Festival of Marketing 2019 – A Masterclass in Marketing

What a couple of days! Validity’s inaugural attendance at London’s fabulous Festival of Marketing two weeks ago proved to be an invaluable opportunity to rub shoulders with some pioneering marketers, hear from businesses about their marketing successes and pain points, and spread the word about how Validity is carving a niche in the market.

Those Who Helped Make it a Masterclass in Marketing

Before we delve into the themes and highlights of the show, let me first extend our thanks to Dan Goran, Global CRM Operations Manager at Hotels.com, and Gemma Emmett, Founder of Ladies Be Architects, for joining us for our panel discussion on Thursday morning, October 10. An additional thank you to our moderator, Data Marketing Strategist, Guy Hanson, who led the discussion with the deftest of touches and was responsible for producing all the content in the lead up to the panel.

Data Quality is Crucial for Marketing Success

For our panel discussion, entitled Why great data is the foundation of great customer experience, our guests were joined by our very own Executive Vice President EMEA, Wayne Parslow, for a frank discussion on how crucial data quality is for marketing in the modern day. In fact, when Wayne was asked how often data hygiene exercises should be run, he responded that it’s akin to asking your teenager to clean their room – something you can never do too often!

The panel also covered the redefinition of the customer in the data age, the pitfalls of sub-par personalization, the move to real-time data, and the cultural impact of GDPR, among other areas. We were delighted to see that the session was so warmly received by delegates (see The Wise Marketer editor at large Charlie Hills’ roundup of interesting insights from the event!).

Data Quality is Key to Customer Relationships and ROI

The key takeaway from the session was that, if you don’t have quality data, you can’t create quality customer relationships that will, in turn, deliver better return on investment. In a hyper-competitive business landscape, those competitors who do get it right will build those relationships and eat your lunch! With so much at stake, data quality needs to be a board-level discussion. And as always, it all starts with effective preparation; the process of thinking about data and business requirements must be happening long before a solution is built and implemented.

If you couldn’t make the panel (it was a packed-out room), slides and insights are available here: Festival of Marketing 2019 Panel Session Final.

Thanks again to Gemma, Dan, Guy, and Wayne for sharing their expertise and experience and setting the tone for a great show to come!

Big Speakers, Big Topics   

Of course, Validity was not the only game in town. Big names including Tesco CEO Dave Lewis took to the stage, taking the audience through 100 years of the supermarket giant, including its recent turnaround, which many delegates found inspiring. While there were too many talks for one person to realistically attend them all, here are our impressions of some of the highlights and key themes from 2019’s show.

Mark Ritson Marks 50 Years of the Effies

Marketing Week columnist and marketing rock star Mark Ritson opened the show with a data-driven look at how marketing has changed in the 50 years since the first Effie Award in 1969. Delivered with his trademark dry wit and candor, the irrepressible Ritson mused on the balance between long and short strategies, target and mass marketing, and the continued power of codification, all while having stepped off a flight from Australia just hours before!

Making GDPR a Strength, not a Weakness

A year and change after its implementation, GDPR was still a key theme on the minds of marketers at this year’s event.

Echoing the sentiments of Dan Goran during our panel, Joe Porter from OneTrust’s evaluation of GDPR’s impact on marketing strategies was a positive look at how GDPR can help businesses create better experiences for customers all while staying on the right side of the regulators. (After all, as Dan pointed out, customer expectations are continually raising the bar for both marketers and their technology vendors – being wowed is rapidly becoming the expected norm.)

Joe showcased a series of creative ways for turning the mundane but necessary action of gaining cookie consent into a value adding service for consumers, as well as fielding some tough, technical questions from the audience. An overall impressive talk that shows that, rather than being the death of marketing, GDPR is breathing new life and creativity into the field.

Personalization, Worthwhile but not Easy

Another standout talk came from Albert Abello Lozano, Growth Marketing Director at Treatwell, who presented a warts-and-all timeline of Treatwell’s path to creating a personalized customer journey to its hair and beauty customers.

How do you keep customers from lapsing? How do you consolidate customer data across channels and ensure a bespoke experience for each customer? With a lot of testing, hard work and good quality data, it turns out.

On the same topic of personalization, Mark Smith, CEO of Kitewheel, spoke about the need for the highest quality data, linked across channels in order to meet customers’ increased personalization expectations. He argued that, those few companies currently using their customer data properly and using it to inform their customers’ journeys at every touchpoint, have set the bar very high for the majority. The laggards need to catch up soon or they’ll be left in the dust.

Personalization is clearly an important focus for forward-thinking organizations. In fact, our own recent State of Email Marketing Report found that email personalization was the top email marketing tactic in use for 72% of respondents.

Same Time Next Year?

It was a whirlwind couple of days, but the Validity team left with greater knowledge, renewed vigor and a whole lot of business cards!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the stand for a chat, who attended our panel, and who spoke at panels the team attended. Thanks also to the organizers for putting on a great show and giving us another masterclass in marketing in the beautiful Tobacco Dock.

Look forward to seeing you all next year!


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