Trend spotting

4 trends shaking the PR & Marketing industry.

It’s clear to see that technology is powering disruption, enabling people to be the story-makers, the photographers-in-chief, the service deliverers, the fundraisers and the curators.

The sharing economy, now supercharged by technology, is creating a fragmented and distributed approach to product development and service delivery. It is challenging ownership-focused consumption, bringing with it a renewed focus on simplicity, transparency, authenticity, participation and collaboration.

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Social media is more than technology, it’s where big conversations start

Love or (more recently) hate it, social media has democratised opinion, where a single Tweet from anyone can spark national, if not global outrage. The kind of power to make or break a brand is no longer the preserve of those in power or with influence – media and politicians.

Instead we have almost daily examples of brand put downs. The sexism scandal engulfing Clarks over the Dolly Babe girls' shoe range, a United Airlines’ passenger being forcefully removed and the well-known example of Bic introducing a Bic For Her line ‘designed to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand’ – all pf these and many more were propelled into fame with social media acting as the global megaphone.

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Influencer marketing: celebrity endorsements 2.0

Something that was once authentic (not that long ago) has now become one of the most fake forms of engagement. The power of influencers has pushed many brands to jump on that bandwagon, setting aside sizable chunks of their budgets to influence the influencers – becoming yet another broadcast channel for brands to pay to sell their wares. The UK’s Competition Commission has launched an investigation into influencer marketing because it fears influencers are becoming advertisers through the backdoor.

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Down with loyalty: Fickleconomics

Brand loyalty is a thing of the past with the majority of today’s consumers, as highlighted by the Truth report 2018, are unable to identify a favourite brand (51%), whilst the vast majority of people (74%) often feel confused by brand advertising and messaging.

“Most people worldwide would not care if more than 74% of brands disappeared tomorrow.” (Havas research, 2017)

People are increasingly becoming savvy and zoning out, switching off and ignoring, leading many advertising agencies to conjure up new ways to regain attention and engagement.

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Trust takes years to build and seconds to break

The Edelman Trust Barometer has been pointing to a steady decline of trust across business, governments and the media with variations across countries and industries.

“A good reputation may get me to try a product—but unless I come to trust the company behind the product I will soon stop buying it, regardless of its reputation” - 63% agree

(Edelman Trust Barometer, 2018)

This disconnect is not helped by daily examples of organisations’ spinning their way out of trouble.


If no one cares about what you’re saying or doing, what’s the point in having (and in some cases paying for) thousands or even millions of followers?