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Vanity Metrics Give Way to More Strategic Measurement Approaches

As social media matures, and surface-level metrics such as “Likes” start to shift out of sight, the days of counting vanity metrics are truly coming to an end.

Red Havas has released its third annual Red Sky Predictions report looking at the top 10 global trends that it thinks will shape communications and cultural norms over the next year and beyond. The report analyzes business challenges and opportunities around the world and the impact on communications by brands with their audiences.

Of note in the report is the increasing presence of cognitive communications by brands while on the flip side, it notes that vanity metrics such as “likes” are on their way out, with the report saying, “As social media matures, and surface-level metrics such as “Likes” start to shift out of sight, the days of counting vanity metrics are truly coming to an end.”

“As we kick off the new decade, the power of predictive technology has hit a new high as communicators are now leveraging this to better inform business decisions and budgets,” said James Wright, global CEO, Red Havas, and global chairman, Havas PR Global Collective. “At the same time, we’re looking to better balance the role of technology within our lives with the introduction of new tools to restrict online activities and the disappearance of social media vanity metrics.

The 2020 Red Sky Predictions

  1. Cognitive communications: Cognitive computing will help communicators more quickly and efficiently connect the dots so they will no longer have to guess what news is about to break, what headline will make waves and where, and which conversation topic or social influencer will resonate most.
  2. Vanity metrics vanish: As social media matures, and surface-level metrics such as “Likes” start to shift out of sight, the days of counting vanity metrics are truly coming to an end. Marketers will make room for a more strategic measurement approach, with a focus on metrics that matter, such as attention retention and facial recognition.
  3. App-arenting matures: With children consuming more online media and becoming active across applications earlier than ever, parents raising the next generation will have new innovations, regulations and restrictions to consider.
  4. Data doing good: 2020 is the year data privacy regulation will go mainstream, and marketers will start seeking out ways to give secure data a greater purpose—finding impactful ways to ensure data can do the world good.
  5. From e-messaging to d-messaging: Thanks to its personal touch and powerful features, direct messaging will overtake leading traditional direct marketing methods and firmly cement its role in the communications realm.
  6. Brands navigate post-truth politics: The continuing rise of populism will further coarsen online dialogue, putting brands in the uncomfortable position of having to choose a side—and stand for it.
  7. Wearable tech going onward and inward: As technology gets smaller, more capable and more integrated into our lives, various forms of wearables will become ubiquitous—and we’ll also see the rise of “insertables” and “ingestibles.”
  8. Coming clean: Sports-washing, or the practice of a country using sports to spiff up its image and/or conceal human-rights violations, will be in the media spotlight like never before. Expect to see sporting bodies, athletes and sponsors step up to stand for real change in 2020.
  9. The proof is in the purpose: As having a brand purpose has become the new black, consumers are starting to seek out brands that deliver on their promise through everyday touch and proof points.
  10. Ready for liftoff: Though outer space has long captured our imaginations, its potential as a brand of its own has been as of yet untapped. Now, however, the stars have aligned for space to take up a lot of space in current events, pop culture and merchandising.

This year’s report was authored by Red Havas staffers from around the world, including James Wright, global CEO, Red Havas and global chairman, Havas PR Global Collective; Davitha Ghiassi, executive vice president, social and integration, Red Havas; Mark Campbell, global head of content, Red Havas; Rachael Sansom, managing director London, Red Havas; and Jackie Crossman, a senior consultant with Red Havas.

“Data and content have transformed the communications industry enabling brands to make informed decisions that help them to connect more effectively with their consumers,” said Kenny Yap, General Manager, Social & PR, Havas Group Singapore.

You can view the full predictions report here.