Across three sold out days at the Old Truman Brewery, faces from the marketing world gathered for an industry event defined by defying the norm. Speakers ranging from CMOs to neuroscience professors outlined what they felt was set to shape the short and long-term future of marketing. Below we discuss the key themes presented in these talks. 

Making audiences aware they are involved in delivering social change 

Campaigns with these themes at their heart have been around for some time, with this year’s MAD//Fest only reinforcing the prominent role they look set to play in the coming years. Almost all speakers included reference to a pressing social issue during their talks, whether it was the need for urgent climate action or enacting political change.  

The cost-of-living crisis is set to bring issues of this nature into even sharper focus. Sarah Barron, CMO for Dominos, explained how the brand aims to address this by placing brand as their core proposition, building a reputation that is designed to deliver growth beyond the looming recession.  

Reference how the pandemic has changed the world, rather than COVID-19 itself 

Something as historically and culturally significant as a global pandemic cannot be ignored when it comes to marketing and advertising. While there was a consensus among speakers that all brands should acknowledge the events of the past two years, this no longer must explicitly reference COVID-19. Instead, it will serve advertisers and marketers better to discuss the impact it has on the world. 

Using attention as a KPI for creative 

This came from a talk given by Sorin Patilinet, Mars’ Global Marketing Insights Director. The brand’s theory is that more attention leads to more sales, meaning it is therefore the best way to measure the success of creative. To record attention levels for creative Mars has used neuroscience testing such as eye tracking and galvanic skin responses across thousands of variations and then compared this to the volume of sales seen once they are live. 

Based off this research, Sorin posited three crucial pieces of advice for creative: 

  1. Grab attention – sound and surprise are perfect for doing so 
  1. Elicit emotions – when people feel something, they’re more likely to react 
  1. Use consistent distinctive assets 

The result is stronger memory encoding in audiences’ brains, leading to more mental availability and eventually stronger sales. 

If eye tracking and galvanic skin response testing is of interest to you then do reach out to our Behave team, who will be able to go into more detail and discuss how this could be used for your brand.

Regular testing can be the key to generating growth 

Often cited as vital to the success of a series of Silicon Valley giants, the benefits of routine testing were explained at MAD//Fest by Adam Wright, Head of Digital for Nivea. The brand’s chosen method was to run regular four-week testing sprints for the website and two-week sprints for social activity.  

Often, these tests failed, but those that didn’t delivered significant uplifts in performance. For example, moving the ‘Add to Baske’t button above the fold on mobile increased the rate of customers adding products to their baskets by 300%.  

A strong customer journey and innovative approaches needed to amplify already well-known brands 

The question of how to extend the reach and success of much-loved and established brands was covered by Laura Belchier (Head of Retail and Hospitality, Amazon), Laura Gray (Senior Brand Manager, Cadbury Easter) and Lauren Kenny (Client Business Director, Carat). If you don’t ask, you don’t get was their key message, especially as it’s often the most extravagant asks that deliver the best results.  

Examples chosen to illustrate this were Cadbury’s Secret Santa campaign and Amazon’s virtual Easter Egg, which included dedicating a section of Prime Video to native Crème Egg content. 

Next steps 

To find out how your brand could benefit from any of themes discussed at MAD//Fest 2022, as well as addressing any other marketing challenges, contact our team today. 

Yas Frasso - Biddable Account Director

Author: Yas Frasso - Biddable Account Director

Yas works in the Biddable team and is a self-confessed Excel geek. She enjoys exploring data for insights and creating new approaches for clients. Outside of work, you can find her drawing and trying new recipes.