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7 things we learned at Festival of Marketing 2018

7 things we learned at Festival of Marketing 2018

The Festival of Marketing is one of Phrasee’s phavourite annual marketing events.

Image credit: Paramount Pictures


Its 2018 iteration at London’s Tobacco Dock was no exception.

There were so many awesome things to see, do, and learn over the two days of this amazing event that covering them all would be next to impossible. That’s why we’ve narrowed things down to 7 of the very awesomest things the Phrasee squad learned during our time at this year’s Festival of Marketing.

Here they are, in no particular order…


1) Phrasee is awesome

This year, for the first time ever, we booked our own Festival of Marketing “experience room”. We called it “The Phraseeum”, and filled it with curios from Phrasee’s amazing journey to AI marketing prominence over the past few years. We included an audio tour explaining the significance of each individual item for those who wanted to learn more about them, and we even had the fabulous Miss Ballooniverse on hand to meet all Phraseeum visitors’ balloon-related needs.

Although many attendees confused our experience room with the event’s VIP room (an understandable mistake), the feedback The Phraseeum was, without exception, entirely positive. We think it was probably the highlight of the entire FOM18 event, but we might be just a little bit biased.


2) Louis Theroux is also awesome

As key note speakers to delight the masses go, you’d be hard pressed to do better than Louis Theroux. Sure, Louis’ connection to the world of marketing may not exactly be crystal clear, but no-one at FOM18 really seemed to mind. Theroux made every effort to please the Festival of Marketing crowd, calling marketing an “unacknowledged art form” and dispensing no small numbers of interesting anecdotes.

One thing’s for sure, next year’s keynote will have some big, quirky, delightful shoes to fill.


3) Everyone’s talking about mental health

7 things we learned at Festival of Marketing 2018

Day one of Festival of Marketing 2018 fell on World Mental Health Day, and the marketing world’s impact on humankind’s collective mental wellbeing was on everyone’s lips. Why? Well, for one thing, this year’s Festival of Marketing opened with its very first Mental Health Panel. For another thing, “Emotions Matter” an in-depth guide to ethical marketing that stresses taking consumers’ mental health into account was (not coincidentally) launched the very same day!

Spearheaded by the Phrasee team, and backed by some of the world’s biggest brands, including Gumtree and Virgin Holidays, the Emotions Matter campaign brought concerns about how advertising and marketing really impact consumers to the forefront of the FOM18 conversation and was well-received by all.


4) Festival Of Marketing is an amazing place

With brands, speakers and visitors of widely varying backgrounds from all over the world coming together to talk marketing shop, there was an awful lot to take in at FOM18.

Facebook’s Steve Hatch and Melbourne Business School’s Professor Mark Ritson joined forces to talk about the current marketing landscape and how issues of digital trust and transparency can be addressed moving forward, while Sir Martin Sorrel shared his views on the power of pivoting. All the while, panels featuring the marketing industry’s best and brightest abounded.

With thousands in attendance and 12 stages of content throughout its two-day run, this year’s Festival of Marketing reminded us why we at Phrasee make it a point to never miss this fantastic event.


5) Marketing content is changing

For the world of marketing content, the writing is on the wall. Social platforms and other digital channels are changing the way they do what they do, and this is already having a significant ripple effect on the world of marketing. Meanwhile, new technologies like artificial intelligence and new data analysis strategies are forever changing the way the marketing content game is played.

Microtargeting and hyper-personalization are rapidly shifting the brand-consumer dynamic, and this process is informing a massive transformation in the way brands market themselves. Many impressive tools and companies were on hand at FOM18 to help brands and marketers optimise their approach for this new digital marketing reality.

The message was clear: There’s plenty more change on the way.


6) Alex from Social Chain knows his stuff

Global social media marketing agency Social Chain sent one of their very best to represent at this year’s Festival of Marketing event. Alex Ayin – Social Chain’s Group Transformation Director – not only joined our very own Parry Malm on stage in the Phraseeum to talk about the dangers of fear and anxiety-based marketing, but he also stuck around throughout the festival to answer social media marketing questions from the masses.

As a big wheel at one of the world’s premier social media marketing agencies, Alex had plenty of useful suggestions and information for any brand hoping to optimise its approach to marketing on these lucrative and important channels.


7) Free coffee is always a win

On the event’s first day, panic gripped FOM’s attendees. Festival of Marketing 2018 had run out of coffee. Luckily, the Phraseeum was all stocked up with Nitro Coffee, and the day was saved. As ways to draw people in go, being one of the only places with coffee at an all-day marketing event is not bad. No, not too bad at all…

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