What we've learned in the past decade is that brands that want momentum, relevance and reach must ensure they are digital to the core. That means a lot more than having a cool website and delegating some people to talk about the brand in social media. In just the past few years, ordinary consumers have taken digital into every room of their house and with them everywhere they go. They've become digital to the core.
Digital is already massive, and it's getting bigger by the day. With so many brilliant minds focused on the space, it's certain that changes will keep coming quickly. Nobody knows how digital will look in just a few more years, but we see four fundamental truths now that will continue to have an impact on marketing communications and give inspiration for Creative Business Ideas -- Euro RSCG's term to describe the sort of ideas that are so powerful they can transform businesses, create entirely new categories and alter consumer perceptions:
1. Storytelling and games win. Consumers are spending increasing amounts of time online, which is a very jumpy environment; scan-click, scan-click, scan-click, scan-click takes them from one site to another in moments. To catch their attention and hold it, we aim to find ways of engaging them. Stories and games are two classic approaches in the offline world that can work even better online, especially when combined. Online games are already evolving a branch of sophisticated open-ended stories with multiple narratives. For switched-on marketers, their Creative Business Idea potential is virtually unlimited.
2. Location is everywhere. The Internet has grown from a network of physically static nodes (desktop PCs) to become increasingly mobile as more people access the Internet from smartphones and tablets. Consumers simultaneously have an exact current location online (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) and an exact physical location on the earth (e.g., 42nd and 5th in New York City, Beaubourg in Paris) that a mobile device can detect and show. Coming generations of technology will feature greater awareness of physical proximity. People will be able to find each other and the brands that engage them more quickly and more seamlessly. Games and storylines will move between online and offline.
3. Consumers control a brand's content. Consumers used to be bombarded with communication created by marketing professionals. Now content created by consumers swamps even the most prolific marketers. There's no way to work against this, so we aim to work with it and find new and more creative ways to collaborate. In fact, part of our job is to create content that people want to engage with and play with and make their own.
4. Mobile rules. Mobiles are the hottest digital item bar none, and smartphones are barely a couple of years old. Whatever direction digital takes in future, mobile devices will lead the way, especially now that tablets such as the iPad are a reality (and omnipresent). It's not too hard to imagine that in the future, Creative Business Ideas will be conceived and designed on mobile devices and executed through them, with laptops and desktops playing only a minor role.
Naomi Troni is chief marketing officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide. This summer, the communications company will celebrate the power of ideas with the release of The Creative Business Idea Book: Ten Years of Breakthrough Thinking. For more information, go to creativebusinessidea.com.