Advertising Week 2020 key learnings

tms Advertising Week

tms (formerly The Marketing Store) recently took the virtual stage at Advertising Week 2020 to share our insights and expertise. This premier industry event attracted the best and brightest — from brands and agencies to big name celebrities — for two inspiring weeks of thought leadership.

Our people had the chance to listen and learn during dozens of sessions with top industry leaders. Each of these was packed with learnings, but here’s what stood out to our people the most:

Making Connections: Brands + Culture + Data

  • The only way for a brand to be successful in 2020 and beyond is to be culturally relevant through inclusive work, representation, employees and values.
  • Culture means everything to a brand’s bottom line and is key to unlocking connection and memorability with customers.
    • The highest-ranking future voices push boundaries, stand for something and care about DE&I, all while staying proactive, not reactive.
  • If you have a diversity problem, you have a youth problem. This applies to both brands and agencies (including our own).
  • Hiring in diverse ways only at an entry level to fill a quota doesn’t empower employees to share their valuable opinions.
  • Brand success comes from authenticity, transparency and partnership.

Welcome to the Sh*t Show: How brands can leverage common ground to navigate Q4

  • Consumers are feeling restricted, conflicted and overwhelmed.
  • Current behavior drivers:
    • Divisiveness is making a bigger impact than the pandemic or the economy
    • Economic disparity — 1 in 3 families is struggling to put food on the table
    • Everyday routines, like going to the supermarket, sending your kids to school, etc., are now a challenge
  • What can brands do to alleviate feelings of restriction and conflict?
    • Bring hope and humor whenever possible
    • Create small touchpoints of happiness from packaging to storefronts and more
    • Shorten the distance between belief and behavior — always put value and convenience first:
      • Offer more options with less restrictions
      • Give people something to look forward to
      • Inspire consumer’s decision-making confidence, even in uncertainty
  • Brands that have been doing it right:
    • Walmart Wonderlab
    • JetBlue: Early Holidayer

Condé Nast: Share of Culture

  • With consumers becoming more discerning than they’ve ever been before, marketers must challenge the old model and move to a customer-centric approach.
  • The new way forward is cultural relevance — consumers are looking for brands to:
    • Affect culture at large
    • Be more transparent to establish well needed trust
    • Offer quantity over quality
  • Culture means everything to a brands’ bottom line today and is the key to unlocking greater customer potential. It results in acquiring new emerging audiences, driving immediate sales and guaranteed brand success today and in the future.
  • How does a brand own a share of culture?
    • Picking the right partners
    • Attracting the right audience
    • Setting up their brand as a cultural icon
  • Overall takeaways:
    • Culture is the new commerce engine
    • Emerging audiences are leading the way
    • Brands should choose a partner that performs