Could you pitch a winning idea in 99 seconds?
That was the challenge set by the organisers of last week’s MadFest 99//Club—and taken up by some of the biggest names in marketing.
Everyone from Rory Sutherland to Vicki Maguire took to the video call stage, presenting their short but sweet insight bombs before a horn honk marked that their time was up.
From artificial intelligence (AI) to digital transformation, the event blasted bite-sized strategic insights from all the best minds into laptops and homes around the globe—giving our lockdown minds the perfect opportunity to open up.
So what can you take away from a 99-second talk? Here are my top 4 insights.
Purpose-led marketing is a necessity
Brands need to market with a purpose, incorporating product lifecycle management (PLM) into their overall strategy. Now more than ever, brands play an important role in making the world a better, more unified place.
Take Heinz. Their Marketing Lead, Asmita Singh, shared how struggling families have been reaching out to the brand throughout Covid-19. In response, Heinz partnered with charity Magic Breakfast to donate 12 million breakfasts to families across the UK.
Since then, Heinz has shifted its marketing focus and budget to better support charity and community efforts, better representing the wholesome, trusted brand that customers grew up with.
This isn’t just a trend. Responding to the community in this way is now expected, so establishing your brand’s purpose, and acting on that purpose, has never been more crucial.
Beauty’s new BFF: AR
Who’s putting their best face on when it comes to augmented reality? Cosmetics brands.
Because when showcasing product use and effect is so striking and immediate, it drives sales. Hands up who wants to test lippy on the back of their hand…? And who wants to see how it looks now, on their own face, in real-time?
This interactive experience not only helps people discover new products but instils purchase and brand confidence at a time when we need it most. And that’s why the big names like Bobbi Brown, L’Oreal, Benefit and Sephora are leading the charge.
AI (finally) gets us closer to consumers
The burning question on marketers’ lips: how can brands effectively use AI to get closer to consumers, and do so quickly?
James Hirst, Managing Director of Rare Design, had the answer. Rare use natural language processing (NLP) to analyse publicly available data, highlighting important signals and cues that motivate consumers.
By optimising NLP effectively, we can create impactful and relatable brands. It also gives brands the confidence to launch products quicker, because they know it’s something the consumer wants.
So can AI solve all these problems alone? I don’t think so, but we can utilise it for what it (currently) does best—analysing data.
Agency use of machine learning to automate the research process, generate insights and better understand consumers may be on the rise—but the next challenge will be to understand human intent.
Advertising needs to play the game
“What’s the point of advertising anymore?”
This was the opening question posed by the incredible Craig Fenton, Strategic Director at Google—and a talk highlight for me. In a world where consumers are becoming increasingly demanding, what’s next for advertising?
And that’s when Craig introduced the advertising efforts of musician, Travis Scott. Scott hi-jacked online game sensation, Fortnight, during peak time to give a live performance as his custom avatar—breaking the world record for the largest live concert audience. He performed to more than 12 million people.
So, what if we added targeted product placement into the mix?
“Now is the time to reinvent yourselves, and your advertising”, Craig concluded.