Revolutionary Measures

Moving marketing into the future

Marketing is at a crossroads. The rise of digital and mobile is providing the ability to get even closer to customers and deliver experiences that meet their needs. But like every change, it can be daunting. The discipline of marketing is moving fast and that means learning new skills and techniques to reach customers. Today’s marketer has to combine being a (big) data scientist and a technologist that can create and run web, mobile and social media campaigns with the more traditional skills of understanding customers and creating compelling propositions to reach them.

Luckily of course, being marketing, there are no shortage of gurus and conferences available to advise on how marketers can make the move to embrace digital. Unfortunately many of them may be well-marketed but are short on actionable content for the majority of businesses. After all it is no point seeing what someone achieved with a multi-million pound budget when you are scrabbling around down the back of the marketing sofa for loose change to pay for your new Facebook campaign.

That’s where the forthcoming Another Marketing Conference (25 June 2013 at the Junction in Cambridge) comes in. Designed to help marketers innovate, it features inspiring speakers and a chance to network with peers in great surroundings. I attended last year’s and found it a refreshing mix of interesting presentations and discussion of the pressing issues affecting marketers at all levels. Most importantly, I’ve used lots of what I learnt last year since then – and not just as content for blog posts. I’m not alone – according to the organisers 91% of last year’s delegates would recommend it to a colleague.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy, on multiple models of human behaviour
  • Richard Murphy, Nokia, talking about reinventing the company in the digital era
  • Paul Berney, Mobile Marketing Association, on reaching mobile consumers through content and context
  • Peter Waggett, IBM, discussing big data
  • Julie Roberts, TMW, on making marketing effective
  • Dave Trott, The Gate, talking about unleashing the creative spark
  • Jon Dodd, Bunnyfoot, discussing tapping into human behaviour
  • Julie Strawson, Monotype, on delivering a seamless consumer experience across multiple touchpoints

There are a lot of marketing conferences looking to advise people on what to do next. From my experience last year, Another Marketing Conference is well worth checking out, whatever sector or size of business you are in.

June 12, 2013 Posted by | Cambridge, Creative, Marketing, PR | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tapping into the herd mind

Yesterday’s Another Marketing Conferencesaw a number of illuminating and involving presentations, designed to provide ideas and guidance for marketers of all types. Held in Cambridge, it had some great speakers, slick (but not too slick) organisation and a wide range of delegates.

English: Deep in thought.......... Separate fr...

English: Deep in thought………. Separate from the remainder of the herd but with a wonderful view. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One presentation that stood out for me was Mark Earls (aka @herdmeister) talking about how marketers are essentially failing to understand their customers. We treat consumers as rational, thinking beings, when essentially we’re dominated by a desire to avoid thought and follow the herd. As Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahnemann put it: “We are to thinking as cats are to swimming. We can do it if we have to, but we don’t particularly like it.”

Mark outlined four handy principles:

  1. People do first and think later – they might post-rationalise their decisions and believe they acted logically, but that’s after the fact.
  2. We’re far more like Captain Kirk rather than Dr Spock, so you need to make it easy for people to make decisions, rather than thinking.
  3. People aren’t looking for the best, they are looking for ‘good enough’. We’re living in a universe of too much stuff, the vast majority of which doesn’t involve life or death choices. So we’ll generally go with what satisfies the need rather than spend days searching for the best possible option.
  4. People harmonise with other people automatically. In an uncertain decision landscape we’re most likely to choose what our peers are choosing rather than listen to marketing around us. We learn by copying others.

What I think is really interesting is how this plays out in social media and online. We tend to Like what our friends Like, we want to follow people that our friends follow and watch the videos that they do. So once something gets momentum behind it (think Psy’s Gangnam Style) it just grows and grows.

You can see this as depressing, as essentially it explains mob behaviour, but as marketers we need to understand how customers operate if we’re going to successfully engage with them. What decisions are independent and what are herd led? Structure campaigns accordingly and you can change behaviour and ensure your message gets across.

There’s more on this in the new book Mark has co-written “I’ll have what she’s having” which was handily included in the goodie bag from the conference and has moved to the top of my reading list. Watch this space for a fuller review.

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October 19, 2012 Posted by | Cambridge, Creative, Marketing, Social Media | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments