2011 has sure taken everyone for a ride — from worldwide economic woes to global social revolutions, and life-defining moments courtesy of Mother Nature. From brands becoming movements and technological progress running rampant, to the power of social responsibility reaching an all-time high.
The year kicked off with a cultural awakening for most brands that confirmed what we, cross-cultural marketers, have been saying for many years –MULTICULTURAL is, in fact, the new mainstream. Within six months, the LATINO bandwagon (brandwagon??) was alive and kicking – companies, media outlets, products wanted a piece of the lucrative pie. Global set out to push the pharma industry toward a more aggressive marketing approach with the Hispanic market – still a rare advertiser among that audience.
In the world of social media, if content were king in 2010, ENGAGEMENT has overthrown it in 2011. Each article and case study on social media read similarly to the society page of the New York Times – screaming the importance of engaging with your audience over mere quality of the content.
Global, in the meantime, tracked those two trends in our respective industries (specifically health care), releasing a report on the efforts of the Big Pharma to reach multicultural consumers online. A first in a series of many, the report caused a bit of a stir in the media with its findings of a disturbing reality.
On the international front, our BRIC friends made impressive achievements this year. The ‘emerging economies’ will continue to be among the top trends of 2012 and beyond. Given our strong BRIC ties, we partnered on a number of groundbreaking business and cultural initiatives – promoting global commerce and investment as well as supporting international art and artists.
From the co-hosting the first-ever RBC Financial Conference to bringing back the annual Russian Film Week – one of the most anticipated foreign film festivals of New York, to launching Global Art Group and taking the Miami Art Basel by storm – we defined our own international playground.
Whether business-driven or philanthropic, our dedication to supporting artistic expression and creativity will continue in the years to come.
Speaking of the next year, our predictions are clear (and below):
1. Election, election, election! If the #OCCUPY movement and the Putin or Mubarak backlash taught us anything, it would be that people still have a voice, and it can now be heard on a multitude of platforms
2. Technology is still #WINNING! From successful campaigns executed strictly on viral platforms to pop-culture icons cutting out the publicist to speak directly to us, user-generated content and social media spell out an evolution of how we communicate.
3. Cross-cultural IS International. Don’t be surprised to see your cross-cultural expertise expanded into one of international proportions.
And what’s an agency without new business? We traveled the world for it: Thailand, Spain, Germany, Russia, Ukraine. We pitched, we won, we lost (some.) We grew (in revenue and in staff), we challenged ourselves, our clients and our partners, and we had fun. A ton of it. Because if you don’t love what you do, why waste the time doing it at all?
Here is to an unforgettable 2011 and to a highly-anticipated 2012!