The Festival of Marketing logo for 2020It's the Festival of Marketing this week (w/c 5th October 2020) and I'm going to be watching the online seminars to immerse myself in marketing knowledge, learn new things, find out about people I've not heard of before, and generally be open to any opportunities that might arise!

On this blog you'll find updates, tips and things that have inspired me from as many of the 109 seminars as I can possibly fit in!

Want to buy a pass and watch for yourself? Come and join the Festival.


Driving recovery and returning to growth with Charlotte Rogers (Acting Features Editor for Marketing Week)

Charlotte began with a quote: '80% of UK Marketers have paused new product and service launches', which is enormous!

She then went on to interview Andrew Garrihy of Huawei, Kimberley Gardiner of Mitsubishi Motors and Karen Scott of PepsiCo starting with a look behind the curtain as Covid took hold.

PepsiCo focussed on factory teams and the challenges in the supply chain. They did indeed pause product launches until these crucial elements were resolved.

Once customers had started to settle into the new normal, they craved 'newness, entertainment and joy!' in the food sector. Consumers moved towards weight management and mood/mental health enhancement products.

Huawei saw consumers rush to upgrade hardware, in a bid not to be 'that person' who has a line that's breaking up on the Zoom call. They saw the need to react quickly with new systems to allow customers to arrange delivery and collections in a non-contact manner.

The traditional way of selling cars moved forward at lightning pace for Mitsubishi, as they switched things up to include remote shopping, as the familiar retail showrooms became empty. In contrast, people may not have been physically buying in person, but sales did rocket amongst those who didn't rely on owning cars, giving them a sense of security, knowing they can go anywhere when they want and not rely on public transport.

So, what are the trends they're seeing for 2021?

PepsiCo will be focussing on DTC (Direct To Consumer) websites, the health sector and products that evoke a taste of holidays, as consumers are not able to travel as much as they did. They also have a strong ethos surrounding the sustainable fundamentals of their business and have recently joined forces with 85 other brands to form the 'Holy Grail' of packaging.

Karen also added that it's important with innovation to do things fast, test early and go ahead with what works.

Mitsubishi will be developing its non-contact sales and service communications and booking procedures to make everything as easy as possible for their customers. They are conscious to check in regularly with customers about how they're feeling about driving. They are now more conscious about their marketing campaigns being flexible and reactive as necessary.

Kimberley went on to say that they're placing a lot of emphasis on using e-commerce tools to meet the customers 'where they are' and look out for content opportunities to simplify the message and make things a little less overwhelming.

Adding 'little moments of joy and surprise' is something they're keen to adopt across their marketing.

Huawei is focusing on simplicity too, which Andrew explains is 'critical' right now. He said they're focussing on the core/important elements, and innovation only happens if it's meaningful. They are also on the sustainability crusade, aiming to eliminate all single-use packaging.

Surprisingly though, Huawei is doubling-down on retail, adding another 42 stores to their estate within Europe, with 8 flagships.

What I noticed is that they all had different ways of handling Covid, based on their usual methods of marketing, production and distribution, however, on one thing they all agreed; marketing cycles will now be shorter and more reactive to what's going on in each local environment.



Today's highlight was Ade Hassan MBE, Founder of Nubian Skin with her tips for Marketers:

  • When communicating as a Speaker (she recently carried out a Ted Talk) practice, practice, practice for days on end. Practice builds confidence.
  • The key is to engage the audience through authenticity - the human touch.
  • Read the room and check who you are talking to, and what they're looking to gain and encourage questions
  • Generally, when having a business goal, Ade writes down where she is now, and where she wants to be, and then plots every teeny step of the way as a big 'to do' list. She adds: Don't take bite-sizes that are too big.

Find out more here about Nubian Skin - nude hosiery and lingerie for women of colour.



Interesting talk by Steve Lee, Digital Strategist at Identity about marketing online events.

Steve talked about considering 7 different marketing touchpoints when planning a virtual event, which were...

