Forget the mud and wellies…step forward the Festival of Marketing!

Last week, I attended one of the biggest events in the marketing calendar; the Festival of Marketing down at Tobacco Dock in East London. Day Two of the festival promised an array of presentations from some of the biggest brands across multiple marketing disciplines, plus a controversial headline appearance by the “original influencer” herself (or so she was billed as), Katie Price. My first session of the day was at the Influencer stage, led by Huib von Bockel, ex Head of Marketing at Red Bull and founder of rival energy drink, Tenzing Natural Energy (named after one of the first mountaineers to reach the summit of Mt Everest, Tenzing Norgay). Huib’s observation of the industry in 2016 is that:

Marketing has become like Tinder; you either immediately swipe away from content or you engage with it”.

He also remarked how the key thing is not to be ON social, but to BE social by giving your customers something back and not just focusing on self-promotion. This seemed to be a key theme throughout the day. Next up was one of our clients, Ricky Lamb, Head of Digital Operations at Callcredit, on the Data & Analytics stage, who gave an engaging insight into the struggles many marketers have with data and how to make the most of it. What struck me the most is that according to their report, The Data Dilemma, Callcredit has uncovered that social media data accounts for 31% of the data used to inform marketing decision making. Furthermore, 71% of marketers feel overwhelmed, rather than empowered, by the amount of data they’re having to analyse.

And so to the B2B talks… 

I then headed to the B2B stage, where I heard from Antonia Wade, Global Head of Marketing at Thomson Reuters. A lot of what Antonia said rang true with me in that too many businesses regard the value of marketing with scepticism and the lack of processes connecting marketing and sales ultimately ends in disorganisation. She also believes marketing should have sales targets which is something we at Octopus Group believe also. Our Brand to Sales initiative has become the mainstay of our agency proposition – measuring the value of marketing’s impact on the sales pipe. A quick lunch break and then back to the presentations. Again on the B2B stage we heard from Claire Sadler and Zaid Al-Qassab from BT, who explained how B2B doesn’t always have to be rational, it can be emotional and in fact these campaigns are the ones that produce the strongest business effects. Not only this, relationships are everything in B2B – but most importantly your relationship with your customers is key. The final headliner and wrapping up the festival, was the one and only Katie Price. Speaking to other attendees, there was a real split of opinion as to whether Price had the authority to be headlining a festival on marketing. However, after hearing her talk there’s no doubt that she’s a shrewd business woman who has built up a multimillion-pound empire through various marketing initiatives over the last two decades, so perhaps her place on the stage was justified.

Until next year, FOM!