The Key Points we Learned at the Festival of Marketing 2016

12th Oct



Last week, The Flash Pack headed to Tobacco Dock, London for Festival of Marketing 2016. As proud sponsors of the festival, we exhibited our Freezus Curve as well as a custom built neon and mirror installation to an audience of marketers and creatives.

The festival itself consisted of a series of sessions with the best marketers and business people in the industry. Sir Martin Sorrell (WPP) and Steve Wozniak (Apple) headlined day one of the festival with TV personality, Katie Price headlining the second.

Here are the key points that jumped out at us at Festival of Marketing 2016:

Globalisation, Post Brexit Britain and Localisation

Despite Britain leaving the EU, the emphasis of this year’s conference was on globalisation as a positive for business. During the ‘Brand Britain - What does it mean now?’ panel discussion, FA CEO, Martin Glenn emphasised the importance of globalisation for the Premier League. Currently, the most popular league in the world, the Premier League is a display of some of the best football talent and this relies heavily on foreign players, this in turn, improves the standard of local talent and the strength of the Premier League brand.

Adidas Football and Farfetch demonstrated how their global businesses also focus on localisation. Adidas’ Tango Squads release exclusive content to local football influencers in their 15 key worldwide cities with these influencers distributing directly to their networks. Meanwhile, Farfetch emphasised the importance in knowing local trends and customer behavior.

 The panel discussed how although ‘brand Britain’ has no doubt been damaged after Brexit, we should be confident in abilities as creatives and storytellers but now it’s time to refocus our businesses and become exporters. 

The New Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing was a hot topic of this year’s conference with a number of brands from AllSaints to Adidas and L’Oreal, speaking about how influencers are a key part to their marketing strategy. The common denominator in the way brands can maximise on the power of the influencer is to handpick who represents your brand and be very picky!  For example, Cosmopolitan only use influencers that are true fans and  that have posted about the magazine before. These influencers are incorporated into the business as a long term partnership which includes event attendance, content creation, features in the magazine and even pitching ideas.


Trust, Authenticity and Knowing Your Audience

In the session: Redefining a youth audience, Stephen Mai, Head of Marketing of The Lad Bible emphasised the importance of brand authenticity. According to Mai, young people know more than ever when a brand is not authentic and will not engage if they sense dishonesty. He reiterated this by discouraging the use of click bait content, claiming that it doesn’t work and just loses the trust of your audience.

The delusion of perfection as discussed in a session by philosopher, Alain De Botton, is damaging consumer’s faith in brands and products. De Botton told the audience of marketers that they must start bridging the gap between their brand’s message and the realities of the product if they want to restore the public’s trust in brands.

Community and Creators

Keeping in touch with your community is essential to keep your audience engaged. The LAD Bible’s ‘U OK M8?’ campaign that focuses on mental illness and male suicide was born from the brand asking their followers directly, which issues are important to them. The response was overwhelming with this subject being the most popular. For AllSaints and The LAD Bible, the customer and community are core to their strategy. The AllSaints #ItsUpToYou campaign encouraged their customers to express their personal style and identity through user generated content. The brand built a landing page for the campaign as well as an online gallery for the best content produced. This allowed the brand to reach a new customer and spread the brand message in an authentic way. As Florian Alt, Senior Director of Adidas Global Brand Communications put it, content is far more engaging when it comes from your ‘mate’ rather than a brand directly.

The Festival of Marketing is a two day exhibition/conference organised by Centaur Media’s titles. The Flash Pack was a sponsor of this year’s Festival of Marketing.

(Images copyright: Festival of Marketing, Centaur Media)