Three Takeaways from Marketing Week Live

Last week Marketing Week Live 2016 saw the greats of marketing assemble in London for one of the biggest events of the year. Boasting ‘a carefully curated exhibition experience with solutions to your every marketing need’, the event is always attended by influential speakers, industry influencers and promises a jam-packed agenda for its delegates.

This year the line up included the likes of Chris Bates, Head of Customer Marketing at John Lewis, Richard Ellwood, Head of Audience Strategy EMEA at The Walt Disney Company and Jo Fawcett, Marketing Director at Zizzi who over the course of the event shared their top tips and insider insights for marketing in 2016.

So what can marketers take from Marketing Week Live 2016?

1. We need to help consumers make choices, not hinder.

One of the key insights to come from the event is the need for marketers to help consumers make choices amidst the crowded and often overwhelming noise of competitors.

Marketers are no strangers to the conundrum of choice, with research by Columbia University demonstrating that when consumers are faced with too many choices, their ability to commit to a purchase is diminished. In an era when choice is a natural by-product of our commercially driven, materialist society, this poses a serious problem for marketers trying to sell their product or service.

In his speech given at Marketing Week Live, Richard Ellwood placed the onus firmly on brands to resolve this issue. According to an article by Marketing Week, ‘part of the problem, he said, is that consumers are now overwhelmed by choice and that too few brands see it as their job to declutter and make the process of shopping easier.’

Audience profiling is just one key way marketers can begin to better target their strategies and translate consumers intentions into sales. Elwood argued that at Disney, ‘we start with the audience first to make sure we are clear on who they are, what they need and how we can deliver on it’.

2. OOH can bring short term brand benefits

Out-of-home marketing, or OOH to you and I, is traditionally thought to be of highest value to brands when it comes to long term measurements such as brand awareness. No longer a bus-side advertisement or static billboard, digital technology has allowed OOH to expand its creativity and encourage customer interactivity with its campaigns. Business2Community has argued that ‘DOOH ads have the power to draw consumers in and make them more interested in brands.’

But the latest insights from Marketing Week have found that OOH can in fact have shorter term benefits for brands, most notably the ability to drive new customers to engage with the brand via mobile.

The research, conducted by OOH specialists Outsmart and reported by Marketing Week, has found that ‘people who have seen an OOH advert are 17% more likely to interact with the brand or campaign in question on their phone than those who have not.’ The research also finds that 57% of people who engage with an OOH advertiser on their phone are new or lapsed customers.

The potential for marketers to attract new and lapsed customers to engage almost immediately with their brand is huge. No longer a passive element of marketing strategy, OOH looks set to become an effective trigger of consumer behaviour and a central tenet in driving customers to mobile.

3. It’s time to take ad-blocking seriously

For many marketers, the ever-increasing usage of ad-blockers among consumers is a serious challenge, but few are willing to adapt their strategy to tackle the problems it can cause.

The industry is awash with concern for what ad-blockers mean for marketers. According to research, ‘the latest stats from the Internet Advertising Bureau and YouGov found that 22% of British adults are using ad-blocking software.’ Forbes recently reported that ‘61% of consumers saying they are aware of ad-blocking technology’ and ‘four in 10 (42%) said they would pay to eliminate ad interruptions’. Marketing Magazine recently explored the impact of mobile network Three’s upcoming deal which ‘will soon allow its 80m customers to block ads at network level.’

The key insight to take from Marketing Week Live is that marketers have a responsibility to their industry to tackle the problems posed by ad-blocking. Isabel Massey, Diageo’s head of media and futures, explained how Diageo is now beginning to adapt its marketing to a strategy where ’consumers discover our content, making it more native and looking into partnerships where we can appear in ways where consumers want to interact with us’.

If ad-blocking continues to grow, marketers would do well to heed Isabel’s advice and explore options for platform diversification, focus on relevancy, and ensure theirs is a brand message consumers want to receive.

Three Takeaways from Marketing Week Live