Did you catch these 5 key things at MAD//Fest 2022?

Posted on July 15, 2022

Updated on July 15, 2022

4 min read time

July means one thing in the Marketing world. East London’s biggest marketing event of the year – MAD//Fest – has come and gone.


This year, MAD//Fest brought together 7,000 marketers to The Old Truman Brewery to enjoy three days of food, drink, and incredible speakers.


We heard from the likes of Beavertown, Dishoom, TikTok, and more – with each speaker engaging on the theme of the event, “No guts, no glory”.


If you’re looking for a download of the latest marketing trends or after some advice from the best brand names in the game, keep reading.


1 – How to: Navigate the world of Gen Z


Unsurprisingly, Gen Z turned out to be a hot topic at MAD//Fest - with speakers illuminating on best practices to connect and collaborate with these groups.


Leading social media agency, Fanbytes, explained how Gen Z influencers are actively challenging the role of traditional creative agencies. Because these influencers have grown up with social media, they don’t need to rely on external parties for help creating content. Their digital native status means that they’re able to independently run these campaigns from beginning to completion – conceptualizing, storyboarding, and even producing these assets on their own (as there’s no need for flashy equipment when anyone can produce content from the safety of their phones).


When a Gen Z influencer can turn a campaign around in 5 days or less – the idea of hiring an external agency (who will typically be more expensive and slower) to complete the project is much less enticing.


Live streaming video service, Twitch, shared tips for connecting with Gen Z audiences:


  1. Move from curated to authentic – Be yourself and show up. Gen Z favor the unpolished, more human modes of interaction.
  2. Move from fixed to fluid – Beforehand, marketing used to have a beginning, middle and end, now it’s more fluid.
  3. Move from exclusive to inclusive – Create content that’s open to everyone, featuring diverse audiences and voices.  
  4. Move from passive to collaborative – Build communities and leave opportunities in your content to encourage involvement from others. 
  5. Move from disengaged to purposeful – Use your platform for good – raising awareness for causes and inviting others in your community to engage.


 2. How to: Build your brand’s purpose without evoking ‘purpose fatigue’


It would be impossible to get through a MAD//Fest without hearing the word ‘purpose’ at least 20 times. And with mounting pressure on brands nowadays to showcase their activism and take a stand on issues important to them - it makes sense that so many speakers mentioned purpose.


For Unilever, the issue with purpose in marketing is that there’s a say/do gap – where too many brands aren’t putting their money where their mouth is. In these cases, purpose goes awry either because the brand isn’t taking enough action to implement their beliefs, or because they are putting purpose above the consumers’ goal – forgetting why they are there in the first place.


The brands that do well with purpose are those that have established a clear mission from the offset – marrying their marketing to social causes from day one. For example, Pret is known for giving away free meals to vulnerable people. Their marketing doesn’t revolve around this message, but people are still aware of it because it’s embedded into the fabric of the business.


Another example of a brand which has adopted purpose well is Vanish – who are standing against fast fashion by prolonging the lifespan of clothes. They want people to ‘waste less, wear more’. This stand makes sense, as it aligns with the company’s existing mission and product - it’s not a stretch for consumers to believe in, and that’s why it’s so successful. You can find their campaign visual below. 


Blog - MADFEST - Vanish (1)


3. How to: Make your brand more customer centric


Customer centricity is when you put your customer at the heart of your marketing activities. This means forgetting what you believe they want and actually getting out into the field, interacting with them first-hand to uncover their pains and gains.


Crocs is a brand that does this really well. At MAD//Fest, they explained how so many of their product innovations and releases have been inspired by feedback from real customers. After fans were clamouring for Lightning McQueen shoes in adult sizes, Crocs pleased the masses by releasing them. These sold out in a record 45 minutes.


Crocs also put on initiatives year-round to show their customers how much they value them. An example of this is Croctober – when during the month of October, the brand celebrates fans by releasing limited edition products.


Blog - MADFEST - Croc Day (1)


4. How to: Arm your brand with the right data 


Skincare brand, The INKEY List gave a talk with their data provider, Brand Management platform, ProQuo AI, about the importance of hyper-personalization.


The INKEY List has embedded personalization into their brand through the askINKEY service, where customers can come to ask any question about any product, and a 24/7 customer service team will provide an answer. This service enables The INKEY List to be empathetic to customers, while growing their database and helping them to keep on top of current pain points.


To understand the ‘why’ behind their data, The INKEY List uses ProQuo AI as an additional data source to unearth the context behind these statements, and to gauge how customers really feel about their brand. On ProQuo, the brand can see where they fit within the context of their category, which areas customers feel they are excelling at, as well as opportunity spaces competitors aren’t currently investing in.


Blog - MADFEST - driver profile


5. How to: De-risk creativity in your business 


Nivea swears by creative testing. For Nivea, the key to growth is continuous controlled experiments. These are easiest to carry out on social or website, as the results are visible, and it’s easier to detect immediate changes.


Their advice for carrying out these tests is to:

  1. Start small 
  2. Focus on one area to maximize impact 
  3. Empower and train your team along the way
  4. Have a clear process 
  5. Review your impact frequently 


If you’re looking to de-risk your next experiment, testing your creative assets and ideas is definitely the way forward. And technology is now enabling brands to test so much more – from packaging to digital assets, ads, storyboards, and more.


On ProQuo, we can help you with this. Our creative testing solution allows you to show any asset to people in your category - giving you concrete feedback on this asset within hours. This allows you to see how impactful an idea will be before you spend the big bucks on it.



Blog - MADFEST - creativelab


If you’d like to learn more about this or want to share your own MAD//Fest highlights, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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