What a difference a decade makes

Tristan Morris



As a new decade starts and we’re all recovering from a bit of festive over-indulgence, it’s no surprise that many of us are looking at forecasts for the coming 12 months to provide some much-needed positivity to what tends to be the most depressing month of the year.

Open a paper, read an online news story or scan through your social feeds and we’re awash with top trends for 2019 and beyond that cover pretty much every topic you can think of.

So, as we start a new decade at BBI, we thought that rather than looking forward, we’d take a look back at some of the most significant changes in our industry over the last 10 years.

TV isn’t dead… but online spend dominates advertising spend

A huge amount has changed over the last 10 years when it comes to where advertising budgets are being invested. At the turn of the last decade, TV’s dominance was already under threat, but fast forward 10 years and we see just how much impact the internet has had. Unsurprisingly it’s newspapers and magazines that have suffered most, but in our hyper-connected world, online and mobile are the clear winners.

The rise of tech and e-commerce brands

Brandz TM is the world's largest brand equity database, which was created in 1998 and is continually updated.  We’ve had a good look through its global annual data to draw up a comparison of the top ten most valuable brands from 2010 to 2019.

Whilst tech firms were still on top in 2010, in 2019 our list is almost completely dominated by tech and e-commerce brands. Most notably has been the rise of Amazon, but is this surprising when we consider how they have pushed their way into most of our lives whether we stream, enjoy next day delivery with Prime, ask Alexa to set us a reminder or even do our grocery shopping? This change is key for our industry as the way consumers find and purchase goods has changed significantly, and this impacts our marketing strategies.

It’s also worth keeping an eye on the continuing rise of Chinese brands on the global stage with Alibaba and Tencent making big gains.

Source – Brandz TM Data

The Instagram impact

You might be wondering why we think Instagram should be included as one of the most significant changes over the last 10 years? Social media was certainly prevalent back in 2010 and had already established itself as a must have as opposed to a nice to have.

When it launched in 2010, we were all soon hooked with its fancy filters and easy sharing options. So much so in fact that Facebook snapped it up in 2012 for $1bn when it only had 30 million global users.

Instagram’s first ever post

Fast forward to 2019 and Instagram now has over one billion monthly active users and is an increasingly attractive proposition for brands with a multitude of different engagement options including lenses, stories and more recently shopping.

However, it is what is behind this growth that makes Instagram make our list. Its popularity is symptomatic of the cultural shift towards visually rich and rewarding communication, transcending cultures and countries.

As the demographics around us change and millennial's and Gen Z audiences become the focus for many brands, it is the mobile-first generation who want to create, share and view compelling visual images and video and Instagram is clear proof of this key change.

Source – WARC profile report, Brandwatch report

The voice of the future

At the turn of the last decade, Google released their first voice search feature and since then, it’s become a game changer for brands. Whether we’re using our smart phone, tablet or smart speaker, there are now a multitude of devices at our beck and call that don’t even need us to lift a finger.

Voice search has been a topic of conversation for a number of years now with forecasts that its growth and importance for brands is due to explode. In the UK we now complete over 1 billion searches every day with over a fifth of households owning a smart speaker and nearly half of those agreeing that it feels like part of the family.

It is therefore surprising that the latest figures from Mindshare’s future of search report state that the majority of marketers (69%) are not prepared to use voice search in any of its forms in their marketing strategy. But whilst data privacy laws are perhaps responsible for some of this hesitancy, we think it’s more likely that brands aren’t yet clear about the role that voice search can play.

Understanding the potential for voice as part of your overall search strategy cannot be ignored for much longer, fortunately our team of specialists at BBI can talk the talk and walk the walk.

The crisis in creative effectiveness

Our last change strikes at the chord of the main topic of conversation in the industry this year. It dominated Cannes, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising agenda, Marketing Week and even the Financial Times.

Creativity has always been known to drive marketing effectiveness with effects of up to 8 times those of rational campaigns. Yet in and beyond 2010 we saw a huge spike in marketing budgets being dominated by short-term sales activation in replacement of longer-term creative brand building.

The results of this are clear to see in the IPA Effectiveness Award submissions – recognised globally as the most rigorous awards you can enter.

The start of 2020 sees the beginning of a major marketing shift- with brands realising they need a balance of short-term sales activation and longer-term creative brand building activity to truly drive results.

To achieve this, brands need agencies who understand how every part of the customer journey works and can deliver content to succeed at every step.

Luckily, that’s where we come in. Get in touch with our team to find out more.