Key takeaways from 2021 AMI Prediction Series

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Last week our senior designer and partner Kellie, and digital strategist Erica attended the Australian Marketing Institute’s Prediction Series lunch event at Adelaide Oval.

Exploring the topics Martech, Creativity and Marketing with Purpose, the event was coordinated with speakers and attendees at organised events in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, and allowed further guests to join virtually from their chosen location. So while for many it was the first “in person” event for some time, it demonstrated the scope for managing events across locations and access types in a COVID-19 continuing world.

The events shared four keynote speakers (streamed from the three locations), followed by a local panel discussion in each location. The keynote speakers were:
– Tea Uglow, Creative Director, Google Creative Lab
– David Redhill, Former Global CMO, Deloitte
– Naima Wilson, Marketing Director ANZ, Patagonia
– Anton van den Hengel, Director of Applied Science, Amazon

The Adelaide panel featured:
– Matthew Michalewicz, CEO, Complexica
– Louise Vigar, Network Marketing Director, Bentleys
– Anton van den Hengel, Director of Applied Science, Amazon

K E Y T A K E A W A Y S :

While all presentations and discussions were themed around Martech, Creativity and Marketing with Purpose, they varied their approach to it. Here is the collective summary we took from it.

The impact of COVID-19 saw a significant increase in people using social media and digital tools to seek information and connect with others, which soon led to many brands beginning, increasing or changing their use of digital with the intention of reaching this audience. As for many years though, simply being “on social” or “doing digital” has not been a silver bullet for marketing, and this increased use has actually made it harder for many brands to reach and engage their target audiences due to the sheer volume of content, and algorithms that almost all platforms now use.

In the panel discussion, Matthew Michalewicz quoted Seth Godin who famously said: “Marketing is a contest for people’s attention” and when you do get it, you need to deliver value.

How do we do this?

The essence of advice from all speakers is to “make it personal”.

Both personal to the individuals that brands are trying to connect with, and personal from the brand itself.

There were two core aspects to making it personal:
1. Through intelligent use of data, and
2. Knowing and sharing your brand purpose

1. D A T A

Digital now offers us access to a wealth of data that allows us to better understand our target audiences and online communities, that can then be used to tailor and personalise content, marketing and advertising to them. The more personal and relevant something is to someone, the more likely it is to get their valuable attention.

Brands need to identify not only what data they have access to, or can access, but how it can be effectively and responsibly collected and used. Many internet users place a premium on trust, and when dealing with brands, will question whether they trust them to use the data responsibly.

If brands are behaving in a trustworthy manner towards their community, and providing relevant, personalised information and experiences, it should result in positive outcomes for both the brand, and the people they are wanting to communicate with.

The long term challenge for personalisation though, will be what happens when we give people exactly what they want. Will it become boring?

The available data also allows us to continually measure and refine our marketing activities, which means as both businesses and marketers, we need to value to the time and tools required for effective reporting, and the implementation of recommendations which result from them.

2. B R A N D P U R P O S E

Unsurprisingly as purpose was the key theme of the event, the importance of knowing and sharing your brand purpose authentically and transparently was a core aspect of how to “make it personal”.

Many of the speakers implored marketers and brands to not only dig deep and truly unearth the brand’s purpose, but then genuinely integrate it through the organisation, as well as meaningfully include it in marketing.

A brand’s purpose should be simple and memorable, and something that everyone who works for the brand knows and acts upon, from the top down. And this can take time.

As Naima Wilson, Marketing Director ANZ at purpose-driven brand Patagonia said: “To market with purpose, you need to do the purposeful work.”

A fundamental part of marketing with purpose is being human. Which sounds simple, but can be challenging for many brands. Social media has enabled us all to being able to quickly share the real aspects of what is going on in our lives and around us, both good and bad. While social media is often used for aspiration and inspiration, trend reports often show the strong interest in the raw, behind-the-scenes type content.

As brands, we need to consider the human experience, and consider how we can inject humility into our marketing communications. This transparent approach builds trust, which goes hand-in-hand with building meaningful connections with the right people who will also be willing to share relevant data.

B O N U S T A K E A W A Y : T A K E R I S K S

The Adelaide panel discussion also featured a conversation about Australian’s tendency to be quite conservative, and a recommendation to take risks. While this may sound counterintuitive to strategically using data and working to a brand’s purpose, it does fit.

A strong brand purpose should enable marketers to identify calculated risks, and to be able to respond appropriately and quickly should they fail. An effective approach to data and reporting will also allow results to be measured and used for future marketing risks.

“Marketing is best when it puts people first, not numbers.” David Redhill, Former Global CMO, Deloitte.

If you need help understanding and communicating your brand purpose, or planning and using your data effectively, get in touch.