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What we learnt at the IPA Unlearn event

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On 4th September 2015, the IPA gathered Byron Sharp, Russell Davies, Les Binet, Paul Feldwick and more for a day of intense marketing "Unlearning". This presentation condenses each speaker’s main points into a one-slider, then attempts to make sense of the whole thing.

I might be naive, but for all the heated debate that happened on the day, I thought everyone was actually in violent agreement (basically, I agree with Les Binet and Jim Carroll, which feels like a pretty good place to be).

So here’s what I've taken out of the event:
> The debate between people who see brand building as an art, and those who see it as a science, has gone on for years. It’s been exacerbated in the recent years by the parallel rise of Big Data and Behavioural Science, all powered by the digital transformation of certain categories - but it’s not new.

> All the evidence points to the fact that it’s actually a mix of both emotional and rational, long-term and short-term, brand building and sales driving strategies that drives the best results.

> So, to grow your brand, think about to a) removing barriers to usage or purchase by ensuring your product/ service works very well and is widely available, then b) making your product or service really sticky by creating memorable assets/ features that are distinctive and salient.
Voila.

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What we learnt at the IPA Unlearn event

  1. 1. REPORTING FROM IPA UNLEARN SEPTEMBER 2015
  2. 2. BYRON SHARP CLAIRE VALOTI RUSSELL DAVIES JOHN KEARON MARK EARLS PAUL FELDWICK LES BINET WTF
  3. 3. BYRON SHARP CLAIRE VALOTI RUSSELL DAVIES JOHN KEARON MARK EARLS PAUL FELDWICK LES BINET WTF
  4. 4. BYRON SHARP AS… THE MAN OF SCIENCE
  5. 5. Differentiation in product, values and customer segments doesn’t make for effective marketing. Penetration trumps loyalty, every time. The most effective strategy to grow is to increase your customer base through physical and mental availability. Invest in memorable, interesting and distinctive brand assets in the long term. IF YOU REMEMBER ONE THING…
  6. 6. WORKS PARTICULARLY WELL FOR… LARGE FMCG BRANDS IN MATURE CATEGORIES.
  7. 7. BYRON SHARP CLAIRE VALOTI RUSSELL DAVIES JOHN KEARON MARK EARLS PAUL FELDWICK LES BINET WTF
  8. 8. CLAIRE VALOTI AS… THE BROADCASTER
  9. 9. Facebook’s reach is now similar to that of TV, so forget about “social media” and activating your fans and treat it as a broadcast channel… With all of the added data-based insight and potential for personalisation at scale, a digital platform gives you. IF YOU REMEMBER ONE THING…
  10. 10. WORKS PARTICULARLY WELL FOR… CLOSING THE SALE THANKS TO RELEVANCE, SPEED, RECENCY, AND MESSAGING PERSONALISATION.
  11. 11. BYRON SHARP CLAIRE VALOTI RUSSELL DAVIES JOHN KEARON MARK EARLS PAUL FELDWICK LES BINET WTF
  12. 12. RUSSELL DAVIES AS… THE DIGITAL REVOLUTIONARY
  13. 13. We’re going to see an increasing shift to product and services vs. marketing and communications as the centre of gravity of big organisations, which means we need to unlearn persuasion and learn usability – stop trying to persuade people to do things, and instead make things really really easy to do. Brands (the fluffy emotional narrative around products and services) will become obsolete as users increasingly judge you on your usability, so: -  Don’t innovate until you’ve fixed the basics; -  Do the hard work to make things simpler; -  Make things open, it makes them better; -  Think about what other job you might want to do. IF YOU REMEMBER ONE THING…
  14. 14. ALL KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS IN THE WORLD, EVER, FOLLOW THE SAME STRUCTURE: 1.  BOASTING 2.  PHILOSOPHICAL MEANDERING 3.  ACTUALLY USEFUL BITS
  15. 15. WORKS PARTICULARLY WELL FOR… ALL BIG SERVICE- BASED ORGANISATIONS THAT HAVEN’T BEEN DISRUPTED BY DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION YET: BANKS, RETAILERS, AIRLINES, ETC.
  16. 16. BYRON SHARP CLAIRE VALOTI RUSSELL DAVIES JOHN KEARON MARK EARLS PAUL FELDWICK LES BINET WTF
  17. 17. JOHN KEARON AS… THE PREACHER
