The Marketors’ Annual City Lecture ‘numbers can’t beat emotions’ presented by Tim Delaney of Leaga Delaney, at the Painters Hall, on 17th October 2019.

Once again this was an excellent city lecture held at the Painters Hall, to a full audience. Tim was introduced to the audience by Master Andrew Cross and commenced by explaining he had been in marketing/advertising for most of the time he had been on the planet.

Tim went on to introduce 10 words that he felt without which  marketers may become dinosaurs they were, BOT, AI, programmatics,  A-B testing, influencer, scaled personalisation, AR, attribution modelling and native advertising.

All of which he felt were incredibly useful at doing something we’ve never been able to do before, target an individual on a mass basis and then if we feel like it target them again. Data enabled us to do this thanks to the likes of Facebook, Instagram Google and many others.

The sheer quantum of the data available to marketers is awesome. There isn’t a market segment or geographic region that escapes this collection of data. So armed with all this data what does this mean for the future of marketing? Some people believe that in this age of technology data is going to fix everything.

This prediction is something that Tim went on to question strongly. He commenced this challenge by reiterating his view that sales takes care of today marketing the future. This highlights the need to plan for the future and this needs to include things like pricing distribution scaling, which in themselves are rational and manageable parts of the brand’s life.

However possibly more important than these rational elements is personality and emotion which are often irrational. So how do marketers plan for this irrational reference. And can you plan for this irrational reference the same in Tasmania as it is in Alaska? How do you differentiate something that has rational elements to be emotionally different?

Human beings are complex in individuals with complex motivations and prejudices. These observations must be taken into account when planning a brand promotion in order to facilitate the satisfaction deeply rooted in long lasting emotional desires thus helping facilitate brand loyalty.

He then went on to relate this to the city financial sector which contributes 24% of our GDP. In his opinion this industry has not been serviced well by his own industry. This could be primarily because no one in advertising understands finance and never has

The result of this was in the promotion of the financial sector the emotion referred to earlier was nowhere to be seen. The role of emotion in brand choice is arguably more important in the financial sector where by their own admission what they are offering is largely generic.

Tim went on to explain his organisation’s own mantra that of ‘it’s only an idea if it changes a business’. Yet in the city the major players seem to have provided little emphasis on this emotional engagement with their potential customers perhaps this could be because financial institutions can make millions in seconds with ¼ of a point interest rate change.

However, in spite of that large organisations have spent billions on glossy ads and campaigns targeted at strengthening their brands. It is Tim’s view that these ads have not progressed in the last 10 to 20 years in terms of forming emotional bonds with their customers which leaves them exposed to new entrants coming into the market who were somehow more able to form a connection with today’s consumer.

He then went on to identify the tremendous success his organisation had had adopting this emotional appeal approach to major brands these companies included Barclays, Adidas, Patek, Phillipe and Timberland, all great success stories.

In summarising Tim stated that the moral of the story is simple, ‘emotion isn’t just about plucking heartstrings or not been rational. These Pictet ads are about protecting your brand that has a mystique. The data would have told them to build a CRM programme to connect with their high net worth individuals. But we wanted the brand to feel as influential and sophisticated as the bank undoubtedly is. This is achieved by a constant stream of thought-provoking small conversations about values and what keeps their multimillionaire clients opening night.

He summarised by saying that marketers turned their back on the human aspect of their brands at their peril. While humans can be contrary and capricious, they are willing to be won over by the right approach, one that touches even the tiniest ventricle of the heart.

What marketers must not do is let data be the loudest voice when creating a comms architecture. Or believe that the relentless hunting mechanism of an algorithm with this dubious click through rates is any kind of substitute for human brand relationship, or to give ourselves over to the coldly objective view that technology has won, and that consumers are just so much numbers fodder.

There then followed a series of questions, which once again highlighted the varying views of the marketing community, before the Master brought the lecture to a close with a big thank you to Tim, for what was an interesting and thought-provoking lecture.

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