Marketing Week Live, 2018 | Blend Media

Blend Media’s marketing team recently attended Marketing Week Live, 2018, in the Olympia West Conference Centre in London. The event involved a diverse range of talks that encompassed the entire marketing mix from a number of highly respected professionals in the field. It was great to take some time out of the day-to-day to hear, discuss and debate some interesting and current insights of the ever-changing marketing landscape.

Here are four of our highlights over the two days.

Storytelling in a Hyperconnected World

Brian Cooper and Ed Woodcock from Aesop (a creative agency powered by narrative thinking) gave an engrossing talk on the power of storytelling in marketing, and how it’s important for each brand to have its own ‘storyverse’ in order to succeed in this hyperconnected world.

“60% of people see content as clutter and we have an attention span of a goldfish (8 seconds)”

They highlighted that it’s becoming harder and harder for us to capture the attention of our audiences; according to Andrew Canter, Global CEO of BCMA, 60% of people see content as clutter and we have an attention span of a goldfish (8 seconds). This is primarily due to the sheer volume of content that is being created and distributed via a wide range of mediums and channels, from social media to television, from magazines to billboards. Secondly, is the fact that consumers have taken back control; the customer is in charge. An implication of this are the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

If it’s hard to capture the audience’s attention, we must therefore create content that the consumer is actually going to want, and through the use of data, make sure we communicate the right messages to the right people.

Brian and Ed believe that if you create and cultivate a strong and unique brand ‘storyverse’, you will have a much better chance of breaking through to your audience and creating a greater number of brand advocates.

“Narrative must include four fundamental components: a hero, an antagonist, a mission, and a resolution”

You’re probably scratching your heads and thinking, ‘so what is a storyverse then?’ Quite simply, a ‘storyverse’ is the combination of your brand narrative and narrative style (the way you tell the story). If you get this nailed you’re really onto something!

They both explained that your narrative must include four fundamental components: a hero, an antagonist, a mission, and a resolution. They then used the ‘battle of the burgers’ example – McDonald’s vs. Burger King – to explain how each ‘storyverse’ shaped their brand and marketing efforts.

McDonald’s have a clear hero: Ronald McDonald. They fight their antagonists that say, ‘quality can never be both fast and cheap’. They therefore strive to be the favourite place for people to eat and drink, while promising consistent service. Their slogan: “i’m loving it!” They focus primarily on the experience and make the consumer feel reassured.

Burger King is the challenger brand. It’s ‘storyverse’ has to be more innovative in order to compete with McDonald’s.

Instead of creating a more traditional hero like Ronald McDonald, they position the consumer as their hero. The consumer is completely in charge. They even opened a store in France named after one of their biggest fans. This encouraged people to engage more with the brand and become better brand advocates.

Burger King believe that nothing should get in the way of having it the consumer’s way. If the consumer wants to customise his burger, he shall do so.

The moral of the story here is: ‘Stay true to your storyverse and live happily ever after’!

The Customer Journey: Joining the Dots with Video

Dan Steele, the Strategic Director of Brightcove, gave an insightful talk about video across the customer lifecycle: awareness, engagement, conversion, retention, and advocacy.

In the awareness stage of the customer lifecycle, Dan highlighted that video has a large impact on SEO and reach. He recommended having your video front and centre on the webpage and noted that it was important to include transcripts with the videos to help with searchability.

“60% of people are more likely to convert when they interact with video”

When speaking about the engagement stage, he mentioned that a significant 81% of people spend more time on a website with video. He also recommended long-form video content, just as long as it’s chaptered and there’s a clear navigation system so that viewers can jump into any part of it that they want. An example of highly engaging interactive video content is Hugo Boss’s live 3D stream from their fashion shows.

In the conversion stage of the customer journey, 60% of people are more likely to convert when they interact with video, for example, through in-video conversion points. Dan also expressed the importance of delivering personalised experiences to convert customers. It’s a great idea to have specific content for different customer personas.

