The Festival Of Marketing: Our Top 5 Takeaways From The Event

Jessica WilliamsLast Updated: Events, trends

Last week, we attended London’s annual event for marketers across the globe; the Festival of Marketing. With over 200 influential speakers, workshops, awards, experience rooms and training, it was the perfect place to celebrate the future trends of marketing and digital transformation.

As well as our very own, Director of Brands & Partnerships, Jonathan McCarron, hitting up the Digital Transformation stage to discuss the end of digital advertising, there were plenty of motivational and enlightening sessions to attend. Some topics, trends and stats particularly stood out to us, so if you were unable to make the event, we’ve put together our top 5 takeaways for you.


1. ‘GDPR’ IS OFFICIALLY THIS YEAR’S DOOM WORD

As the implementation of the GDPR looms ever closer, many brands, and rightly so, are beginning to fret about the stricter legal regulations that will come into force. “What do I need to do to prepare for GDPR?” and “what impact will GDPR have on my business?” were questions that continuously arose in numerous sessions. The answer? Nobody appeared to be particularly certain on the implications for brands and marketers. But with huge fines for non-compliance and data breaches, attendees were concerned. So whilst the facts and figures may seem daunting, for proactive brand marketers, GDPR is actually a real opportunity to improve data quality, transparency and relationships with customers.

For more information on GDPR, and why digital brand marketers should care, check out our blog post.


2. EXPERIENCES ARE NOW YOUR GREATEST COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Today, we live in an experience-driven world, and Rank Group and Decibel Insight gave an enlightening discussion suggesting that it is no longer about the price and product brands are providing, but more about the interaction and experiences between brands and consumers. So instead of the typical race to the bottom, brands need to re-think their marketing strategies, and focus on putting the right teams and technology in place to create experiences that drive interest and make you stand out from the rest.


3. DIGITAL ADVERTISING IS BROKEN, INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES ARE THE FUTURE

In 1994, the first display ad achieved a 43% click-through rate, yet today the average click-through rate is a lowly 0.06%. There are a myriad of reasons why traditional digital advertising just isn’t clicking anymore. And together, these mean huge changes for the digital marketing landscape, and marketers need to skill-up and adapt.

From our own session with Jonathan McCarron, we discussed how top brands are moving budgets from digital ads to interactive experiences to overcome today’s failing approach to marketing. Brands need to change their infrastructure to create direct relationships with today’s modern consumer if they want to avoid the ad-apocalypse and start connecting with consumers once more.


4. BRANDS NEED 1-TO-1 MASS MARKETING APPROACHES

As well as a host of sessions stressing the importance of brands focusing on personalization and experiences for consumers, CPG giant P&G in particular emphasized how digital transformation is about giving consumers more than just a product. It was suggested that by 2020, 34 billion devices will be connected to the ‘internet of things’, and brands need to shift their marketing approaches to suit this change in consumer behaviour, mobile usage and lifestyle change.

“We’re seeing a shift where consumers now want more than just simply purchasing and using a product, they expect brands to bring something more to engage with them on a more personal level.” – Sophie Blum, VP Marketing EU and IMEA at P&G


5. UGC IS EXPLODING ONTO THE SCENE, AND IT’S BIGGER THAN EVER

Word of mouth marketing may have been a term we’ve been hearing for the past decade, but it’s now more relevant than ever, and consumers are quickly becoming a brand’s most influential and powerful marketers. In a session with Jules Lund, the Founder of Tribe, he discussed the power of UGC in digital marketing, suggesting that authentic content from consumers gets x4 the click throughs than that of brand marketing. Why? Because it feels real; it isn’t polished. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase after being exposed to UGC as opposed to brand content. In fact, brands typically achieve a 10% boost in conversions when they feature UGC photos at the point of purchase.


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