Festival of Marketing’s key consumer and business trends as highlighted by Prophecy Unlimited

It was really useful to attend Prophecy Unlimited’s Bristol office last night, where the team presented on key consumer and business trends emerging from the Festival of Marketing. The theme of the conference held in London last October was “what’s next” and what marketers should turn their attention to in 2020.

With Festival of Marketing ticket prices starting at £495, it felt pretty pleasing to have attended Prophecy Unlimited’s event for a fiver and to have a free drink thrown in for good measure! Thanks Prophecy Unlimited 🙌

Here’s my summary of Prophecy Unlimited’s presentations:

Consumer themes

  1. Customers want more empathy – brands must better understand the needs and expectations of their customers.
  2. Friction of any kind is intolerable – so don’t make the buying process difficult and look for ways to offer a more convenient service.
  3. Personalisation needs to be about relevance and timeliness – 79% of consumers are more likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalised (source: Marketo).
  4. Consumers want to be able to trust what businesses say but trust is low – case study: H&M launch a product transparency initiative for all garments on its website.
  5. Human and conversational marketing is a must – 1 in 2 consumers wish they could communicate with more businesses through messaging (source: Facebook IQ / Crowd DNA).

Business themes

  1. Marketing professionals need to get better at measuring over the long-term – the majority of businesses only measure campaigns over a 3 month period.
  2. The industry needs to redefine and get much better at marketing itself.
  3. Alongside adopting martech solutions, we need to start fully utilising them – we have a sea of data but are we getting good insights from the data?
  4. Client/agency relationships are going to change going forward – with additional in-house and hybrid set-ups likely.
  5. We need to get back to basics and focus on building salience for brands – we are all seeing thousands of messages every day. Case study: The John Lewis Christmas ad takes a storytelling approach and continues to create hype and buzz around the brand year on year.
  6. Escape the clutter – be brave, take more risks and consider embracing the power of the weird! Case studies: Greggs’ launch of a vegan sausage roll – the company went on to win ‘Brand of the Year’ in the 2019 Marketing Week Masters Awards; the Virgin Trains #avocard campaign offering a discount on tickets to young people when presenting an avocado at the ticket office; Carlberg’s “probably not the best beer campaign”, where the company publicly acknowledges the poor public perception of the brand.

 Image: Created using free online photo collage maker photofunia.com.