A key part of our business at WP Engine is the partnerships we’ve built with digital agencies. With emerging technologies and trends, increasing competitiveness, and the pressure to deliver memorable digital experiences, agencies have enough to worry about. WP Engine allows agencies to focus on creation and execution instead of worrying about performance and security. We do this via innovative solutions that keep teams agile, a digital experience platform that uses industry-leading architecture to consistently deliver high performance, and open-source software that easily integrates with your preferred technology stack. 

At the forefront of innovation and digital creativity, agencies have invaluable insight into digital trends, technical efficiency, and creativity that leads to conversions. In this series, called “Agency Spotlight,” we sit down with agency leaders from around the world to explore their thoughts on all things digital. 

Based out of Los Angeles, California, Brand Knew is a creative collective and strategic advisory that specializes in web development, branding, social marketing, and media buying.  They help brands differentiate themselves via a comprehensive internal review, competitive landscape analysis, and a systematic process of message optimization. 

In this segment, we talk with Zach Suchin, CEO at Brand Knew, about workplace diversity, influencer-based marketing, 5G, and more.

What are some small ways to promote diversity in the workplace?

We believe strongly that diversity of thought brings about the most powerful, creative ideas.  Diversity should be a priority for all organizations, especially those rooted in a creative pursuit.  Meaningfully sharing information about culturally relevant moments in the zeitgeist can help employees to embrace the cultural diversity that enriches the workplace and recognize the special nuanced elements of our individuality.

What are some innovative ways to get people to pay attention to your content?

Content has to provide genuine value.  Consumers are too smart to be fooled by unsavory attempts at commercial trickery.  Brands literally exist to serve consumers. In trying to make consumers care about a given brand’s content and the prospective value it brings to their lives, published content needs to either educate, motivate or entertain. 

In order to effectively pierce through the noise of all the brand traffic across social media, leveraging increasingly personalized marketing capabilities can help brands connect with audiences that are more accustomed to platforms knowing their preferences and affinities.

How do you intelligently invest in influencer-based marketing?

Influencer marketing is only effective when consumers trust the relationship between the influencer and the brand they’re associating with.  Macro-influencer blanketing — the act of having Selena Gomez sell men’s razors or any person with a massive following hocking a product they’d never actually use — is a poor use of marketing funds. 

Micro-influencer precision — having Jacob Witzling offer recommendation on Dewalt tools — can be genuinely impactful for a brand’s marketing agenda. There is no machine learning or platform that outperforms human intelligence in identifying the right influencers for the right brands yet. But, we’re slowly approaching this reality.

How will marketing have to adapt to a 5G world?

Genuine 5G provides an exciting opportunity for marketers to quickly and conversationally interact with consumers in ways that simply haven’t been possible with slower bandwidth technologies.  Much of the benefit here will be seen in augmented reality scenarios, where the speed of mobile computing and data transference will allow for brands to creatively adapt in real time to a consumer’s behavior.  For example — a young girl is wearing an advanced AR set that has 5G connectivity, with geolocation capabilities and an accelerometer. A marketer could track her steps while also having data that suggests she’s a fan of the Women’s National Soccer Team.

The marketer could, therefore, show an ad on a building to her left, letting her know that the journey to becoming a professional athlete simply requires taking those initial steps on the path towards glory. Then, when she’s walked exactly the length of a soccer field, the technology would tell her that she’s gone that exact distance. Virtual firework would motivate her to explore more about the upcoming Women’s tournament. The possibilities are endless. The quicker devices can react to consumer action or input, the more profound the catered creative can be.

How do you think social-media based marketing will evolve in 2019?

In the years to come, there will be a proliferation of more devices that have social components: watches, glasses, refrigerators, cars etc. Each device will offer brands alternative means of advertising to active, willing consumers.  For example, Waze integration with a social proximity mechanism in vehicles will tell a consumer that his friend is having coffee at Starbucks that he’s driving past, and he should stop by to talk about the LA Galaxy (a shared interest on Facebook). A woman finishing a 5 mile run in Santa Monica will be prompted to try a new protein shake brand at the Whole Foods down the street. 

While our parents and grandparents only shared data when the census came around every ten years, the younger generations of consumers know nothing but a world of voluntary personal data submission. This generation is likely to choose personalized social and computing experiences (wanting the car to know their route preferences, wanting Facebook to know which concerts they’d be interested in), over privacy protection.

For more information on Brand Knew, check out their website or follow them on Twitter. To learn more about how WP Engine works with agencies, check out our Agency Partner Program.