  1. Set objectives - like everything we do as Marketers, aims and objectives need to be agreed. IS the event about acquisition, or networking for example?
  2. Virtual content is king - tease elements from the event and use them to give flavour upfront of what the event is about. This can be video, presenters and supporting content.
  3.  It's all about the data - decide which key measurements are going to be tracked eg the dwell time of attendees. Consider how can you tease an introvert out pre, during and post-event?
  4. Engage the audience - consider registration to attendance rate. A paid ticket has a higher attendance, so if the event is free, how will you turn intent at registration into actual arrival? Use a pre-event platform (middle of the funnel) to talk about the event and continue to warm up the audience for higher engagement. Consider email, SMS and push notifications.
  5. Virtual event management - focus on the UX (User Experience) with people on hand to help with audience connectivity issues. Funnily enough, this is exactly what I experienced getting into the Festival of Marketing and someone was on hand to help at that point. So bear that in mind as there will be people who struggle to attend for various technical reasons.
  6. Continue the journey - you're taking a customer from awareness, via lots of marketing touchpoints to the event and beyond. Using segmentation, filter customers by how they interacted and engaged, and ensure a survey is ready to capture thoughts after the event to aid future events.
  7. Well, this was supposed to cover 'Experience is everything' but for some reason, Steve said his goodbyes. I'm sure he would have said that consider the whole experience from the customer's eyes, walk through that journey from start to finish and stop to think what would surprise and delight you as a customer. (Hope I concluded that right for you Steve!)



Today I was most looking forward to hearing from Nina Bibby, CMO at O2

As lockdown hit, Nina revealed some of the internal changed that happened and the choices they made as a company to help their customers:

  • As a communications business, it was high priority to keep customers connected. They saw a 60% increase in demand for voice services and had to make technical adjustments to cater for this.
  • Being a customer-led brand, they took swift action to help customers in their time of need, for PAYG and pay monthly customers, but also those who were abroad, O2 credited roaming charges, in case they were stranded.
  • Once the 450 physical stores closed, they immediately planned for the reopening, with a Queue Genie and digital 'Guru' appointments.
  • They had to be agile from the top down. The Board started daily briefings.
  • Their Marketing Agencies also needed to be swift to change, pivoting communications and ceasing huge campaigns with immediate effect.

Nina added: "We weren't used to having those frequent touchpoints without internal teams, but we did it and it worked really well!"

The phrase that stuck in my mind from Nina's interview was they adopted a 'war room approach' and this really made me understand the gigantic effect on a business of this size, considering SO many elements, and not to mention the thousands of staff.

Her parting words gave me goosebumps. "Relevant empathy is key! The world has changed. It's the Marketing Department's job to make the business authentic and purposeful. We have to be meaningful. We have to build trust!"

Another highlight of today was hearing from Tom Wallis, CMO at Gousto

Tom's presentation was titled 'How to win customers with data-driven engagement strategies.'

He covered off three main points, empathy (winning hearts and minds), insights and creating a better customer experience.

Being a recipe box company, this naturally interested me, having created my own Energy Ball Recipe Kits from scratch, and I can relate to Tom's talk in so many ways.

Three more points I took from this session were:

  1. Be relevant when marketing
  2. Be as personalised as possible
  3. Be appreciative to customers

He quoted the old adage 'just because you can, doesn't mean you should' - which truly makes sense, the example he gave was they have mobile phone data for customers, with consent to use for marketing, but they choose not to bombard customers via this channel for marketing, and instead, use it sparingly for important notices, such as a swapped item in the recipe box.

Nice touch!



The first seminar I watched today was Grace Kite from Gracious Economics, who said:

"Normal recessions hurt everyone, but the Covid recession is different. Different categories have different experiences and different trajectories!" (For example restaurants Vs online fashion)

Grace added that there'll be a greater impact on demand for luxuries rather than necessities, and e-commerce will emerge stronger post-covid. Right now, there's an opportunity to buy a cheaper share of voice, making Covid a low-cost growth opportunity.

Online adverts will play a huge part in business growth during this time. In 2020 (YTD) 24% of online share of retail sales compares to 4% back in 2007 (ONS) and Grace is confident that online shopping will settle higher post covid.

Then Jamie Brighton from Adobe Experience explained:

"CX (Customer Experience) 'leaders' are more likely to meet financial business goals" indicating that the businesses who focus on the experience of the customers through the buying process is more likely to gain commercially.

Jamie added that the 'Top Digital Priorities' are:

  1. Customer Journey Management
  2. Targeting and Personalisation
  3. Customer Data Management
  4. Multi-Channel Campaign Management

and I like how he went into detail for each of these topics, especially on number 3, where he said:

"Customer Data Management is about having a united and actionable profile, ingesting data from multiple touchpoints!"

I couldn't have said it better myself Jamie!

26 minutes in Jamie brought up GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act. Knowing his customers well, he said 'please don't switch me off just yet!' haha! His main point here was that in general, having these laws and regulations have done us a favour as Marketers because we have cleaner lists and better reaction rates from customers as a result.