I had the pleasure of attending the WGSN Futures Summit in Sydney, 17 May. The event combines both a business and creative edit on future trends, led by global experts sharing their insights and knowledge.

The business edit was presented by Lorna Hall, WGSN’s Head of Market Intelligence. As consumers become the centre of all marketing, they increasingly expect individual attention at every touchpoint. The innovations in digital marketing are worth sharing, so here are my key outtakes; 

4 key trends to look out for;

1. Chatvertising

Social profiles are the new consumer profiles and chat is the new interface, with 1.4B people currently spending an average of 4 hours each day on messaging apps. Incredibly, this is expected to increase to 2.9B by 2019.

The best brands are using messaging platforms to initiate conversations around product development, styling tips and seasonal events and experiences. It’s an opportunity to open a conversation on a native platform.

Best-practice? Taco Bell on Snapchat, ABC Network’s Miss Piggy on Facebook, Tiffany and Co’s ‘Love Is’ campaign on WeChat, British Vogue on WhatsApp and Glossier’s FaceTime.

Top performing platforms worth reviewing for your business? Kik, Line, Snapchat and WeChat.

2. Story-doing

 Allow the customer to tell the story rather than the brand; bring them into the creative development and execution. It’s also important to consider how we use ambassadors in the role of storytelling, think outside the square and involve them in ways that will engage your audience. 

Best-practice? McDonald’s ‘Loaded’ campaign (produced by DDB in Sydney) Footlocker’s 'Play My Tweet' and Uniqlo’s '100 Forms of Beauty'. 

3. Data + Culture

Use data to derive insights on cultural nuances and deliver content that is contextually relevant. 

Best-practice? From reviewing customer data, Airbnb discovered that treehouses made it to the top of their consumers' wishlists. Based on this insight, they partnered with The Jungle Book to develop this brilliantly crafted campaignhttp://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-airbnb-pitches-you-fantasy-rental-home-right-out-jungle-book-169520

The other piece of brand magic shared was from Kit-Kat. This article covers the campaign in detail http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/01/22/kit-kat-turns-packaging-holograms-japanese-boy-band This most impressive marketing initiative increased sales by 150%. 

4. Brands = Content Creators

Video, will its popularity continue to rise? These stats tell the story;

  • Globally there are 10 million video views daily
  • YouTube has reported that mobile video consumption is expected to increase 100% year on year
  • Average users spend 88% more time on a website that has video content

However, as ad-blocking increasingly becomes an issues for all brands and marketers, its important to curate relevant content that involves your audience. It's important to consider each piece of content as a social gift; what are you giving your customer?

Best-practice? Nike, Canada Goose, Kate Spade and Kenzo. 

In summary;

  • Consider channels that foster one-to-one selling techniques
  • Let the consumer control the story; it’s the new form of storytelling
  • Marketing is no longer about acquisition – customer engagement and experience will drive brand equity
  • Data + inception + cultural context = winning strategy
  • Break through ad exhaustion by creating original content not obstructing it
  • Short video forms are still king but don’t discount the power of ongoing, longer videos. They continue to receive excellent rates of engagement.