What’s Next? Claudia Macdonald

We asked some stalwarts a simple question. Here’s what Claudia Macdonald, managing director at Mango, had to say.

Authenticity and craft will infiltrate marketing speak in 2015. We have already seen this trend in our domestic lives, from the explosion of the craft beer movement to the popularity of farmers’ markets, artisan producers and the slow food movement.

Now we will witness it in our marketing as brands strive for an honest tone of voice that reflects our desire for a balanced view in a world littered with sponsored posts and native advertising. 

The growth of real, authentic, genuine can be seen in the increasing openness of our day to day existence. Today 18 year olds command audiences in their millions via quirky commentary on their day to day existence, filmed from their bedrooms. You can’t get more real and genuine than that.

Being able to see how others’ live is part of the attraction. Millennials want to hear from their peers, rather than from marketers. This means that unless the message is truly someone’s own thoughts and feelings, then it is viewed with distrust.

A desire for authenticity also appeals to the time and disposable-income rich baby boomers. For example, they have embraced Airbnb, the international home-stay accommodation site, because it provides real world experience with real people. And offers peer reviews that are sometimes brutally honest.

New Zealand is increasingly finding its own distinctive voice, one rooted in our origins but reflective of our modern experience.  While a few too many campaigns have milked the ‘she’ll be rightness’ of our ancestry in an attempt at authenticity, today our voice is generally more sophisticated and contemporary.

The challenge for marketers and the communications industry supporting them is to get the balance right. How do you access the YouTube entrepreneurs’ audience without destroying their authenticity? How can you create a strong brand tone of voice, when it’s someone else’s voice people are listening to?

Striving for balance is a strong part of the human psyche. As the internet makes everything accessible in real time, we may just see the advent of the slow marketing movement in counterpoint.

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