It has been three weeks since the Festival of Marketing, which I’m sure anyone who attended will agree was a really exciting couple of days. 

With the dust finally settled and the teams involved having just about recovered, I thought I’d put together a list of highlights from the two-day event. 

External factors can influence email campaigns

Return Path’s senior director of professional services Guy Hanson discussed how external factors can have a big impact on email marketing campaigns

Factors that can have an impact include the weather, the economy, public sentiment and email fraud.

The average consumer receives more than 500 marketing messages each month, yet they open fewer than 1 in 15. 

Email senders aren’t just competing for share of market or wallet, but also share of mind. If somebody spends 10 minutes with a competitor’s email that’s 10 minutes less with yours.

Social data can be an extremely powerful ally

Brandwatch’s VP of inbound marketing, Joel Windels, discussed the increasing role of social data and the opportunities it brings.  

The idea of changing your brand and operations based on what people are thinking and saying is powerful.

If you can engage with people in a way that’s relevant and interesting to them you’re much more likely to get a sale.

Finally he adds:

89% of businesses say social data will be essential within three years. You don’t want to end up being the Kodak of today.

How to build a brand like Doctor Who

Julia Kenyon, Acting Chief Brands Officer, BBC Worldwide, spoke about how Doctor Who became a global icon, included some staggering stats about the brand’s performance. 

Here are some stats from its 50th birthday simulcast, where all fans were able to experience the show at the same time on multiple channels across the world:

  • It was shown in 98 countries on six continents.
  • Audience was up 69% on regular episodes.
  • 650,000 cinema tickets sold in 25 countries.
  • 440m Facebook impressions, reaching 97m people.
  • 12,000 tweets per minute.
  • 8% awareness increase from global average of 60%.  

Digital transformation is about people

Sean Cornwell, Chief Digital Officer at Travelex, discussed the brand’s journey through a significant digital transformation and what it has achieved in the process.

He urged brands to view digital transformation in the same way as any business change.

People are vital. You can’t outsource what is core and strategic. New capabilities leads to new products that become growth engines over time.

Given change in the outside world, ask yourself what opportunities you should be pursuing. Then look at organisational changes to processes.

Programmatic should always be ‘on’, but don’t bombard people

Iain Noakes, Global Digital Acquisition Journey and Performance Director at The Economist, discussed how he helped inject tech into a 172-year-old magazine.

Part of that involved using programmatic to target its potential audience, but Noakes was keen to stress that this method should be used carefully or else you’ll risk alienating people. 

We need to ensure we’re not just using tech to bombard people and become an annoyance.

He also highlighted that it’s important to be patient when it comes to programmatic ads.

Programmatic becomes more efficient over time and should always be ‘on’.

Social ads can bring in serious revenue

Kenyatte Nelson, Group Marketing Director at Shop Direct, discussed how social media ads can have a huge business impact.

We found that if somebody engaged with a product on social media, 4/10 would go on to buy it.

The key is to keep KPIs (key performance indicators) simple, Nelson argued. 

The more complicated the KPIs, the more likely people won’t believe them, and the tougher it’s going to be to get investment.

Always align social KPIs with those of the business. What’s the business ambition and how can social media help us achieve that goal?

Finally he said it’s better to target fewer channels but focus on making them bigger and better. 

You need to remain focused on who your customer is and where they are on social. Pick a place and then scale it up.

The key to user-generated content is emotion

Tom Malleschitz, Chief Marketing Officer at Three UK, was on the Content Marketing stage discussing how brands can embrace the rise of user-generated content and use it to their advantage.

It is through people’s emotions, Malleschitz argues, that you’ll get them to create and share content about your brand. 

We realised we had to give people a feeling, a connection, not just sell them products.

When people feel something they react and have an opinion, and then they engage with you. Getting people to engage with your brand is a powerful proposition.

If you focus on surprise, delight, happiness, you have a higher possibility that stuff will get shared.

How the RFU manages CRM and personalised messaging

Mark Killingley, Head of Digital and CRM at the RFU (Rugby Football Union), talked about how his organisation approaches CRM (customer relationship management) and where it gets its data from.

Marketing data comes from social media and the RFU website, and commercial data comes from the England team matches and surrounding activity.

rfu crm

The RFU also uses CRM to understand where the game is thriving. 

Nearly all customers are known across multiple touchpoints, and the goal is to target them and provoke action but not to pigeonhole them too restrictively.

How Aston Martin uses personalised products and storytelling in a luxury market

The iconic car manufacturer’s director of global marketing, Simon Sproule, discussed how Aston Martin creates a personalised experience through its products. 

The brand takes a similar approach when it comes to content creation, focussing on a relatively small but very targeted audience and delivering those customers the individual story of their car. 

Staff loyalty can improve the customer experience

Naked Wines’ marketing director James Bagley discussed how his company makes staff loyalty a key part of its business strategy.

Why? Because he believes happy staff means happy customers. 

If you want happy customers and loyalty, there are only two things that matter: product and service. And for that you need happy suppliers and happy staff.

You need to focus on the experiences of your staff, because those experiences will drive their beliefs, and those beliefs will drive their actions. And that’s ultimately where your company culture comes from.

He adds: 

The most important thing is to have a great customer experience that focuses on customer happiness. That needs to be at the heart of your business model.