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Festival of Marketing 2017 Round Up

TSW’s Senior Planner, Sarah Burns, shares her highlights


After two days experiencing futuristic digital tech, the science of marketing and the secrets of top brands’ marketing strategies, my passion for marketing was supercharged. And that was all before I witnessed a hotly anticipated battle of marketing minds, Mark Ritson and Byron Sharp, debate whether marketing is a science, or an art…although the jury is still out!

Throughout the two days of seminars, it was impossible to avoid the importance of using personalisation for successful marketing.  The emerging trend seems to be that ‘big data’ is just ‘data’. It’s not the amount of data you have that matters, it’s what you do with the data that counts. And by ‘counts’, I mean, makes for responsive marketing through relevant targeting. personalisation to drive performance is something that speaks right to my DR heart!

Personalisation takes on a vast array of guises; from programmatic retargeting for an e-retailer, through to creating the perfect journey for a train traveller. Whatever the personalisation, the principle is the same; knowing your consumer and then talking to them at the right time, in the right place and with the right message. Some of the UK’s best-loved brands shared their experiences of this principle in motion.

For instance, Virgin Trains use in-app data for surprising people on their birthdays, personalise web pages to show relevant content only, and make sure they continuously refresh their Customer Experience Management (CEM), so that their customers are always at the centre of what they do.

Shop Direct discussed techniques which drive continued loyalty from their customers during their session on ‘Making Your Tech Talk’. They acknowledged that no matter what we know of the brand, the customer may not know the brand at all; you must earn and gain their trust. Secondly, we can’t know what the customer wants straight away; we must learn this over time through test-and-learn strategies and to communicate with meaning and purpose. In a fast-paced industry, this was a great reminder of how slowing down to implement these strategies can deliver that brand trust and loyalty.  

And whilst data allows us to target effectively and analyse performance in depth, we mustn’t forget the creative industry in which we operate; an industry which questions, challenges and pushes boundaries. Adobe and Microsoft illustrated how art and science can work seamlessly side by side to create meaningful campaigns that neither creative, nor data could do alone. So, whilst data is key to performance, combining this with an emotional connection with the consumer, produces the truly effective campaigns.

The marriage between creativity and data was a recurring theme throughout the Festival; my three key take-away insights on how to infiltrate this into your planning are:

  • Keep your data clean so that you are talking to the right people, and most importantly, people who actually want to be spoken to!
  • Know your data. Which really means knowing your customers and their trigger points; be that knowing their birthday, their favourite products, when they buy your products or how they interact with your brand instore vs online.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. What would you want? Personalise your communications with them and make them feel special.

Brands already using this killer combination are not only gaining sales and revenue, but also brand trust and loyalty - vital to long term success.

To learn more about any of the articles above, or to discuss any of TSW’s services, please contact the Marketing Team on 020 7539 6104.

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