Ten sessions you must not miss at the Festival of Marketing

The Festival of Marketing will feature 200 speakers across 13 stages over 2 days. Here’s my pick of what to see.

Russell Parsons

The Festival of Marketing will feature 200 speakers across 13 stages over 2 days. It is unlikely that there has been an event in the UK with the kind of breadth and depth of insight, experience and knowledge on display.

From digital transformation to a debate on the value of brand valuations, the Festival offers a panoply of inspiration and intellectual edification. In short, it will help you do your job better.

To help you navigate, I have highlighted my choice of not to be missed sessions. All tackle the big issues marketers are facing today and will help you better prepare for the challenges ahead.

  • The End-to-End Transformation of a Physical to a Digital Business

The need for brands to adapt to survive the modern world is something Marketing Week has written extensively about. This session sees Coca-Cola Enterprises’ VP of Digital Sales and Marketing, Mark Elkins take to the stage to discuss this very live issue. From its first display ad through to its leading interactive shopper experiences, Elkins will walk people through its journey.

  • To further explore the impact of technology on marketing, I’d also recommend The Tech Off: Battle for the Future.

Three speakers will each have five minutes to persuade the audience on the best way to innovate when faced with digital disruption.

  • Championing Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity is a key issue for most industries, but especially so for marketing. Brands that have a more diverse workforce will better represent their audience. This panel session will explore how companies can acknowledge differences – without hitting the headlines – and ask how they can encourage and attract a more diverse pool of talent.

  • Measuring the Value of Content – Is It Worth the Investment?

Investment in content is at an all-time high with many brands believing it to be the silver bullet to engagement. The question many still ask, however, is ‘what about the bottom line?’ This panel discussion will see publishers such as VICE Media and Jamie’s Food Tube and brands including UKTV attempt to answer this big question.

  • If you’re already sold on the value of content, I’d suggest Video Launched the Internet Star.

Featuring a panel made up of the social media stars who are defining the future of media, this is your chance to hear from the ‘influencers’ themselves, including television presenter and Snapchat face Poppy Jamie, on how brands can best utilise their presence to take advantage of emerging platforms such as Snapchat, Vine, Periscope and Meerkat.

  • Brand Valuation is Brilliant/Bullshit – Debate and Delete as Applicable.

One of the world’s best commentators on marketing, our own Mark Ritson will square off against the world’s major brand valuation companies – Interbrand, Brand Finance and Millward Brown – in what promises to be a lively session.

Ritson called out the trio earlier this year over what he claimed were inconsistencies in their valuations of the world’s top brands to the point, he argued, where they were essentially useless. Fighting talk that will countered rigorously in the debate. Expect fireworks.

  • Key Considerations for Driving Growth in Today’s Fast Changing Landscape

Based on an exclusive first look at the results of Brand Learning’s study into the factors that will make or break a brand in the modern age, this session boasts impeccable credentials. A fundamental issue – the practices and capabilities needed to deliver sustainable growth – and a stellar panel including Diageo CMO Syl Saller and Virgin Media CMO Kerris Bright to discuss the findings. And your host? The previously mentioned Mark Ritson.

  • The Challenge of Being a Challenger

TSB’s is a unique story and a case study that will be poured over by marketing students for years to come. Despite residual brand affection and a 600 strong branch network, the achievement in launching a nationwide, purpose-driven challenger brand in just over a year is admirable. Seeing its value soar to £1.7bn less than two years after launch, amazing.

CMO Nigel Gilbert will explain the secrets to resurrecting a heritage brand in a sector where trust is a scarce commodity.

  • Why Every Brand Needs Personalisation: Lessons from a Luxury Car Brand

Personalisation is the holy grail for marketers in all sectors. Data has brought untold opportunities for meaningful one-to-one communication but for many, effective personalisation is still an age away. Insight from those that know is therefore invaluable.

Simon Sproule, director of marketing and communications at Aston Martin Lagonda will explain why personalisation is more important than ever and how they engage and build lasting relationships.

  • The Guardian: Creating a Data Driven Culture

Recent Grand Prix winners at Marketing Week’s Data Storytelling Awards for its “Evolve or Die” campaign, the publisher clearly knows a thing or two about data.

Julia Porter, director of consumer revenues , will talk about better serving the needs of your audience by understanding them better and doing it by having an open and frank conversation with them by explaining how better data leads to better services. A fascinating and very modern marketing challenge.

For a complete view of the Festival of Marketing agenda click here. For more information and to get tickets visit www.festivalofmarketing.com


5 things you need to know this week

Thomas Hobbs

With Aldi announcing its first foray into online groceries and Starbucks launching mobile ordering in the UK, it’s been another eventful week in the world of marketing. Here are five of the most important stories of the last seven days.