Three Questions with Karla Mileski
Freehand Circle is both a consultancy and a think tank.
As part of our think tank’s content efforts, we are gathering perspectives from innovative trailblazers across all spaces. Freehand Circle asks industry leaders three key questions about the past, present and future. The questions are kept standard regardless of one's position or area of expertise.
Karla Mileski is a Creative Director at Mother New York. She comes from a conceptual and writing background, and has worked on a huge variety of brands including YouTube, Target, American Express, Friskies cat food, and Wrangler jeans. She's a big fan of emotional benefits and simple ideas.
Question 1: What is the most important trend happening in marketing right now?
From my perspective as a Creative Director in an advertising agency, one huge trend is the recent emphasis on brand purpose. Of course, it’s been more than a decade since Simon Sinek’s Start With Why was published, but after the events of this year, consumers want to shop their values more than ever. This is true even when purpose-driven brands cost more, and even in an economic recession. Now you have brands from every category feeling the pressure to take a stand and express passion for something other than the products they sell. It will be interesting to watch how these brands behave in the post-Covid world, and whether consumers will hold them to their promises.
Question 2: Building on that, over the next decade what do you think is the most vital development in marketing and communications?
I believe that increased collaboration between media and creative will be vital to marketing over the next decade. Innovations such as personalized and programmatic content, visual search, and in-market testing are changing the rules for which content wins. The :60 multi-million dollar brand film has been on its way out for a while. But this shift will be many steps further. Media will be targeted to micro-demographics and micro-moments in ways that we can’t even imagine right now. And creative ideas that naturally lend themselves to that micro-targeting, and are built to be quickly (and cheaply) adapted to in-market results will naturally be more effective.
Question 3: Finally, what should be the most vital development that happens over the next decade?
As I write this on the morning of November 4, it seems clear that the most vital development over the next decade will be whatever event or trend eases the division in this country. Because something will. And if a global pandemic didn’t bring us together, then I hate to see what it will take. Perhaps the thing that eventually ends the division will be basic exhaustion and disinterest – one side being so worn down that they can’t bother anymore. And that might be the worst-case scenario.