After an exciting year in the world of marketing, industry professionals from across the country descended upon the Royal College of Physicians to learn about some of the top marketing trends and lessons that have dominated 2017. Flick through some of the highlights below, and don’t forget to follow the links to rewatch your favourite presentations.
Martin Tavener, CTO of IBM Watson Customer Engagement, discussed the potential futures available to brands who implement cognitive computing systems into their business strategies. While the press reporting of AI has been apocalyptic to say the least, Tavener demonstrated how cognitive decision making can be differentiated from the intrinsic human qualities that encourage creativity, while saving time on complex processes. The relationship between humans and technology is in a key period of transformation, and by understanding how this connection works, marketers will be able to use it to benefit their business strategy, to better serve, and understand their consumers’ needs.
The process of donating to a charity is one which has remained relatively unchanged for a long time, but at Oxfam, this is changing. Matt Jerwood, Head of Digital Fundraising at Oxfam, explained how the charity is utilising digital platforms to give donors a never-before-seen glimpse into the real use of their donation. Investing heavily, but efficiently in digital innovation, consumers are able to get closer than ever before to the causes they support, resulting in a new and unique consumer-brand relationship and a high level of brand trust.
About a year ago technology began to understand voice searches with around 70 – 80 per cent accuracy, and the industry was jolted into action. John Brasington, Head of Search at Pi Datametrics, showed how many brands are actually more prepared than they realise, and outlined how they can continue to prepare their SEO strategy so as not to be left behind. A key area of focus is the anatomy of the keyword. Human behaviour is changing, to the point where natural language search queries will once again become the norm, in an ironic parallel to the very earliest days of internet search. While the industry might have come a long way from Ask Jeeves, Marketers should look to consumer habits to understand exactly what their search needs will require.
With a portfolio of tweets for huge names such as PG Tips, Channel 4, and Have I Got News For You, David Levin, Co-Founder and Social Media Guru at That Lot, has seen the good, the bad and the ugly of social content. He shared some of the tips (and more humorous examples) of brands who are winning, or sometimes missing the mark at communicating with their audience online. A focus on relevance is the real clincher here – brands who either try ‘too hard’, or are guilty of ‘brandjacking’ social trends that aren’t relevant to their purpose are likely to end up being laughed at more than with. But with some careful planning and clearly defined brand guidelines, a social media marketing team can quickly and agilely respond to their audience’s sense of humour, with content that can send your brand from vapid to viral.
As Programmatic Lead at LinkedIn, Bruna Gil has provided insight into the strategy of countless B2B brands, and is well placed to comment on the trends that have shaped the sector. In order to capitalise on the very complex processes and decisions involved when purchasing B2B services, Gil reflected on the relationship between brand trust and thought-leadership; the profitability of content franchises to promote sustainable, reliable practices; messaging consistency; using smart targeting that doesn’t over-generalise; and balancing long and short-term objectives. Illustrating this with timely examples and drawing from some of the world’s most successful B2B brands, find out how to dig into B2B marketing practices and take advantage of these common behaviours to drive growth.
“I’ve learned that when you can combine marketing and UX, a little bit of magic happens,” explained Steve Kato-Spyrou, Customer Experience Manager and UX Architect at John Lewis. The way that this works is by conducting an unflinching assessment of a brand’s current processes and the pain points that occur within them. By reducing friction and bringing marketing and product experts together, brands can work in agile ways, avoiding miscommunication and wastage, and creating collaborative solutions that satisfy the needs of multiple departments. Kato-Spyrou shared an internal case study that illustrated how merging the distinct skill-sets of different teams can lead to hugely successful campaigns.