Reaching specific audiences, the use of different channels and content marketing were among the most-read topics during 2018 in WARC’s library of Best Practice papers.

Despite many developed markets having ageing populations, marketers remain focused on younger consumers. Millennials are of course a significant group in global terms and will very soon comprise half the workforce – making them a crucial demographic in terms of spending power.

To successfully engage them, brands will typically need to consider how they can demonstrate purpose and authenticity, while also leveraging digital content and social media.

And when looking at Gen Z, other factors enter the equation, including delivering snackable content and life hacks as well as allowing space for co-creation and self-expression.

Read more: How to market effectively to Millennials and How brands can effectively engage young consumers

These age groups spend a lot of time online, which marketers have tended to use as a direct response channel, but digital channels, when used well, can play a fundamental and complementary role in brand building.

This requires a mix of paid media, PR outreach and influence, and ideally some organic amplification to get a consistent, measurable scale and achieve the excess share-of-voice needed to build a brand.

Read more: How digital channels can help build a brand

Digital channels have also disrupted the consumer journey, which now features a complex mix of offline and online touchpoints. A brand’s ability to deploy impactful and efficient marketing strategies depends on how they understand and respond to relevant consumer journeys and how these fit into a framework appropriate to a category and brand situation.

These typically include the (disrupted) habitual journey, the planned journey, the ecosystem journey and the patient-centric journey.

Read more: How to analyze the omnichannel consumer decision journey

Any response to the various stages of such journeys will likely involve content of some sort. A NewsCred survey found that a lack of content or low-quality content can have an adverse effect on perceptions of a brand, so it’s important to think carefully about this – identifying the best ideas and aligning them with the most appropriate channel and making sure content works offline as well as online.

Read more: How to plan an effective content marketing strategy

Away from the nuts and bolts of content and omnichannel strategies, marketers were also reminding themselves of the importance of the creative agency brief – “the foundation for the disruptive, breakthrough thinking that can really make a difference to a client's business”, as the relevant Best Practice paper notes.

Read more:How to write a creative agency brief

Sourced from WARC