Advertising Week Europe – a jammed packed week of the world’s best and brightest discussing latest trends that will shape and influence the industry. From Hollywood star Salma Hayek to swimmer Rebecca Arlington and Yannick Bolloré, chief executive of Havas; the week was certainly entertaining. But what did we learn? Here are my five takeaway points:
1. Marketing is actually just like Tinder
The former Red Bull UK marketing director Huib Van Bockel claimed that marketing today is ‘like Tinder’ and called out the need for brands to react faster to the pace of disruption.
According to Bockel, two things have changed: firstly, brands have to communicate with consumers constantly, particularly via social, and secondly, the once standard 30 seconds of advertising is non-existent in today’s impatient landscape.
As a result marketing has become like Tinder; in one second you decide to engage with that content or swipe it away, and that’s what brands have to get used to.
2. Authenticity is key
Authenticity was a theme that speaker after speaker came back to on the stages surrounding Ad Week’s BAFTA headquarters. All agreed that audiences demand it; many warned that marketing success depends upon it; but few could offer a simple, risk-free path to achieving it.
Interestingly this is also true for brand partnerships: Cassandra Gracey, the agent of Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora claimed that brands that want to successfully work with bands need "authenticity in a deal”. She supported this claim by revealing that Goulding wouldn’t do a deal with Coca-Cola, because she doesn’t drink it.
3. Don’t look for quick wins
According to Andrew Warner, vice-president of marketing at Monster, marketers are falling into the trap of doing things that are easily measurable in the short-term rather than focusing on more traditional forms of media that could deliver longer-term benefits.
He said: “All too often marketers today go for things that show a quick return instead of thinking about the bigger overall business agenda, building a case and arguing it.” Instead he urged that marketers to “think from a commercial perspective, understand the business agenda, and be determined to build and prove hypotheses”.
4. It’s all about the new visual economy
It was discussed how the new visual economy represents a huge opportunity, both for brands and the creative community. A panel discussion reminded marketers that securing the most high profile, or most followed influencer is not always the right strategy for marketers. Instead they should shift their focus to building relationships over time with credible partners.
5. Diversity really does matter
In London, 42 per cent of the population is of black, Asian and minority ethnicity but these groups make up just 13 per cent of the London-centric advertising industry. And women fill just 25.6 per cent of senior roles.
Karen Blackett, chief executive of Mediacom believes that the business case for diversity is really simple. “It is about future proofing your business. It is important to have people in your workforce who can build empathy with different people in the UK.”
Similarly, Ben Bilboul, group chief executive of Karmarama claims that “some of the best creative ideas come when you mix things up, so having a variety of different cultures really helps.”
Ben adds that it’s not just about creativity, “we are the interface between a brand and its customers. If we can’t represent the customer then we’re not doing a good job.”