Advertising Week New York was a whirlwind of panels, networking and dodging the crowds of Times Square. It was a jam-packed four days and I learned so much from the 20+ events I attended that I could write a book. For this Go Deep, I want to focus on one of the most memorable for me.
Keith Weed, CMO of Unilever, gave a talk titled “The Future of Marketing: Driving Growth in a Digital World” the opening day of the conference. It was the perfect event to kick off the week and inspire big thinking. The future in Weed’s eyes is mobile combined with artificial intelligence. Consumers want instant information and have zero tolerance for waiting. Brands have to create a frictionless experience. He argued that we need to move on from digital marketing. There has been a flip to marketing in a connected world. In this world you don’t have to have a big TV budget or connections with major retailers to be successful. There are diverse brand categories and no barriers to entry. However, where we need serious improvement is in cross platform measurement. On Weed’s “Report Card” he gave measurement reliability an F. Today there are 600 million people ad blocking and the digital supply chain is unclear. We need measurement reliability now more than ever.
All of this talk about the future was enlightening but what really stuck with me was how Unilever goes about crafting brands for life. Weed outlined the three components for success. Number one, above all, is put people first. You have to understand people and move from mass marketing to customization. Understand the customer journey inside and out. Number two is to build brand love. Give people an idea to buy into. The fastest growing brands are purpose brands that align with consumer’s values. Weed sited that brands that moved to progressive ads saw a 25% increase in performance. Building content around consumer need and passion is the difference in advertising as interruption and advertising that consumers seek-out. Finally, unlock the magic. As Weed said, “winners don’t do different things, they do things differently.”
-Clara Seddelmeyer, Account Executive