New York City hosted AdWeek 2023, and our talented strategist, Leah Pratley stopped by to check out brand activations, speak with industry leaders, and learn from others to get inspired. ICYMI, here are some key takeaways.
Creative Automation AI
Insight: Most of marketing is automotive, so when it gets to creative it’s the last frontier. While most of the production and handling processes resemble those of the past 5-10 years, there’s a new player. AI has come into the picture, and with it brings mixed emotions and even active opposition from those in the industry. With a widening gap between rising demand and driving demand, speaker Mihael Mikek believes AI can help. Scalable creativity should be a priority to every business and AI creative automation assists with the centralization of the digital advertising creative process, ensuring branding and messaging remain intact across all adaptation activities to audiences and channels.
Why is it relevant: Production resources remain steady as a percentage of media. There’s pressure on content makers to squeeze out more as demand is growing, so we can address this with technology and with an approach that delivers 10 times more content with the same resources.
Lessons from the B2B Marketing Benchmark
Insight: From a B2B perspective, 6 out of 10 leaders have experienced a significant increase in their budgets, with 2 out of 3 anticipating further increases in the coming year. This heightened financial backing reflects growing confidence in marketing’s ability to drive revenue. Research reveals a substantial transformation in the role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), emphasizing crucial skills and capabilities such as digital transformation, brand building, and engagement strategies. The primary focus is now on revenue generation and overall impact, with an emphasis on strategic thinking, creative storytelling, and mastery of data-driven marketing technology. Technology is set to become the primary tool for effective storytelling. Notably, the “95-5 rule” indicates that only 5% of buyers are actively in the market at any given time, highlighting the importance of engaging the remaining 95% through robust, long-term engagement strategies.
Why is it relevant: In an environment where competition for market share is fierce, the skill of crafting compelling customer stories is paramount. Encouragingly, a benchmarking report reveals that a majority, (6 out of 10), of business leaders recognize the significance of cultivating a brand identity within their organizations.
House of Culture
Insight: Black culture plays a pivotal role in shaping American culture, yet many companies face barriers in recognizing this talent due to misconceptions that black people are homogenous and searching for the same attributes repeatedly. The key lies in fostering diversity and inclusion, as monolithic portrayals persist in media despite the multifaceted nature of black individuals. Businesses often seek uniformity because it’s familiar and profitable, but true cultural capital emerges from a diverse workforce. Licensing to different companies and partnering with authentic brands is essential to prevent dilution of value. Multiple diverse voices should be incorporated in decision-making, ensuring the collective culture benefits over individual interests. Overcoming the fear of failure with black representation at the forefront is crucial, especially for ad agencies, while businesses with financial constraints must embrace calculated risks to move forward.
Why is it relevant: The responsibility for fostering a healthy corporate culture extends to both businesses and individuals, not confined to a specific group. Accountability for shaping culture exists at every organizational level, with each person contributing to it. It’s crucial to assess in every discussion whether everyone is actively contributing to the culture; otherwise, there’s a problem. Individuals should question whether they are the sole representative of their demographic in a room; if so, diversifying the group is necessary to share the responsibility. Additionally, comfort in the room indicates a lack of room for growth, underlining the importance of embracing discomfort for meaningful progress.
Redefining Success: Culture is the New KPI
Insight: eBay is transitioning from a shared voice approach to a word-of-mouth strategy, where earning attention cultivates brand ambassadors who convey the company’s story. This shift represents a valuable shift in focus: attention and time have proven to be three times more predictive of outcomes than the traditional reach strategy. eBay’s data demonstrates that recommendations from trusted sources, i.e., word of mouth, have a more significant impact, leading to positive changes in brand metrics not achievable through traditional methods. The collaboration between eBay and Conde Nast has yielded significant improvements in brand metrics such as consideration, favorability, and product quality perception within a year. Partnering with Conde Nast has been remarkably effective, as Meta’s data indicates that advertisers who collaborate with them achieve 62% better results.
Why is it relevant: Traditional Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like click-through rates may not always be pertinent, especially in longer customer journeys, where more comprehensive data can directly indicate sales. Marketers promoting their brand in comparison to other reputable brands often have a more significant and trustworthy impact, leading people to believe the message more effectively.
By: Leah Pratley