Converge | Connect | Create was an opportunity for marketers to look beyond the here and now, and to discuss what brands and businesses' futures will look like. So, we've gathered here the compelling insights shared by our amazing speakers.
The current situation has created massive shifts in people' behaviour and spending habits – mostly from functional to benefit-led and emotional.
Sarah Dossett, UKI Marketing Director at Danone, noted: "well-being is the number one reason consumers are picking up food." Savvy brands will up-weight media to increase visibility for products the public wants and make them available to customers when they need them most.
Ant Hill, Head of Creative Impact, sees similar trends at Google. He challenged the perception that most brands have paused their advertising spend: "Some brands have, but a lot of brands are accelerating through this period and are finding growth in this challenging time."
Established D2C routes are accelerating, and digital transformation is urged forward.
Pietro Mazza, Regional Director at Lavazza, tells us "digital strategy should be strongly developed and very open because there is no one size that fits all." Brands should be looking to create a flawless delivery from physical to online.
As we move past the reactive stage, consumers are looking for brands who walk the talk. So, whether it's innovation, climate change, or their people, brands should go back through plans and question everything with the new information and context to see if these are still relevant.
Throughout history, we see that world crises can spark creative explosions. And when a creative explosion takes place, the scene is as important as the individual. When creativity runs an area, there are greater opportunities for collisions, community and mutual appreciation leading to business opportunity and growth.
This year, it is predicted our yearly global carbon emissions will reduce by 8%, which is on target for the worlds annual goal. But it has come at quite a cost. It should, however, keep us mindful of our collective power to affect change.
Hannah Harrison, Sustainability Director at WPP, believes we should carry many lessons of the crisis forward to help ensure these continue to reduce - "We're not flying, and the business hasn't fallen over. We're pitching online and creating phenomenal campaigns online."
Lucy Siegle, Chair for the Real Circularity Coalition, suggests "we now need to make products where we can use less energy, and we need to reclaim what [waste] we have at the end. We need to stop seeing waste as waste. We need to see waste as having a value."
Marketers can make people change how they feel and (hopefully) behave. They have a huge role in building an attractive picture of the future, using the power of words and creativity.
Many people initially termed Covid-19 the 'great leveller', but this theory has been very quickly disproved. During the lockdown, mothers in two-parent households only do on average a third of the uninterrupted paid-work hours of fathers. This sharp reduction could cause lasting harm to their careers and widen the gender pay gap further. On the bright side, we have seen more flexibility in parenting roles, men cooking more, and strong female leadership all over the world.
In the next few months and years, more than anything else companies will need to hire the right mindsets in leadership. Pioneering leaders who are unafraid to challenge the status quo, welcome change, orchestrate digital and cultural transformation and drive financial return. It takes diverse, inclusive and progressive leadership to change the game. By focusing on the complementary behaviours across your leadership team, you can make change happen.