October 4, 2016

Day One at the Festival of Marketing – Steve Wozniak steals the show

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, closed what was an insightful first day at Econsultancy’s Festival of Marketing.

The themes of brand purpose, transparency and trust were three key strands from the day which stood out and Wozniak’s philanthropic nature helped to solidify what may sometimes be missing from marketing – a little kindness.

  1. Brand purpose

Keith Weed, Unilever CMO, kicked off the day and spoke through how they have adapted to ensure their brands have a purpose beyond the functional use. The start-up culture has meant that Unilever have had to evolve, with social good initiatives being used to engage with consumers and not be simply viewed as a badging exercise. For some legacy brands, conveying a wider brand purpose will be difficult but the results, if successful, are worth it.

  1. Transparency

As expected, conversations about transparency went hand-in-hand with discussions around data.Everyone is in agreement that advertisers and other organisations within the industry need to be more open and respect the person they’re communicating to. The much debated EU GDPR may be accelerating the pace at which these discussions are happening but is a conversation that has needed to happen.Whilst the regulation is still being debated and not expected to kick in until 2018, RNLI’s Head of Marketing & Research, Jayne Clark, spoke how they have taken the huge step to move towards only delivering messages to their explicit opt-in data base by 2017. The scenario planning Clarke spoke about highlighted that this shift is likley to have a significant impact on the donations the charity receives but RNLI have still decided to go ahead as it is ultimately “the right thing to do”.At another session in the day, it wasn’t suggested that this drastic move is for everyone. However those brands which have a lot of user data need to ensure that they don’t cross the line from useful to creepy and annoying.

  1. Trust

‘Trust’ was mentioned A LOT however it isn’t something which advertisers can convey in a media campaign. It is an emotion felt by consumers which can only occur when points 1 & 2 above combine with all aspects of an advertiser’s business.Kindness is defined as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate” and aptly sums up how our communication to consumers’ needs to evolve. We’re marketing to people – not cookies, profiles or accounts – there is an actual person at the other side. As I head into day two at the festival, I look forward to seeing other great examples of kind brands.Sharan Cheema, Client Services Director

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