Five marketing takeaways from Cannes 2014
Marketers mull over real-time, programmatic trading, agile consumers, TV and brand truth at the annual festival.
Only use real-time at the right time
For some, using real-time marketing is a no brainer. Coca-Cola North America president of sparkling and strategic marketing Wendy Clark was unequivocal in her championing at a session on the subject. “Operating in real time is the mandate and remit for all of us. Our goal is to operate in real time on any given day. Silence is not an option in a socially networked world. We learnt our lesson the hard way.”
Elsewhere Beats’ CMO Omar Johnson appeared to share the same philosophy, to a point, telling delegates at his own keynote how it used real-time to “find events and find conversations to infuse the Beats voice into”. However, he cautioned that context is key. “Creating content at the speed of culture”.
A more sober tone was struck by Mashable CMO Stacey Martinet. She told Marketing Week that brands should not rush to real-time because “it is the culture of the moment”.
Brands should ask if it makes sense for them and they should query if they know enough about their own social media followers, she added.
Marketers need to be as agile as their customers
The agile consumer is used to rapid change and can internalise the changes – “the generation of mobile”, according to Daniele Fiandaca, head of innovation at Samsung’s agency Cheil.
However, speaking at a session hosted by their client he added: “Marketers are not as agile as the consumers they want to speak to every day.
“Beware marketers, they [agile consumers] expect the brands they deal with to be ethical and honest – lie to them and they will leave you in their millions. What they have is soul. They are fast and furious but anchored in deeper emotional details.”
Programmatic is no longer a dirty secret
For many marketers, confusion still reigns over programmatic trading but sentiment at Cannes suggested many of the issues have been cleared up.
Speaking at a session on programmatic, senior media director at Heineken Ron Amram said the practice’s evolution is making it more appealing. “As ad exchanges evolve more content is premium top tier inventory, content providers and that landscape begins to change and becomes more appealing to brands like ours.” In social, he added, it is necessary to “leverage the technology insight and tools” while in video and display you can “stack data and technology to be better at targeting and learning what is working and not working”.
Bonin Bough, vice president of consumer engagement at Mondelez added: “Being able to build strong data capabilities is ultimately what is going to help us win in the next three to five years. Digital video may be 10 per cent of the market place, but imagine unlocking that data capability against 60-80 per cent of the investment and being able to transform the way that you buy your mass media, that is where the game is.
“For us its a step in that direction, I want to see 100 per cent bought programmatically, why would I not buy media in a way that I would actually get data back and use it to make smart decisions.”
Reports of TV’s death have been greatly exaggerated but thinking needs to change
Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenburger suffered the ire of TV marketing body ThinkBox and others on Twitter when he declared: “ Kids today aren’t watching their TV screen; they’re watching their iPad or iPhone.”
Elsewhere at Cannes others were more supportive albeit when discussing TV’s effectiveness when allied with social media.
Sir Martin Sorrell said during his presentation at the festival: “ TV viewing is remarkably strong. The work we are doing with Twitter clealry indicates that engagement of consumers with live TV is significantly more potent than we thought.”
Talking to Marketing Week Johan Boserup, global CEO of Group M Trading added: “TV is very powerful but we can make TV be a lot better. Light users are very difficult and expensive to reach. If we use online video on top of traditional TV that’s a far better way to reach audiences.”
Moving from brand purpose to truth and meaning
If Cannes 2013 was about brand purpose then making sure your brand has truth and purpose was the theme of 2014.
Digital is driving the change, according to Frank Cooper III, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo. At a session about creativity he said : ”Digital means consumers want meaning out of their brands. Just focusing marketing on the transaction isn’t enough, people are looking for a human connection and sense of belonging.”
Beats’ Johnson summed it up when explaining why Apple paid $3bn for it. “Truth is the foundation of our brand. All we do across sports, headphones and music is all based on truth. The difference between us and other brands is we have a relentless passion to tell truth even if unsavoury or uncomfortable for people who don’t want to hear it.”
At a session hosted by Google, senior vice president of marketing at Unilever Marc Mathieu added: “We have to tell a story. We have to anchor our message into a truth and stick to it.”