Five things we learned at the Festival of Marketing

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Five things we learned at the Festival of Marketing
Posted on April 27, 2022 by Braden MacDonald

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A round-up of our newest recruit’s thoughts on this year’s Festival of Marketing event.

It was an exciting prospect to attend the Festival of Marketing for the first time! With a background in communications and having studied marketing, I’d heard a lot about the Festival of Marketing and how well-respected and cherished it is in the industry, but never had the opportunity to go – until now – even if it was just virtually.

The Festival of Marketing boasts content and sessions designed to make marketers feel more confident, capable, and inspired – and this year did not hold back on these experiences. With professional representatives from companies such as Ford, Boots and Heineken, the diverse range of knowledge made attending the event worth it and helped me use the advice that will help me grow in my role at Keen as Mustard.

So, without further or do, here are the top five things I learned during my time at the Spring edition of the Festival of Marketing:

1. Inclusivity and Diversity Should Matter to Brands

Throughout the three-day event, one of my favourite sessions was LGBTQ+ activist Munroe Bergdorf and Lucie Cave, Chief Content Officer at Bauer Media. They discussed the importance of inclusivity and diversity in terms of representation and how brands can do better when it comes to achieving a more inclusive culture.

Munroe spoke in-depth about her own experiences with transphobia and racism when she became L’Oréal’s first transgender model in 2017 and how it’s vital for brands to take a stance against ignorance. In addition, brands need to use their platform to perpetuate positive representation in their marketing – the one thing from this session that I felt was most important was that brands need to make sure inclusivity and diversity matter and that they’re doing this authentically.

2. Insight-Based Decisions are More Important Than Ever

Another fantastic session was chaired by Rachel Evans, Managing Director of Kantar Marketplace and Leila Buckley, Global Head of Activation, Kantar Marketplace. They talked to Caroline Cookson, Consumer and Shopper Insights Manager at Heineken and George Papadopoulos, Insights & Analytics Lead at Reckitt.

Having recently been immersed in the world of insights and market research, it was interesting to hear about the procedures -mainly digital – professionals are using to adjust to a post-COVID marketplace, which is impacting decision-making when purchasing. Of course, consumers themselves have become more dynamic, but adapting to new scalable ways of insight-based decision-making will see professionals tap into the solutions that will help them in the future.

3. Brands Can Drive Growth by Staying True to Their Values

One session that I was looking forward to attending was headed by Nicola Matthews, UKI Head of Marketing at Tony’s Chocolonely. She opened the session with one powerful statement, “Our mission is the only reason we exist.”

Having previously worked in Amsterdam, I was aware of Tony’s Chocolonely and its funky branding and marketing, but behind the aesthetics is a mighty operation to achieve 100% slave-free chocolate – not just their chocolate but all chocolate, worldwide.

Nicola talked about how vital it is for brands to stay true to their values when promoting their products, even if it is something as enjoyable as chocolate. She explained that because they want to make a profit for their shareholders, most chocolate manufacturing companies want to keep the price of cocoa low and pay their farmers as little as possible.

It was the most eye-opening session I attended during my time at the Festival of Marketing. The Tony’s Chocolonely case study demonstrated that people enjoy a good brand story and that staying true to values can be effective in marketing, especially when brands incorporate are transparent and honest about their mission statements and ethics.

4. Make Sure You’re KPIs are Succinct

Just one in four marketers are confident that they are tracking the correct KPIs. Bhavesh Unadkhat, Head of Brand at Frog and Sophie Bull, Brand & Content Consultant at Frog, went into depth about how we can re-think how brands perform, and consumers feel. The main framework they discussed, which I found useful focused on creating a succinct and valuable outline to consider when thinking about marketing KPIs.

5. A Good Mindset and Skillset Will Accelerate Opportunities for Growth

Finally, mental health was a big topic throughout the Festival of Marketing. Helen Tupper, CEO at Amazing If, talked about her journey into overcoming career challenges and how a healthy positive mindset can accelerate opportunities for growth.

She engaged with the audience and went into depth on how we can reframe the way our minds work when challenges occur in the workplace, by using the ‘COACH’ framework – seeking Clarity, understand your Options, eventually taking Action, gaining Confidence upon taking action, and ultimately seeing Help if necessary.

And there we have it, five valuable rules that I learned during my virtual experience at the Festival of Marketing. There was so much to absorb while watching all these brilliant sessions. Festival of Marketing did an excellent job of getting together s many professionals from well-respected and world-changing businesses across the globe. I’m super excited to take what I learned and apply it to my new role at Keen as Mustard, and you never know – maybe one day Mustard will take to the Festival of Marketing stage with its own insights.

You can still pay to watch the Festival of Marketing on-demand, here