2023 in Review: 6 Most Talked-About Topics from the Motion Blog

2023, where did the time go?

With another year coming to a close, it’s time to look back on the key topics that kept us busy developing and innovating new strategies, processes, branding and creative for our clients this year.

Here are Motion’s most talked-about blogs from the past year—and for good reason.

1. The impact of AI on advertising

Can we even do an end-of-year roundup without mentioning artificial intelligence (AI)? Motion’s AI thinktank spent a lot of time this year discussing AI’s place in the advertising industry, our work and with our clients.

“The biggest takeaway for me as I considered the impact of AI on creative concept development for advertising is that human guidance and judgment is still required throughout the creative development process,” wrote Motion’s Vice President, Group Creative Director, Terry Mertens. “We may begin looking to AI to expedite ideation, perhaps, or to come up with creative concepts we might otherwise not, but we still need to direct its thinking, evaluate and refine its product and ultimately determine the viability of an idea based on strategic realities that an AI-engine can’t access without human direction.”

Read more of Merten’s thoughts here.

2. Which social channels should your brand be using?

If you’ve been following Social Commotion, Motion’s monthly social media roundup, you know that the constant algorithm changes, new features and new platforms can make social media feel like the Wild West. And for brands, it can be hard to distinguish the value behind each platform or what you should be posting when.

Zach Walker, vice president of social media, came in to save the day: Here he broke down the nuances behind each platform and which channels brands should leverage based on their goals.

3. Brand strategy questions to ask during a merger

Brand mergers are a common business practice (just ask us—welcome to Motion, Rick Miller Communications!). And whatever the business reason, there’s an important facet of mergers to consider: how to effectively and efficiently merge two (or more) existing brands into one new, cohesive brand.

“Although it may sound like the easy part, a lot of planning and thought must be baked into the brand merger process, including aligning on business goals, merging team cultures, retaining (and improving) customer experiences and communicating through a cohesive brand strategy,” says Erica Harouff, vice president, account director, at Motion.

See the six imperative questions every brand should ask during a merger.

4. Why all creative should be social-first

Many of the campaigns we produce at Motion are heavily weighted in social, which forced us to rethink the way we approach creative development. After all, creative direction in the world of advertising has changed considerably in recent years; a paradigm shift in media consumption habits has forced marketers to adapt to an inconvenient truth: Our eyeballs are now fixed permanently on our devices.

Just like the mass adoption of mobile browsing forced UX designers to think “mobile first” when imagining and constructing a digital experience, creative professionals should think “social first” when coming up with their big ideas.

Here’s why the creative process is evolving—and why all roads leave to social-first creative campaigns.

5. Why you should crank up marketing in a down economy

Anyone who has watched or read the news this year—or stepped into any store—knows that the economy has made it challenging for everyone. For brands across industries, a major challenge has been maintaining their marketing budgets—and meeting key goals based on them.

“Make no mistake—arriving at that just-right marketing budget is a complicated dance, but you can’t suddenly decide to sit down just because a slower song comes on. Why not? Because if you do decide to sit this one out, it’s an opportunity for someone else to cut in on your date,” Mertens explains. “Yes, your competition is counting on you to cut your marketing so that—best case—they can cut theirs as well, or—worst case—they can maintain (or crank up!) spending and start burying you.”

Don’t help your competition bury you by sticking your head in the sand. Here’s the case for cranking up your marketing in a down economy.  

6. How to develop a successful influencer marketing campaign

At Motion, we say time and time again that influencers know best how to authentically connect with their audiences in a way that resonates and drives action. That’s not to say brands don’t have any control; every influencer campaign is a collaboration that leverages the influencer’s knowledge of their audience and the brand’s messaging and/or product to drive home results.

From working with the right influencer to developing effective workflows and creating authentic, quality content, check out this crash-course in all things influencer marketing.

Anything we missed? Let’s connect and talk about how Motion can help make 2024 a home run.  

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