With so many possible touchpoints with consumers, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest marketing communications trends in order to make sure that you are not missing out on any valuable opportunities to further establish brand loyalty among your target audience. 

What is marketing communications? 

Marketing communications, sometimes referred to as MarCom, is the process of communicating with a brand’s consumer audience through various marketing channels such as social media, email, and out of home (OOH) advertising. The latter can take the form of subway ads, billboards, posters, or anything a consumer would physically see outside of their home.

There is also digital out of home (DOOH) advertising, which is similar to regular OOH advertising except the ads appear on digital screens. Some subways are equipped with these screens, as are some gas station pumps. You can also often find digital signs on the sidewalks of high-density urban metro areas. 

Marketers communicate with their audiences through these various digital and physical means. While the mediums for MarCom remain fairly constant from year to year, how marketers use these mediums can significantly shift with the evolving trends. 

3 innovative trends in marketing communications

Check out our list below detailing some of the current marketing communications trends and how you can take advantage of them to create a stronger brand relationship with your audience. 

  1. Influencer Marketing

Have you ever seen your favorite celebrity endorsing a product that you wouldn’t normally associate with them? This is an example of influencer marketing—when a brand collaborates with an influential person, such as a TV or internet celebrity, to sell a product or service. 

A specific real-world example is Dunkin’ Donuts’ collaboration with TikTok influencer Charli D’Amelio. Featuring TikTok content created originally by D’Amelio for the Dunkin campaign, she advertised a signature drink, called “The Charli,” that was featured on Dunkin’s menu for a limited time. Using the hashtag #CharliXDunkinContest, fans could enter for a chance to drink “The Charli” with Charli D’Amelio herself. This collaboration led to a 57% increase in app downloads, a 20% increase in cold brew sales on day one of the campaign, and a 45% increase on day two.

By collaborating with an influencer, a brand has a unique opportunity to associate their product or service with a popular person, with the hope of converting some of that influencer’s audience to theirs. Additionally, it is an opportunity for a brand to step outside of their traditional routines, demonstrating their products or services with a non-traditional tone or perspective that may prove to expand their audience. 

Influencer marketing deals are made all the time, often through the form of sponsorships. Brands reach out to influencers either through social media or email, offering the potential to collaborate on a campaign, with legal teams writing up contracts later on. If you are marketing for a small community business, look for any local influencers that you could possibly team up with for a project.

2. Personalization and Data-driven Marketing

One of the most significant advancements of modern marketing technology is personalization. This is the process of tailoring ads and messaging specifically to each consumer or subgroup of consumer audiences. This is often powered by data collection. User data can contain information such as a person’s age, gender identity, location, and consumer preferences. Marketers use this to identify which products would most likely be relevant to the consumer. 

Some examples include Google-powered advertisements that identify a user’s Google account while logged in, accessing their search history to display ads on other websites that are connected to their previous searches. However, data-driven marketing is not limited to automated ads.

Brands can also send customized emails to those on their subscriber lists with products that match their previous shopping history. In this case, the user has already established interest in a brand, and the brand is further personalizing their experience to ensure the user gets the most satisfaction possible out of their relationship with the brand. 

3. User-generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is content that is created by consumers and co-opted by the brand to endorse their product or service. Examples include the furniture brand Article, which features user-generated photos, reviews, and furniture pairing recommendations on their website to give potential customers an idea of what life with Article furniture might look like. 
Another example is Vitamix’s “Smoothie of The Year” contest where users could vote for their favorite smoothies on their website. This created engagement between the brand and their users, ultimately creating more touchpoints for consumer brand loyalty to grow.

The risk of user-generated content is that, depending on the project, the material the brand has to work with is entirely dictated by users who may or may not have any stake in the brand’s success. In cases like this, such as user-generated photos featuring a brand’s products, it’s best to cast a wide net for submissions so the brand has a large, diverse set of submissions to work with. After all, 100 people may submit their photos, but perhaps only 5-10 of those submissions will be high-quality, usable photos. 

Grow with the Industry

Keeping abreast of the latest trends in marketing communications allows a brand to create a dynamic, evolving relationship with their audience. A brand that relies too much on outdated or unpreferred methods of communication will likely see their audiences slowly migrating toward brands with more modern communications strategies.

If you’re looking to refresh your skillset with the latest skills and workforce trends, check out Denison Edge’s programs page to browse and register for our upcoming credential courses and workshops so that you can go to work with the most relevant skill set possible.