The Festival of Marketing London

This was the first year we attended the Festival of Marketing as the newly launched Mapp Digital and it was exciting to see how our new brand and approach stacked up to what we saw at the event. It was a great opportunity to meet other like-minded marketers, companies and customers, and to hear from reputable speakers such as Sir Martin Sorrell and Steve Wozniak. During my time at the two-day event I not only learnt that sweets are the way to a marketer’s heart, that breakfast cereals are on the decline and cereal bars are the way forward people(!) But I also heard about some of the top trends impacting the marketing domain. Here are just a few main marketing trends I found interesting:

The Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality Buzz

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) are the new marketing trends that dominated most of the presentations during the event. AR and AI will transform how marketers do business and will be powerful tools to connect and engage with their audience on a personal level, as well as ensure the business stays relevant. It’s true that those are still in the early adopters’ stage but we marketers need to start understanding their impact and most importantly how they can be utilised in our marketing.

AR and AI for digital marketers: some of the hot topics at the @FestofMarketing
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The increase in online advertising spend

Online advertising spend will continue to grow with Facebook being the runner-up after Google. The likes of WPP are spending $6bn on Google, and £1.7bn with Facebook, because search is more powerful than social, this is according to Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP. Many of the delegates were unsure how they should better attribute their advertising on- and offline, and how can they tell which channels are performing the best for the best for the brand and gaining ROI. Measuring channel and overall marketing attribution in real-time is becoming a mission critical attribute for marketers that needs to be addressed in your marketing platform or at least added to the requirements list for your future platform.

The crowded space and the growing silos

With so many channels available to consumers now, delegates were expressing how they’re struggling to identify the most effective channels to engage with their target audience, and understand how those channels work together. With Gartner predicting that 89% of businesses will compete on customer experiences, I mentioned how we advise marketers to track the highest performing channels in real-time, this always helps marketers to be more strategic and identify the ROI quicker, especially during big campaigns. The marketing technology space is becoming so crowded that silos are surfacing which adds one more layer away from consumer engagement. The silos are leaving brands asking ‘how do I even start to be more personalised? Searching for a strong partner that can help you navigate through this crowded space will be key.

According to @Gartner_inc, 89% of businesses will compete on customer experiences
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The targeting of the millennials

The role of millennials will continue to grow in defining the digital marketing agenda but vendors are struggling to work out how to attract and market to them. Despite being aware that brands and vendors should be targeting millennials, they’re not sure how best to approach them. Mapp pointed out today that it’s about enabling meaningful engagement. Millennials expect personalisation when engaging with a brand, so it’s all about being present on the channels they’re on, listening to what they want and provide the service they expect. What is clear is that customers want a pragmatic, open and future-proofed solution that can address not just todays but the future needs, and there’s a growing need for a strong marketing partner to help navigate through this crowded space. It was quite refreshing to hear customers talk about the importance of a Data Management Platform (DMP) as the central point that underpin their digital marketing strategy. While marketers like hearing about the big conceptual ideas, they want to get into the nitty gritty side of things – what should they be doing, how can they do it best. They want in-depth knowledge.

marketing trends

The Bottom Line

The main issue I learned from marketers during the event was dealing with noise and filtering through the different messages to understand what is relevant and what adds value. They’re being bombarded with marketing propositions and technology solutions, and vendors are trying to sell their products and services, but failing to explain how they can strategically attract and personalise the customer engagement. Ultimately, Mapp is an organisation made up of marketers so we understand their pain points and always aim to help marketers navigate through the noise and better engage their consumers.Have you been to the event? What are your takeaways? Please share with me in the comments below. Sign up for digital marketing news and we will keep you posted on more marketing trends and tips.

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