Highlights from the DMWF Global 2024


Brand-building, brand messaging, and brand-resilience

When defining brand messaging and personality, it’s crucial to establish what your brand is and, more importantly, what it isn’t. Ruchika Kalra, brand director at Lastminute, highlighted GymShark’s clear message: “We do gym.” This simple statement conveys the company’s focus and helps potential customers understand when the brand’s offering can be valuable to them.

Once the brand voice and proposition are defined, consistent messaging across all touchpoints and channels is key to customer recognition. Be self-aware when communicating with customers and consider their perspective on the brand after encountering your messages. Social listening is a crucial skill for marketers to develop in this regard.

Consistency in messaging doesn’t mean uniform communication across all customer segments. It’s important to “speak your customer’s language” and tailor messages while maintaining the same brand tone.

Ruchika Kalra Presents on Building Consumer-Centric Brands

With the emergence of AI-powered tools, it’s crucial to understand their impact on brand expression. Don’t simply change your website’s strapline when introducing a new AI-fueled tool.

Izabela Misiorny, CMO at Siteimprove, points out that marketers should consider whether altering your brand expression aligns with your overall vision for brand-building. Ask yourself: Is it just a pointless novelty? What value can the “AI-powered…” expression bring to the brand?

Taylor Swift’s approach to building brand evangelists is another powerful strategy to consider. No marketing campaign speaks louder than personal recommendations. Creating a community of advocates can help your brand reach a wider target audience. For B2B marketers, this means finding allies and forming partnerships with brands that share a similar vision for making an impact.

Misiorny also emphasized community building, self-awareness, and empathy in marketing as key components of brand resilience. In the face of economic downturns, industry disruptions like AI, and pressure to follow trends, a resilient brand will survive and thrive in this fast-changing world. Marketers should also cultivate a discerning attitude, periodically sense-checking their direction while maintaining a consistent brand proposition.

Customer loyalty and customer-centric experience

Customer-centric branding and communication across all channels are essential in today’s market. With the cost of acquiring customers through advertising increasing by 222% in recent years, customer loyalty has become not just a marketing goal but part of a comprehensive business strategy. Marketers should leverage existing customer relationships for growth.

Jim Rudall, GM of EMEA at MailChimp, emphasizes that the key to success is creating a positive and memorable customer experience by integrating scientific insights and personalization to enhance engagement and loyalty. To achieve this, businesses need to understand the deeper psychological factors influencing customer behaviors.

Jim Rudall Presents on The Science of Loyalty

Rudall mentions the Fogg Behaviour Model: Behavior = Motivation * Ability * Prompts. Understanding why customers support your brand, their readiness to do so, and when to engage them on this journey can help you better comprehend their motivations.

Rather than focusing solely on rational factors like price and quality in loyalty strategies, consider the cognitive factors that influence how people perceive value. Rudall introduces a loyalty wheel comprising four neurobiological principles: rewards, memory, emotion, and social interaction. These pillars help marketers understand the scientific underpinnings of loyal actions. Remember, repeat purchases alone don’t define loyalty.

Content marketing and content reach

There’s an ongoing debate about the importance of being entertaining versus educational in content creation. While brands can create significant momentum through clever use of trends and entertaining content, it’s crucial to align your approach with your brand proposition.

When creating content, it’s important to tailor it to each platform. Resources may be limited, but content that performs well on one platform doesn’t necessarily translate to others. For example, polished product videos might be more appropriate for Instagram, while behind-the-scenes content could be better suited for TikTok.

Jenna Rak, Senior Director of Audience Development, Social Media and Analytics at Vogue, shared an example of discovering unexpected engagement on Reddit around their political covers. This highlights the importance of exploring where discussions about your brand are already taking place on less considered platforms.

Audience feedback is crucial to the content creation process. Strategies for incorporating feedback include using social listening tools, reviewing comments on platforms like TikTok (where 92% of consumers are actively engaged in the comments section), and considering call center data to identify customer pain points.

Robb Miller, VP of Sales at Issuu, points out that as we enter the visual economy, dynamic digital solutions are becoming necessary for content marketing. Having versatile tools that enable easy content transformation and distribution across multiple platforms can significantly speed up marketers’ content distribution tasks.

Robb Miller Presents on Content Marketing Playbook: 2024’s Must-Know Trends & Insights

Marketing efforts measurement and cookie-less world

The impending deprecation of third-party cookies is driven by legislative changes, company preferences, and consumer sentiment against tracking. Businesses heavily reliant on cookies should prepare for changes, such as Google Chrome’s phase-out of cookies, and adopt new technologies offering cookie-less solutions.

Contextual first-party data is becoming more prominent as cookies are phased out. First-party data provides clearer indicators of user actions and can be used to target advertising more effectively. Miranda Glover, CMO at UNRIVLD, suggests that when marketers put performance metrics into context, they unlock the power of data.

Paul Wright, Head of Advertising International at Uber, shares that marketers should focus on standing out and getting engagement from consumers in an ad-saturated world. For instance, Uber is shifting away from search-based KPIs to focus more on attention-based evaluation of ad performance.

Data is crucial for understanding customer behavior and optimizing the customer experience. Effective data management leads to better personalization and, consequently, more successful marketing efforts. However, as Rak points out, data should inform rather than drive creative decisions, reinforcing the need for a balance between analytics and creative intuition.

There’s an ongoing tension between creativity and measurable performance in marketing. While it’s necessary to justify marketing expenditure with performance metrics, it’s also important not to stifle creativity, which is fundamental for brand differentiation and engaging customer experiences.

Ian Gibbs, Insight & Planning Director at DMA, highlights a misalignment between measurement metrics and business objectives. With average marketing budgets falling to 7.7% of overall company revenue in 2024, it’s crucial for marketers to demonstrate which efforts generate positive effects.

Gibbs emphasizes a shift from performance marketing to brand marketing. Despite budgets still favoring performance marketing, investments in brand measurement are yielding better results, including shareholder value and profit growth.

To improve marketing effectiveness and measurement, marketers should focus on meaningful metrics that resonate in the boardroom, rather than campaign delivery metrics like video plays or social media engagement. Building a unified measurement framework for alignment across the business is also crucial.

The role of a modern CMO

The role of CMO is evolving and multifaceted in the digital age. Key traits for modern CMOs include:

  1. Being experimental: Always allocate budget and time to test new approaches for delivering messages to customers.
  2. Balancing AI and human creativity: While AI can aid in content creation and basic tasks, explore its use for data analytics and operational tasks to free up time for creativity and strategy. CMOs should champion originality in content and enable their teams to perform better.
  3. Enabling business growth: Marisa Thomas, CMO at Good-Loop, argues that CMOs should define their role based on the company’s growth stage and be proponents for change.
  4. Cultivating an innovative culture: As leaders, CMOs should foster a non-restrictive mindset, show vulnerability with team members, and create a culture of trust and innovation within their teams.

Conclusion

The insights from DMWF Global 2024 underscore the importance of adaptability, creativity, and strategic thinking. Marketers must balance data-driven decisions with brand authenticity, prioritize customer-centricity, and embrace new technologies while remaining true to their core values.

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