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Embracing Data and Mobile to Personalise Brand Experience

Embracing Data and Mobile to Personalise Brand Experience

The Drum Arms hosts sessions during Advertising Week Europe

Marketing and media news outlet, The Drum decided to do something a little different for this year’s Advertising Week Europe, by taking over a London pub for four of the events five days. The team used the venue as a base to host a series of sessions about industry-relevant topics, as well as a much-anticipated closing party, in honour of the magazine going global. The Drum Arms was located just down the road from host venue The Picturehouse, and as our Soho offices are located right nearby, I managed to listen in on some of these discussions. 

Decoding the data: the tech versus humanised approach

There was a lot of talk about the personalisation of marketing through the use of well-analysed data, and the growing need to provide our audiences with content that is relevant, interesting and—most importantly—useful, but what is the most effective approach to analysing this data—humans or tech?  

Many attendees agreed that data analysis conducted by people is the most effective way for brands to create personalised campaigns, as this process identifies much smaller groups of people based on their specific interests. Brands such as Spotify do this well, by collecting data about the music a unique user listens to, developing an understanding of their overall tastes, and then providing tailored recommendations based on the data. There is also an artificial intelligence (AI) approach, where we rely on tech to place people into wider audience sub-groups. This sees us create campaigns that might have an element of personalisation, but are generally broader. Overall the consensus was that AI isn’t at the stage to truly personalise data just yet, but this could certainly be a reality in the future.

While the focus here was on traditional advertising and marketing mediums, personalisation through data is similarly significant in the brand experience space. We need to determine the best method to interpret our data, and then use it to understand the audience subgroups that attend our events. These insights allow us to create different features, services, and experiences that appeal to the interests of these smaller pockets of people pre, during and post-event.

Boosting audience engagement with mobile

There is no question that the way we access and digest information is changing. What may have traditionally been promoted via television or print is increasingly delivered to us through small snapshots of information on our smartphones. Another of The Drum’s sessions delved into this growing trend.

Smartphones perform so many tasks for us that we’re constantly on them. Rather than view them as a distraction that takes away from a live event, we should embrace them. This is where things like event apps come in handy—many of us don’t have time to scroll through the entire event website, so we opt for the event app, which, if done well, includes essential delegate information. There are also platforms like second-screen technology, which encourage attendees to respond to topics posed by a presenter or panel, or they can submit questions through their device.  

Overall, it was clear that all of the themes discussed at The Drum Arms are relevant to the live event space—a trend that highlights just how important brand experience is to the marketing mix now. The key learning here is that it is important to personalise our events so that they meet individual attendees’ needs, and the industry should remain aware of changing consumer behaviours. If we are embracing, and relying upon, our smartphones more and more, then let’s look at ways to incorporate that technology into brand experiences in a meaningful way.

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