One of the recurring exercises at the close of the year is, in addition to trying to determine what the trends will be in the next year, is to try to determine what elements have marked things out in the year to come. That is, to determine what events, movements and news have had a direct impact on what companies do and what they will have to do in the future.
Determining which were the defining moments that make the market spin and which will have a lasting impact on the marketing and advertising strategy of companies is not easy. Many things are happening and many of them have a high transcendence, but from all that has happened it is possible that these are the elements that will have a more lasting impact.
Facebook and all its reputation failure
Although the YouTube scandal and its collisions and new deliveries also echoed in 2018, the biggest failure in reputation this year was not this (which is actually 2017), but Facebook. Facebook lived a historic year in reputation and with consequences that could go beyond those months. It is very unlikely that Facebook will be free of the effects of what happened in the minutes after eating the grapes.
It all began earlier this year when the Cambridge Analytica scandal was discovered. The company, which specializes in data analysis and eventually closed amid criticism, used information collected on Facebook to outline political marketing campaigns. The scandal grew and grew, prompting Mark Zuckerberg to sit in front of the US Senate to defend his company and created a brutal crisis of confidence over Facebook (though the social network continues to smooth out advertiser dollars).
The last delivery was a few weeks ago when The New York Times He discovered how the company had run the crisis of reputation and communication (very bad, in short, and using dirty parts), which was a thrust not only in the image of the company but also in the personal brand of its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. and his COO, Sheryl Sandberg.
Facebook and the death of Organic Reach
The collapse of the image on Facebook means that the other problems the company has staged are somewhat overshadowed, when in fact marketing and advertising are very important (even in a certain way – in terms of direct effect – they are more). Facebook has already reached the feared day zero (more or less). The organic reach in the social network has died.
Facebook announced new rules in January with respect to content. Having already released several tweaks that penalized popular brand and media practices on the social network, they now went straight and without hot cloths to them. In January, the social network announced that it would prioritize the content of friends and family on media and pages, because that is what they – advocated – social network users wanted to see. It was the solution, it can be concluded, that Facebook had taken before the loss of attractiveness that they were experiencing.
The impact on the pages was brutal, at the level of the apocalypse of organic outreach. So much so that in the following months they announced the closure of online media headers that could not survive the collapse of traffic.
In the meantime, videos have also become a burden for online media that have made them the epicenter of their success on the social network. They ceased to be the miraculous key to reaching the millionaire audience.
The European Data Protection Act
When the year 2000 began, everyone expected a great misfortune, a shipwreck, a "something." The blame was the so-called 2000 effect, which the media and analysts broke down in the months before the change from year to boredom. The computers were not ready to change the millennium, they said, and they would stop working the night from 31 to 1. That would be historical. The day arrived in January and absolutely nothing happened. The world has not ended in any way.
It could be said that something like this happened with European data protection law, which carried out all the warnings and fears in the weeks before its entry into force (if you talked to some marketers in those days, the companies said that they have not slept with much derivative work) and that at the time was not the cause of any major collapse (in addition, some American media and online stores are no longer accessible in Europe).
The RGPD / GDPR came into force in the European Union in May, giving consumers more access and more control over their personal data. Companies have had to adjust to it and change their rules and conditions. For a few weeks, they simply filled in the mailboxes of email consumers and more emails requesting confirmations and informing (and saturating their users to boredom).
The terrible year of television
The television crisis is not exactly new. In the United States, they have been suffering for some time and have been experiencing the effects of the "cable cutters" boom a few years ago. In Europe, TV makers clung to the idea that it was not yet with them. It is impossible for them to continue to believe that it is true.
2018 was the year in which the television crisis not only became more evident, but also in which it became clear that it affects televisions with audiences of all kinds (they are not only losing to the millennium generation and members of Generation Z) , but also studies begin to point out that it is being faster than expected. The coup de grace was given by a study by Zenith, which indicated that in 2019 would spend more time on the Internet than watching TV. The change will be global.
Apple, the queen of tech companies and the company that made people expect that every new iPhone (as much as it was not unlike the previous model) as the big news of the year, began to lose its magic.
In their latest earnings presentation, they confirmed they would not live up to expectations in the Christmas campaign: the sales pitch the company expected to close during the campaign would be lower than analysts believed it would be. Add to this that they announced that they would stop giving sales metrics for specific products, something that experts read as a confirmation that they expect these numbers to always get worse. Sales numbers are explained because Apple is no longer seen as "so new" and has lost its luster as a cool brand.
In recent days, Apple has lost its historic value in the stock market and has ceased to be the most valuable technology company in the world. In fact, there was a movement that would have seemed surprising a few years ago. Apple was introduced by Microsoft. Now they are the most valuable in the technology market.
The boom, boom and fall of the influencer
The life cycle of the influencer had its moment of expansion and death during this year. It ceases to be the great solution to all problems, with some footnotes, to be the element to be questioned over the months.
The story of how they grew, triumphed, and eclipsed influencers can be summarized quickly. Given the state of affairs and the problems of connecting with their audiences, influencers seemed to be the solution for brands. They skipped the problems that algorithms put into brands on social networks, were seen as more trusted and upcoming by consumers and also had very good reach and engagement data. The brands saw the sky open and began betting on them.
But suddenly the influencers began to appear everywhere (tree influencers fell!), Especially profiles that simply wanted to make money and get things for free without adding value, and corrupt the market, as demonstrated by the boom in buying followers and engagement. The influencer therefore fell into decay.
The boom of the internal agencies and the general crisis of the agencies
The crisis not only touches new things, but also those that have been solved for a long time. Agencies, one of those recurring elements in marketing and advertising work, whose existence dates back to centuries, did not have a very positive year in 2018.
They are in a general crisis as it is increasingly difficult for them to show companies why they are valuable and the need they have for them but also to compete with new players who have come to cannibalize their market. Among these new competitors, one stands out above all else. It is the internal agencies, increasingly present within the large companies and charged with doing what foreign agencies did before. Companies want to be more cost-efficient and faster, and have a lot more control over things.
Politics has entered the game
It is not our role to make a political summary of the year, but companies will have no choice but to look for it, read it and draw their conclusions about it. And is that a few years ago politics was something that was in the background and the news were not something that affected the companies in its marketing strategy has now started to be.
2018 was the year the policy entered the game marketer to stay. Consumers want companies to position themselves and clearly show who they are, so to speak. The Nike affair and its controversial announcement with Colin Kaepernick is the clearest example of what the new terrain on which they need to move is.