For example, he showed us a Hugo Boss interactive video where you could click on certain elements that would appear in the primary video. These clickable elements would then take you to another more personalised video or offer you the option to drop the specific item into your shopping cart.

After hearing all this, I naturally thought about the interactivity of 360 videos; if 60% of people are more likely to convert when they interact with video, how much higher would the conversion percentage be if an immersive 360 video or 360 Story were to be embedded on a website?

Studies undertaken by Google and Magnifyre indicate that 360 video offers much higher engagement than 2D video (see the infographic below). We are also working on our own conversion metrics for 360 content which we will be publishing in a future blog post so keep an eye out!

Why not license a 360 video to use in your next campaign or to embed on your website? You can license a wide range of high quality 360 videos, produced by our global network of 360 video creators, in the Blend Media site.

We are also offering a 30 day free trial to 360 Stories; a platform that enables you to easily create interactive 360 experiences that can be published across websites, ad networks and social media.

“83% of shoppers place their trust in recommendations of family and friends”

In the retention stage of the customer journey, Dan made the recommendation to understand the video viewing patterns and to create the rules around those for automation. If someone has stayed on a video for a long time, it’s important to follow up with a sales call.

Finally, in the advocacy stage, it was brought to light that 83% of shoppers place their trust in recommendations of family and friends.

Winning with Gamification: How to Engage your Attendees and Increase Mobile Adoption

The Business Development Manager of CrowdCompass, Nick Tinker, gave a fantastic talk about Game Theory and how gamification can lead to more engagement, customer retention and conversions.

He spoke about how gamers really enjoy the satisfaction of completing quests in particular, and how dopamine is released in the brain when people complete tasks. Therefore, we naturally experience mental tension when tasks are incomplete – this is known as the Zeigarnik effect.

The Zeigarnik effect is triggered after someone completes a task – this is known as endowed progress.

We must therefore take advantage of endowed progress and the Zeigarnik effect when it comes to our marketing efforts.

Nick referred to the trusty customer loyalty stamp card as a simple demonstration of this in action. For example, if someone receives a stamp card with two stamps on already – endowed progress – this sparks off the Zeigarnik effect, making it very likely that the customer will want to go back to the shop and get another stamp. The more the subject does this, the more gratification (s)he receives, until finally (s)he completes the ‘quest’ to receive a reward: a free cup of coffee!

Our 360 Stories platform allows marketers to gamify experiences. To celebrate St Patrick’s Day this year we created a 360 Story quest to win an Insta360 Nano 360 VR Camera and a 6 months subscription to 360 Stories. Take a look around the 360 degree scenes and see how many four leaf clovers you can find.

Leveraging Consumer Neuroscience in the Age of Distraction

Dr. Carl D. Marci, the Chief Neuroscientist at Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, gave a fascinating talk on how neuroscience can help marketers deliver insights and go deeper into consumers’ minds.

Dr. Marci began by explaining the differences between system one and system two of the brain. He explained that the conscious mind (system two) is only a small part of our brain, and that we need to now focus on gaining insights from the fast side of the brain (system one).

He then went onto explain that, thanks to neuroscience and advanced marketing tools (see image below) such as eye tracking, we are able to work with system one of the brain and help gain deeper audience insights.

Eye tracking allows marketers to track the primary point of a viewer’s gaze on an advert, viewed on mobile device or laptop screen. This data captured can then be heat-mapped onto the advert, allowing marketers to determine whether their audience is focusing on the main messaging points i.e brand copy and logos, or not.

“Digital natives have a similar attention spans to three year olds”

So if for example, the subject of the video is too engaging while the main messaging points are on the screen, and the eye tracking shows that people are distracted, then the creatives must alter the advert accordingly.

Dr. Marci expressed the importance of capturing these system two brain insights and making ads emotionally triggering and personal. This is particularly due to our media usage increasing significantly and that digital natives have similar attention spans to three year olds.

Thank you to all the speakers at Marketing Week Live, 2018. We had a fantastic time. See you again next year!