Festival of Marketing 2018: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Our gators have been out on the road these past few months at trade shows, seminars, exhibitions and conferences. It’s our favourite place to be! Most recently we sponsored the Festival of Marketing at Tobacco Docks, London. What a venue. And what a show! A whole festival dedicated to marketing. We were like kids in a sweet shop. Quite literally due to the endless amounts of sweet tricycles dotted around the venue, along with crepes, waffles, doughnuts and chocolate fountains. You name it, we ate it.

Anyway, more to the point it was a great experience for like-minded marketers to join together and discover, learn, celebrate and shape the future together.

How we drew in the crowds

We’re used to being at trade shows, the likes of Technology for Marketing, B2B Marketing Expo, Sales Innovation. We’ve been there and brought the T-Shirt! Although this event was slightly different. It was a festival after all. But it wasn’t an exhibition like we were used to, delegates paid a lot of money to attend for the content, not to be sold to. And the sponsors were hidden away in the tunnels of the Tobacco Docks! So, we had to think smart to get people to come to our stand and have a chat. Enter: #snappysadventure. Our baby gators were strategically placed around the venue: on the staircases, on picture frames, shelves, in the toilets, by the coffee machine. With a tag wrapped around him explaining he was lost and needed to return to our Pod for a sweet treat reward! Check out our twitter feed to see what snappy got up to. He was having the best time!

We also had our mini ‘gator golf’ pitch and putt with us on our stand. We had a leaderboard and everything. We took some smart prizes with us such as an Amazon Fire HD, echo dot and an Amazon Fire TV stick. Safe to say it was a huge success and lots of the Festival of Marketing goers are safely on route home with their hard-earned rewards!

What we learnt

The 8 stages were packed with companies and ideas to suit every taste, from famous faces like IBM and lastminute.com, to niche players like Tribe Group and Taboola. We learned how to deal with the 55% of people who don’t want to share their personal data (Personification, not Personalisation), that CTR for video is highest on tablets (with mobile and desktop second and third respectively), and that there is a huge difference between Digitisation (doing old things with a thin layer of tech over the top) and true Digital Transformation (doing genuinely new things). There were brilliant reveals, like IBM’s Project Debator, and Phrasee’s AI Ethics Charter.

It’s going to take us a few days to get our heads around it all, and then put our new ideas into practice! Overall, we learned both immediate tactical lessons, and strategic advice on what marketing technology can do, how it is doing it, and the impact it can have on businesses and customers alike.

Mingling with the celebs

The line up was second to none and was fit for all marketing purposes. Get ready for the name dropping. Eamon Holmes, Amanda Holden, Mark Ritson, Oliver Proudlock, Jess Wright, and none other than Louis Theroux. Have you heard the story of our Marketing Director, Simons, fangirl moment? It involves a cushion Louis Theroux sat on, shouting the taxi to a halt and a hunt for a pen! Anyway, the point is we learnt from the best in the business about how to deal with mental health in the workplace. We’re particularly fond of Phrasee’s new campaign, Emotions matter…more than you think. Other highlights included learning about presenting skills, social media, Artificial Intelligence and personalisation in email. The list is endless. You can see the full agenda for yourself here.

Quite frankly, we’re gutted it’s over but we’re brimming with ideas to implement into our very own strategy and to share with our customers and we’re counting down the days to next year!

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