Best Marketing 2014 – context is the King


“The content should feel like a connecting tissue”, said Anca Nuta, Identity & Communication Director UniCredit Tiriac Bank. during Biz Magazine’s conference – Best Marketing. It’s a statement that remained with me a long time after the event. And I trully believe she has a point. Nuta had the mission  to open the first panel and talk about what’s in and what’s out in terms of marketing trends and ended her speech with the idea that marketing and PR should work together, in the same company department. There must be only one vision, in both PR and Marketing.

Tom J. Hidvegi, DCEO, Creative Strategy Officer, DDB Budapest, stopped a time and made us realize once again that we shouldn’t be rushing through life and projects, but we should better Think, observe and try to connect. We live in a multi dimentional playground where without a product we cannot talk about a brand. And if the product is the rational dimension, the brand is for sure taking us to the emotional dimension.

More key notes I would emphasise on:

–  Prior to branding there are 3 levels of product development: core, actual and augmented.

5 As of emotional proximity: accepted / approved / agreed / appreciated / acquired.

– The consumer disposition is devided in : consider / trial / retrial / regular / loyal

– Bring emotion into data

– Client’s satisfaction doesn’t mean he is loyal

– The brand equity is: psychological (source of value), psychomagical (source of inspiration) and systematical (source of differention).

The last two presentations of the panel were also very interesting. Andreea Nemens, Executive Director GMP Advertising, talked about real time marketing, while Iulian Padurariu, Managing Partner Marks, focused on the power of habit.

Context is the SIT and is the one that generates insights that we, as advertisers and marketers, should pay attention to, considers Andreea. She also believes that results come from engagement and that the lateral solutions are the answers in a crisis. She supports her idea by giving example the Florin Georgescu Olympics campaign and the VW campaign.

The advertising people shouldn’t just stay and wait for a brief, they must be proactive, open and react at the context around them in a smart and creative way. And as a suggestion for the marketers, Andreea would recomand that you keep a small budget for “special occasions” (the media planning isn’t done 100 % with x months ahead, you should be able to act in real time when a good context for your brand appears). After all, the agency – client relationship should be based on trust and become a real partnership.

The neuroscience of habits

 “Habits resist informational interventions, they are not easily changed. The stronger the habit, the weaker intention effect on behaaviour”, considers Iulian Padurariu. So, instead of relying on expensive marketing, habit-forming campaigns link their services to the user daily routines and emotions. Creating customer habits drives:

–                    higher customer lifetime value

–                    greater flexibility to increase prices

According to BJ Fogg, for any behaviour to occur you need: ability, motivation and trigger. “When designing product to create habits, start with ability before motivation”, said Padurariu. Motivation is: seeking pleasure, hope & acceptance, but also avoiding pain, fear and rejection.

The hook has 4 steps: trigger, action, reward and investment.

Investments create preference and as we invest, we seek to be consistent. We change attitude and perception to avoid cognitive dissonance. Each pass through the hook helps shape user preferences and attitudes.

After some inspirational presentations made by Raluca Kisescu (Avon) and radu Moldovan (Heidi), there was time for more learning in part three of the event. Claire Culshaw, Director, Consumer Practice, Weber Shandwick brought us the 5 new verbal rules of engagement:

– Personalisation is king

– Dialogue, not monologue

– Tweets, not texts

– Be dynamic

– Join the global conversation

And the 5 new visual rules of engagement:

– Think content in context

– Use predictive visuals

– Cover the whole consumer journey

– Make it malleable

– Make it rewarding

Brands are subordonated to consumers

For me, the day ended with Adina Vlad‘s (Managing Partner, Unlock Market Research ) presentation and the launch of Biz’s first 100 Marketing Directors Book.  Adina made some really interesting points, as usual, and talked about changing the paradigm while interacting with the consumers. “A good idea depends very much on facts. You must deliver what you promised, most often better than promised in words. Walk the talk!”, said Adina.

In the last years consumers learnt to make more instrumental use of the brands. They are coming back to the roots, to being natural. So what comes next? It’s the time for outrospection. Empathy requires love. Brands should stay out of judgment and should feel together with the people: interaction and connection, not just observation from the top of the things.

Everything is under construction in the new world, so new rules are written right now, as we speak and write.

“The new consumer area is both conversational (listen, understand, bond) and experential (discover, challenge, self development). The outrospection makes us challenge our own rules, meet new people, have new experiences”, added Adina Vlad.

In Romania of 2014 we are a more relaxed and adapted consumer. He is more pragmatic, self oriented, is characterized by nationalism and experimentalism. As trends, Adina identifies the follow:

  1. The preumization of private ( 360 range from Mega Image)
  2. Humanizing the face of retail (ex. Bacania din sat, Mos Costache, etc.)
  3. Versatility
  4. Simplicity reinvented
  5. The value of experience
  6. Attention to health and physical integrity as a way of living