostalgia from childhood days, I was excited to see the entire campaign become one of the biggest successes. It’s no wonder this launch was awarded the marketing campaign of the year by various organisations. It’s more than well deserved.
What was your 2023 New Year’s Resolution and did you keep it?
The end of another year calls for reflection and time for gratitude. I’m humbled and grateful for a great team that I’m proud of. I think we’ve achieved a lot this past year and now that we’re all somewhat past the years of lockdowns, human connections remain an even more relevant need, be it local or foreign connections.
As a marketer for a global airline, I wish for better, impactful work that will personify Scoot’s brand and all the values that we stand for in a low-cost carrier (LCC). I hope that together with our partners, we will continue to power on, to sell (travel) connections and dreams, and create meaningful campaigns that we would be proud of.
Life is too short for regrets, we learn and always look forward to create the next
Check out our Three Trends series here.