Storytelling and the future of planning were among the topics of particular recent importance to readers of Admap magazine, reflecting two key influences on current thinking in the marketing industry.
Admap's most popular paper of 2012 was Why Experience Architecture is the future of planning, which picked up the Admap Prize. (For more details about the most popular material featured on Warc in 2012, click here.)
It discussed the increasingly blurred line between "conceptual" planners, who traditionally align with creative agencies, and "practical" planners, who generally work in media agencies.
Looking forward, the paper predicted that the breaking down of traditional divisions will result in the evolution of a new breed of planner trained to deliver great brand "experiences".
Storytelling was the focus of the second most read Admap article this year. Let the brand tell the story emphasised the importance of delivering a compelling narrative.
More specifically, it was suggested that "brand guardians" – namely, advertisers – must place truth at the heart of their messages, create strong narrative arcs and manage transmedia access.
Effectiveness in social marketing was the theme of the third most read Admap article of 2012. In Social media marketing, scholars from the Cranfield School of Management identified some common themes about what is working and pointed out some challenges.
The social media strategies of Virgin Media, IBM, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Citibank and Volkswagen's were discussed as case studies in this area.
In Facebook fans: A fan for life? the importance of a Facebook 'Like' came under scrutiny. This study, by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, sought to establish if higher brand engagement on Facebook translated into sales success.
Fifth position went to a paper entitled Creating desirable brands, which outlined six guiding principles of brand success.
These included thinking bigger than a category, focusing on the future, having clarity of purpose, inspiring connections, creating experiences and constantly innovating.
Apple, Google, Samsung, Adidas and Innocent were some of the brands cited in the article as examples of best practice.
Data sourced from Warc