Next in Creative is an annual, forward-looking publication, revealing and contextualizing the emerging trends that Globe Content Studio, the content marketing division of The Globe and Mail, considers the future of content marketing. In this free-to download report, we offer ideas for brands on how to use these insights to drive opportunities.
To collect insights for this report, we leveraged The Globe and Mail’s AI-based content performance platform Sophi, surveyed members of our Globe Insiders panel, and interviewed experts in their respective fields. What resulted is a list of what we expect to be some of the strongest themes across key categories, influencing content and creativity in 2023 and beyond. Here is a sneak peek at three of the seven trends that make up the report:
- Experience IRL, Buy URL
The way we shop has changed tremendously in the past few years. Lockdowns accelerated the adoption of online retail exponentially: In a survey of Globe readers conducted in November, 2022, 90 per cent of respondents said they bought physical items online in the past 12 months (not including subscriptions or non-material purchases).
At the same time, people have not abandoned in-person shopping: 46 per cent of Globe readers surveyed said they have been doing the same amount of shopping in store and online over the past three months. But when they do make the effort to go to a store, experience matters, whether it’s a frictionless and easy trip or an added splash of entertainment.
No matter how amazing your brand or product is, it won’t resonate with its target audience if it’s not reaching consumers in the right places. The time is past for thinking of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar as an “either/or” – instead, it’s about identifying what brand experience you can offer at each consumer touchpoint. Determine where people will first encounter your brand, where they’ll learn details, and where they’ll actually make that purchase decision. Your customers should never go looking for something you don’t offer – and that goes for payment methods, too. Ensure you are engaging and retaining their attention at every touchpoint.
- Automakers Get on the Grid
Between environmental concerns and prices at the pump, drivers are more inclined than ever to consider or purchase an electric vehicle (EV). Nearly half of Globe readers surveyed (47 per cent) are considering an EV for their next car. That is a massive jump, considering just 5 per cent of Globe readers surveyed currently own an EV, and just 8.4 per cent of new vehicle registrations in Canada in the third quarter of 2022 were EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, according to data compiled by S&P Global Mobility.
Still, drivers are also wary: Owning an all-electric car means compromising, mostly due to a lack of range and insufficient charging infrastructure. These are the two biggest reasons Globe readers reported were preventing them from buying or leasing an EV.
Before committing to an electric vehicle, drivers want to know they won’t wind up stranded on the road. Knowing automakers are working on improving charging infrastructure will help sell cars. It also positions them as thought leaders in the energy ecosystem, leading the charge to a greener future. Toyota sold more than 10 times more vehicles than Tesla, but Tesla as a company was worth almost three times as much at points in 2022.
- From Business to Bleisure
Three years ago, business travel ground to a halt as millions were forced to move to remote work. When restrictions began lifting but offices remained largely closed, a digital nomad lifestyle took hold as people of all ages found ways to marry work and life by traveling to new places. Barbados received a lot of attention after announcing its 12- month remote work visa. As recently as November, 2022, Cuba launched a 90-day tourist visa for those who want to live and work in the country.
In Canada, there were approximately 20 million more trips in the first quarter of 2022 than in 2021, and that number is expected to rise in 2023, as people feel more confident hitting the road for fun and business. Destinations are looking to recapture the shorter-term visitor who wants to bring this work-from- anywhere approach to day- or week-long trips. Some businesses are making the most of the desire to travel by offering it as an attraction and retention play.
Just as work expectations have changed in the past few years, the bleisure trend represents a shift in what a business trip should be in 2023 and beyond. Fast, reliable technology and meeting spaces are table stakes. To stay competitive, tourism operators need to speak to the overall guest experience, particularly as economic challenges persist and companies are looking for trips to provide maximum value. Companies should treat travel as an incentive that connects remote and hybrid workers, while travellers should see business trips as opportunities to maintain an integrated approach to work-life balance.
To glean the full insights including actionable takeaways for applying these trends to your content marketing, download the full report here.
Jessica Robinson is the Content Lead at Globe Content Studio, the content marketing division of The Globe and Mail. She pairs journalistic storytelling and insights in uniquely creative executions for brands like Destination Canada, CIBC and Loblaw