6 insights marketers should know from Iconosphere 2018.

"Be brave in this new world," proposed Kate Muhl, CEB Iconoculture's Principal Advisor to a room full of brand strategists and advertisers. This quickly became the theme for the two-day Iconosphere 2018 conference that dove deep into consumer and generational insights as well as trends spanning across different verticals.

Brands like Chanel, Kraft Foods Inc., Microsoft and many more, as well as agency partners and researchers were all in attendance to gain further market insight. From healthcare to finance, big tech to experiential marketing, generational behaviors to consumer outlook; a lot was covered and a lot was learned.

In case you missed it, here are six things marketers should know for 2018:

  1. Consumers are feeling disconnected. In a recent CEB Iconoculture survey, it was found that 69 percent of consumers believe that the political and social climate is worse today than it was before the 2016 election, more than 1 in 4 consumers feel disconnected with the world they live in, and 59 percent of Americans believe this is the lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember. That said, consumers are placing higher value on secure comfort and their striving pursuits.

  2. Google is our god. Google knows everything. When you're worried about health. Finances. When you're about to get engaged. Buy a house. Buy that dress. Or even change jobs. Google knows what you're doing. So, if you're not marketing on Google, perhaps you should start.

  3. Culture is not up for grabs. With recent campaigns appropriating and not appreciating the cultures they are deriving inspiration from, multicultural consumers are taking note and no longer engaging with the brands.

  4. Creativity is getting a facelift. Gen We is redefining what it means to be creative. This digitally native and diverse cohort is telling anyone who's willing to listen that everything is creative (sports, music, relationships, art, social media, writing, video games), anything is a canvas (both on and offline) and it is all about the creative process, not necessarily the end product.

  5. Consumers have a wandering eye. Yes, some are loyal. But, they cheat on brands in order to better understand themselves. They experiment with new products and new brands and services to learn new facts about themselves. Looking for a loyal consumer? It's all about the consumer mindset and their involvement level with specific products. The higher the involvement, the more loyal they are.

  6. Experiential marketing is all about interactivity, not KPIs. Consumers' attention span went from 12 seconds to a mere eight seconds in the past few years. They're desensitized to media and they're overloaded. Looking to get back into their attention span? Try experiential marketing. But keep in mind, there are no standard KPIs to track this approach. It is all about the consumer and their interactivity with the branded experience. A successful campaign would include:

    • Sensory engagement – how to isolate and engage different senses
    • Accessibility – how many people participate in the experience itself
    • Novelty – how your brand is being new while also authentic
    • Shareability – the way the brand facilitates sharing before and after the event
    • Tech satisfaction – what new tech trends are assisting your customer
    • Local relevance – how to highlight specificity

Interested in how last year stacked up? Indulge in a refresher and check out the top six takeaways from Iconosphere 2017.


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