MAD//Fest 2022 – Highlights and Best Bits

MAD//Fest 2022 made an explosive return on the 5th July, bringing together delegates, speakers and traders from all corners of the marketing industry and beyond. The TA6 team travelled to London to take part for the first two days of the event, which were packed with talks on a huge variety of topics. We’re going to look at what each of the team had to say about the event, and discuss their highlights and best bits.

John Leaver, Head of Marketing

There were numerous international brands in attendance, including Burberry, KFC, Boots, EA, Ford, Unilever and more. Experiencing talks from these industry giants provided some essential insight into how their marketing operations have helped them to reach such heights, and which techniques and methods could be applied across the board not only for our clients but for our own business operations as well.

I attended primarily talks that discussed digital marketing topics, and each of the speakers had their own unique way of getting their point across, including showing current ads, presenting statistics, and even running clips from South Park.

Ethical marketing was a consistent theme throughout the event, and encompassed important current events that have an affect on marketers and consumers alike; privacy was central to many of the talks, which is certainly relevant considering the expected third party cookie ban from Google Chrome in 2023.

Some of the key features that I have taken home include:

  • Ian Maskell from Unilever stated one of the brand’s big mantras; “It’s not about OUR why, it’s about THEIRS”. This seeks to combine purpose with creativity, as well as tying back into ethical marketing and ‘doing good’ with their operations.
  • The importance of reactive moment targeting; this involved adapting advertising messaging based on a set of circumstances. This could be changes in the weather, global events and new internet trends.
  • Motoring titan Ford is looking to move fully to online trade by 2025. This will clearly have a huge impact on the current operations of the business, dealerships and franchises alike. In the same talk, the speaker revealed that upon the release of the Ford Mustang and its electric range in the UK, 80% of customers had never before purchased from Ford. What techniques did they use to market this range, and what made it so successful?
Tamara Bailey, Customer Engagement Manager

The focus on the talks that I attended was the customer experience, and the importance of building the customer journey in a way that focuses on purpose, value, empathy and learning. Many of the speakers focused on presenting their respective businesses in a way that demonstrates empathy and ‘doing good’ by their customers; some examples of this include the following:

  • What 3 Words; a classic example of doing good by doing business, this company has been hailed for helping to not only offer convenience in circumstances such as delivery driving and locating a tricky-to-find house, but it has been commended for helping the emergency services to save lives. This business exists with the primary intention of helping others.
  • Cadbury; a global superpower of a business that focuses it’s marketing activities on the idea of generosity and kindness to others. During Easter, the company did a promotion surrounding Easter egg hunts that didn’t focus on the winner, but rather the joy of giving.

These empathetic approaches to marketing have demonstrated that a business doesn’t have to focus only on selling to their audience to get really good results; showing a deep understanding of the needs of the customer can provide equally, if not better, results as well as strengthening the trust between business and customer. Humanising the customer will only become more important as technology continues to develop, and it’s critical that businesses use technology to further their understanding the needs of the customer. In other words, technology should enhance the personal approach, not diminish it.

Neil Harrison, Head of Operations

There were a number of themes running through MAD//Fest this year, many of which could be picked up across each of the talks throughout the two days. Here’s some examples of what I considered to be the most stand-out points of the event.

  • Don’t sugar coat facts – it’s essential to reflect on failures and not waste mistakes. Failures and mistakes can be a great opportunity to learn and grow, so make the most of them.
  • Don’t let personal success exceed the objective of the marketing concept or belief. Keep your activities aligned with the marketing objective and don’t lose your way when personal successes come up; of course it’s great to enjoy your successes, but don’t let this eclipse the purpose of your marketing activities.
  • Make the most of your app – having an app is a brilliant resource for leisure operators, and it’s quite common to see operators with apps that aren’t being used to the best of their ability. Not only is it good to utilise your own app, it’s important for marketers to consider using apps for advertising purposes, as this doesn’t rely on third party cookies.
  • Understand the value of the customer – consider what the value of each individual is and where they are in relation to your product. At what stage are they in the buying phase? It’s also worth considering the use of technology to understand your customers better.
Emma Kapur, Marketing Account Manager

MAD//Fest 2022 provided a fantastic opportunity to not only meet and network with incredibly talented and successful marketers, but also gave me the chance to attend demonstrations on topics that, when considered in practice, could provide a real boost to the service we provide our clients. Here are some of my main take-home points from the event that I feel are important for us as marketers to consider moving forward.

  • The development of technology – technology is changing and developing all the time, and it’s important for businesses to allow customers to seamlessly connect their physical and digital selves with a brand. Within this, thinking long-term about the further development of technology and staying ahead of the curve is a strategy that will help your businesses chances of staying technologically proficient, as well as making integrations into a digital customer experience smooth and efficient.
  • The significance of using video ads – a recent Facebook and IAB UK case study found that video ads have a 17% higher conversion rate than static ads. This goes to show how much videography can have an impact on overall marketing performance, as well as demonstrating the importance of quality video content; even using simple animations can work well in bringing your advert to life and drive conversions. If a video can demonstrate the brand value proposition or a product’s key benefits in the first three seconds, your business should definitely be using video for ads.

With the ever-changing sphere of digital marketing coming more to the forefront of business activity every day, marketers are looking at an exciting opportunity to learn new ways of reaching the customer and making new kinds of impact in the market. Keeping ahead of technological developments and understanding which types of advertising are most effective will help to ensure a successful future in the years to come for all types of business.

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