This year’s festival promises to be a corker. So, to whet your appetite, here’s a few of the speakers I’m most looking forward to hearing from at Tobacco Dock.

And remember to check out the Festival of Marketing website to view the full agenda.

Owain Davies, Lead Product Owner, NHS Digital

As we’re all pretty much end users of the NHS in the UK, a talk titled “The modern digital customer experience in the NHS” is too tantalising to pass up.

Owain Davies is Lead Product Owner at NHS Digital, which handles over 3,000 patient messages a second. You’ll hear Davies speak about transforming 400 services into one cohesive user experience and improving access for NHS and social care professionals.

If you are trying to combine content and CX, what better speaker to offer inspiration.

Mark Ritson, Adjunct Professor of Marketing, Melbourne Business School

Ritson is back on the Marketing Week Strategy and Leadership Stage with a session titled “What does good strategy look like, and how to set it”.

Veterans of the Festival and readers of Ritson’s column in Marketing Week (or even those who have taken his Mini MBA) will know that his presence assures straight-talking and inventiveness in equal measure.

Make sure you catch this session to hear how marketers should avoid the short-termism of digital tactics and get back to conceiving and setting strategy. There’ll be plenty of enlightening case studies and impassioned debate.

Emma Martell, Head of Social Content, Virgin Trains

“Harnessing the power of weird on social” – a cracking talk title, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Emma Martell will tell the Festival audience about how offbeat humour can bring reach (dare we use the word ‘viral’?). Intriguingly, Virgin Trains’ Head of Social Content will share how to come up with weird ideas and get them approved. And, in the era of brand purpose, why emotionally connecting with your audience doesn’t always have to involve a higher moral cause.

Andrew Lippman, Associate Director, MIT Media Lab

Andrew Lippman is one of the founders of the world-famous MIT Media Lab and an expert on digital life.

He headlines on day one of the Festival and will discuss the world of technology and its impact on consumer behaviour, asking “How will the ways in which we choose to communicate evolve and how is technology defining this roadmap?”

MIT Media Lab is renowned for its interdisciplinary research, which encourages the unconventional mixing and matching of various research areas. Lippmann’s recent work “includes MedRec, a blockchain-based, distributed data permission manager with no transactions or economics, and a set of projects designed to build local and culturallly-based civic participation such as voting.”

If you’re a marketer interested in what’s next, this is the talk for you.

Alex Allcott, Head Of Brand, Thread

Okay, you may have read about a study by venture capital firm MMC that of all the companies in Europe classified as AI startups, 40% are not using AI in a way that is material to their business. So, yes, perhaps there is some AI hype out there.

But that only makes those that are serious about AI all the more interesting. Menswear company Thread uses its algorithm, Thimble, alongside human stylists to make nearly 12 million style suggestions every week.

Hear from Head of Brand, Alex Allcott as she discusses how AI can be used to create a reliable service and personalised experience in e-commerce.

And more…

There are plenty more excellent talks at the Festival of Marketing 2019, including speakers from easyJet, Deliveroo, Monzo, Gucci, Honda UK, GSK, the list goes on.

View the agenda now.