  18. 18. Seduction trumps persuasion. System 1 (automatic, reptilian) is much more powerful than System 2 (considered, active thinking), so it’s always more effective to tap into people’s emotions than it is to try and convince them rationally. The 3 Fs of effectiveness according to Brainjuicer: 1.  Fame: top of mind awareness, reach and scale (cf. mental availability) 2.  Feeling: intensity of emotional engagement 3.  Fluency: how recognisable your brand assets are (cf. mental availability again) IF YOU REMEMBER ONE THING…
  19. 19. WORKS PARTICULARLY WELL IN… ARGUMENTS WITH BIG FMCG CLIENTS OVER THEIR CREATIVE PRE- TESTING METHODOLOGIES.
  20. 20. BYRON SHARP CLAIRE VALOTI RUSSELL DAVIES JOHN KEARON MARK EARLS PAUL FELDWICK LES BINET WTF
  21. 21. MARK EARLS AS… THE BEHAVIOURALIST
  22. 22. Humans are social animals, and we have evolved through history by constantly adapting and improving on each other’s ideas. “Originality is for people with short memories” (Grayson Perry), so let’s embrace the copycat within and start using other people’s ideas to make our own better. Rules for good copying: -  Copy loosely, not tightly -  Love the errors -  Copy from afar: define your problem as a lens to browse the world for solutions to copy IF YOU REMEMBER ONE THING…
  23. 23. WORKS PARTICULARLY WELL FOR… KICKING OFF THE CREATIVE PROCESS THROUGH CULTURAL REFERENCING.
  24. 24. BYRON SHARP CLAIRE VALOTI RUSSELL DAVIES JOHN KEARON MARK EARLS PAUL FELDWICK LES BINET WTF
  25. 25. PAUL FELDWICK AS… THE WISE MAN
  26. 26. There are lots of different competing theories to explain how advertising works, and they’re all the result of trends and cultural backdrop, rather than science. The main dialectic opposes salesmanship and seduction. Whilst ‘salesmanship’ (eg. The rational theory of the USP and the Reason Why) dominated the early history of advertising, recently ‘seduction’ (eg. The emotional theory of the subconscious-led, System 1 ruling over System 2) has made a come back. Other theories are: -  Mere Publicity (Sharp) and the Meaningless Distinctive vs. Meaningful difference -  Communications = Content + Relationship (Be entertaining, clever and interesting) -  Showmanship IF YOU REMEMBER ONE THING…
  27. 27. WORKS PARTICULARLY WELL FOR… EVERYTHING. THINK OF THE DIFFERENT APPROACHES AS DIFFERENT RESOURCES OR WAYS OF THINKING ABOUT A SPECIFIC PROBLEM.
  28. 28. BYRON SHARP CLAIRE VALOTI RUSSELL DAVIES JOHN KEARON MARK EARLS PAUL FELDWICK LES BINET WTF
  29. 29. LES BINET AS… THE CONCILIATOR
  30. 30. There are different ways in which marketing can be effective, and often they are complimentary. Emotional campaigns perform better than rational campaigns or those that combine rational and emotional. The most effective approach to marketing is to combine long and short term strategies (building the brand/ closing the sale) to a ratio of roughly 60/40. Creativity is the most important factor to determine budget efficiency, closely followed by size of media budget. IF YOU REMEMBER ONE THING…
  31. 31. WORKS PARTICULARLY WELL FOR… CONVINCING CLIENTS TO INVEST IN BRAND BUILDING, EMOTIONAL WORK OVER OR ALONGSIDE SHORT TERM, SALES-DRIVING, PRODUCT-FOCUSED ACTIVITY.
  32. 32. BYRON SHARP CLAIRE VALOTI RUSSELL DAVIES JOHN KEARON MARK EARLS PAUL FELDWICK LES BINET WTF
  33. 33. to be, or not to be
  34. 34. BRAND BUILDING LONGTERM EMOTION WANT ART HIGH ENGAGEMENT LUXURY SELLING SHORTTERM FUNCTION NEED SCIENCE LOW ENGAGEMENT COMMODITY
  35. 35. fluffy dull
  36. 36. JIM CARROLL AS… THE LEGEND
  37. 37. COMMON SENSE AND A SENSE OF HUMOUR ARE THE SAME THING, MOVING AT DIFFERENT SPEEDS.A SENSE OF HUMOUR IS JUST COMMON SENSE, DANCING.” “ Clive James, Writer and Broadcaster
  38. 38. clash of titans
  39. 39. BUT IN FACT, QUITE A LOT OF CONSENSUS REMOVE BARRIERS INCREASE STICKINESS Ease of access Distribution Ease of usage (Physical availability) Fame Meaningless distinctive Emotional familiarity (Mental availability) FOR BEST RESULTS +
  40. 40. SOURCE: Sean McGinnis, IT Specialist, State of New Jersey, OGIS IN OTHER WORDS, EVERYTHING WE DO BOILS DOWN TO Useful Useless Ugly Beautiful AVOID THIS AREA AVOID THIS AREA AVOID THIS AREA AIM HERE

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