Trendspotting (Strategy) Review

By Megan Croall, Global Digital Manager at Bruichladdich

Trendspotting (Strategy) was my first in-person Marketing Society event for quite some time, and I've got to say I wasn't disappointed. Chaired by Rod Gillies, Brand Director - The Dalmore, Whyte & Mackay and MSS Chair with guest speakers and panel members, this event was not to be missed.

With three topics on the agenda, Values v Value, Sustainability, and Behavioural Science, the sessions were thought-provoking and inspiring.

Key Takeaways

Value v Values - Guest Speaker Maddy Sim, Strategy Partner, Carat

Marketers need to consider the role of purpose in purchasing behaviour and remember that we can't escape the conversation around the cost of living crisis. Never before have we all faced a decrease in disposable income, meaning that price sensitivity from consumers is on the increase and is more commonly on people's minds. As marketers, we need to be mindful that while consumers may want to purchase brands with a purpose, they might not be in their price bracket, especially during the current economic climate.

The three areas Maddy advised a brand to lean into include:

  • Consider the ‘Lipstick Effect’ whereby consumers will look to purchase “accessible treats” in a recession.

  • Ensure purpose is intrinsic to campaigns, for example, Heinz Magic Breakfast.

  • Communicate how your brand's purpose contributes to the bigger picture, leading with facts and figures.

Sustainability - Professor Graeme Macdonald, University of Warwick.

This eye-opening talk about the state of the world and what might come if things don't change was challenging yet uplifting. As part of the Climaginaries team, Graeme chatted about his work, envisioning what our future might look like. While it can be easy to focus on the doom, he challenged us to look on the flip side and consider how we can inspire change as part of our marketing efforts.

Behavioural Science - David Craik, Founder/MD, Bright Signals and Gill Wylie, Head of Planning, Frame

The final fascinating topic of the day focused on Behavioural Science; formatted as a discussion, David and Gill shared insightful nuggets and left plenty of room to dive deeper. David shared that at present, 175 behavioural biases have been identified. He then highlighted that as marketers, we need to tap into these biases, for example, considering what the consumer wants and any behavioural attributes. It’s then our job to affect this.

Gill shared an example of how this worked in practice for one of their clients, where they researched the customer journey. As a result, they gleaned the insight that consumers were overwhelmed by the options in their clients' sandwich shops, allowing them to implement a change and make it easier for customers by introducing the ‘Sandwich of the Day.’

I found the whole session full of actionable insights and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend attending Marketing Society events for those who are looking to deepen their knowledge.


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