The Great Gender Blur And Its Impact On The Future Of Marketing

Marketing stands at the threshold of a monumental cultural shift — the great gender blur. The male-female binary and all its associated tropes that have pervaded brand marketing for decades are on shaky ground. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s independent advertising regulator, ruled in 2018 that campaigns that perpetuate harmful stereotypes (such as this Gap campaign for “genius” boys and “social butterfly” girls) would be deemed inappropriate. The ASA just issued its first bans on ads — Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Volkswagen. Fifty-seven percent of UK marketers believe that this crackdown will impact their advertising imagery. But there’s more to it — the complexity of gender in marketing goes beyond negative stereotypes. A majority of younger consumers reject the traditional binary nature of gender — 52% of Millennials believe gender is a spectrum, and many reject the very idea that you can box individuality into a prepackaged spectrum. Consider the impact on creative, targeting, personalization, and more. At Forrester, we are pursuing how changing gender norms impacts the future of marketing and plan to share our findings at SXSW 2020. We’d be delighted if you would vote to have our session included at SXSW, and we look forward to sharing this research with you soon.

ADVICS Adds Edge Computing To Digitize Manufacturing Processes For Real-Time Visualization And Analytics

This international supplier of advanced automotive brake systems and components partnered with edge compute vendor FogHorn to dramatically accelerate insights about its manufacturing performance and quality. The FogHorn edge computing solution completes real-time processing of streaming data from its programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Its data volume is nearly 1,150 pieces collected every 200 milliseconds. This onsite edge intelligence investment has cut time spent on data source identification by more than three days and time spent compiling actionable insights and performance reports from 5 hours to just 1 hour. This is a great example of the growing values that enterprises are gaining from edge compute technologies, which drive near-real-time insights.

Revlon’s Cautionary Tale And The Changing Nature Of Influencer Marketing

Revlon is exploring the sale of all or some of its business amid lackluster sales and crushing debt. The iconic cosmetic brand’s 2016 buy of Elizabeth Arden isn’t rescuing it from the Sephoras and direct-to-consumer businesses (DTCs) of the world. Revlon’s tale is cautionary for leaders in all industries: Don’t rest on your laurels (or, in this case, your lashes). An R&D innovator, Revlon also revolutionized cosmetic marketing when it hired Richard Avedon to photograph first brand ambassador Lauren Hutton in 1973. In the ‘80s, Revlon pioneered a new era of influencer by stoking the cultural phenomena of “supermodels,” making the mass-adored faces of Iman and Cindy Crawford inseparable from the Revlon brand. While that MO worked for years, the brand was slow to recognize and adapt to the next influencer era — self-made experts who build followings (and brand relationships) on social foundations — with Revlon trialing influencer campaigns relatively recently. And Revlon’s size certainly doesn’t help it adapt quickly to what it’s hearing from fans and influencers the way DTC cult brand Glossier pivots based on community feedback. Even as you read this, influencer marketing is changing again. Our latest research shows that leading brands are skipping big-reach influencers for those with smaller followings but more authenticity. The lesson learned: While remaining unchanged works for Cindy Crawford, it does not for business — adaptability and agility does.

Companies Are Creating Secret, Secluded Spaces In Their Offices To Help Employees Escape The Distractions Of Open-Plan Offices

What office design trend could ever follow the mania for radically open office spaces and heavy on sound-echoing surfaces like glass, concrete, and exposed ductwork? Speakeasy-style secret spaces, of course! The good news is that these “hidden” rooms create quiet, secluded, contemplative spots for employees to sneak away to and get their focused work done. The bad news is that they are only popping up at a small minority of companies, and they don’t address head-on the challenge of noisy, distracting office design. In Forrester’s EX Index, we found that a good environment for being productive was one of the most important factors in a good employee experience. Unfortunately, most modern office designs do not help employees be productive but rather make it easy for employees to distract one another from their most important work. The secret-room trendlet is a nice corrective to distracting office design, and we’d like to see companies go further to make concentration and focus more likely for all workers in their day-to-day workspaces.